White Boy Rick

I thought this was another movie. I thought it was Bodied, about a white guy who enters the world of battle rap. That one’s not supposed to be that great, but this movie had a workman-like quality that made it watchable. White boy in a black world of drug dealing. Kind of cardboard characters, but everyone does a good job with their parts, and it’s not boring.

Crazy Rich Asians

This wasn’t as good as it was cracked up to be (Best Picture, Comedy or Musical, at the Golden Globes?), but it made for fine airplane fare. It was fun, and mostly witty and nice to look at. Lots of attractive people, clothes and cars and baubles and all that… it passed the time.

The Favourite

The cheesy phrase “deliciously wicked” comes to mind. I do prefer my period pieces to have a bit of wink, wink, nudge, nudge (Peter Greenaway and Baz Luhrmann come to mind), and this film falls into that category. The three leads strike just the right balance, and then – slip, twist, pivot – imbalance. I’ve always liked Rachel Weisz, but Emma Stone has grown on me. As for the queen, Olivia Colman gives the perfect, nuanced performance. She deserved her Oscar.

East Side Sushi

Equal parts charming and clumsy. It felt like a senior project, and the script had all the usual characters, as if cut from film school cardboard. But there is heart, and… Oakland.

The Handmaiden

Is it fair to say that this is┬áPark Chan-wook at his most restrained? And most elegant. Which is appropriate, given the tale at hand, and its source material. It’s great to look at, and very solidly structured. My only real complaint is how easy it is to see what is coming, during the second third of the film…

Isle of Dogs

I like Wes Anderson best when he doesn’t have doesn’t have actual actors being so quirky. It’s better, and less cloying, when puppets are put into these situations, and saying these lines.

Even if the lines are in Japanese. Would I have liked this film as much if there were no Japan connection? I’m not certain. And I’m also not sure about the racist charges that the film seems to be attracting. Again, maybe because I know that Japan is… like this?

At any rate, first-rate eye candy, as usual. Superb attention to detail. I liked it.

The Florida Project

An oddly engaging movie. There is nothing that a synopsis might tell you that would indicate the level of engagement that this story engenders. It may be in part the fact that we see most of the movie from the point of view of the children, who, however mischievous they may be, remind us always that what they represent is hope and possibility, for all of us. Disneyland may be an overt symbol of the fantasy life we all desire, but these kids show us that real life can be full of joy as well.

Definitely Maybe

Disappointing to the point where not even Ryan Reynolds’ charms could revive it. Not even Rachel Weisz as a love interest could save it. There is too much script here. You can just see the writers piling it on. One more wrinkle, another complication, the expected unexpected. And back around to the beginning. Cute by a little too much.