NOPE (2022): The Things I Liked…

Nope (2022), Daniel Kaluuya, Brandon Perea, Keke Palmer, Universal Pictures
Nope (2022), Daniel Kaluuya, Brandon Perea, Keke Palmer, Universal Pictures

I would love to say that Nope is one of my favourite movies of 2022, but that wouldn’t be true. Director Jordan Peele’s third movie, following Get Out (2017) and Us (2019), truly tested my patience so much that I came close to giving up on it.

It wasn’t until the fifty-five-minute mark that things changed. I was finally fully engaged and excited about what was happening in Peele’s horror/mystery/sci-fi film about the uncanny, chilling and undoubtedly alien events in an inland California gulch.

The cinematography of Nope is one of its key highlights. Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer’s performances were two more high points. There was a point or two when I wanted Palmer’s character to speak less. Still, what I loved most about Nope is the sibling connection between Kaluuya and Palmer’s characters. A pleasing dynamic that happens to shine through even more after the aforementioned fifty-five-minute mark

As for the question of whether to watch Nope or not, that depends on your patience levels. It also depends on how big of a Peele fan you are. And, lastly, your curiosity about everything that happens after fifty-five minutes. 

I can’t say I completely forgive Peele for the slow half of the movie, just because I enjoyed the second half a lot more. But, I can say that I am somewhat less mad. 

Have you seen Nope? If so, what did you like most and least about it?

Happy Film Loving 

G

TÁR (2022): New Trailer From Cate Blanchett, Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss, Mark Strong…

The setting of director Todd Field’s latest film is the international world of classical music.

Central to the story is Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) who happens to be widely considered one of the greatest living composers/conductors, and the very first ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra.

Mark Strong, Noémie Merlant and Nina Hoss are among the key cast.

Sometimes a trailer is unique and it features a great actor or two. Yet, because of how seemingly moody it appears to be, I’m not moved to watch it. But then I learn about the compelling subject matter, and as a fan of the possibilities of film, suddenly, I have to see Tár.

Are you also moved to watch this one, or is it too… something?

Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Mark Strong and Sydney Lemmon also star.

Tár Release Dates: January 20th, 2023 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

US (2019): The Things I Liked…

What to say about Us? It had its moments, several that were perfectly engaging. However, there were some scenes I wish had gone differently. 

Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker, I enjoyed much of the mystery in Jordan Peele’s horror/mystery/thriller about a family whose beach holiday takes a terrorising turn, thanks to the arrival of their doppelgängers. It’s just unfortunate that a little bit of that enjoyment disappeared when I realised I’d guessed a crucial element of the story within the first ten minutes.

Other moments that convinced me I’m not enjoying Us as much as I did Get Out (2017) include the feeling that Nyong’o’s doppelgänger has far too much dialogue. Another is the taking of young Evan Alex’s character towards the end. Now, I’m sure that parents get distracted in extraordinary circumstances. Nevertheless, that specific taking felt as though it happened far too conveniently for my liking.

Even with the above considered, there’s no taking away from the brilliant performances by the entire cast. I especially found Winston Duke’s character quite entertaining. 

For me, Peele is still great at creating a perfectly uncomfortable atmosphere that’s very difficult to look away from, even if, in the case of Us, the social commentary doesn’t quite land as neatly. 

You’ve probably already watched Us, but if you haven’t and you’re curious. Plus you enjoyed Get Out, then give Us a chance. 

Happy Film Loving

G

EMPIRE OF LIGHT (2022): New Trailer From Sam Mendes, Starring Olivia Coleman, Colin Firth, Micheal Ward, Toby Jones…

From director Sam Mendes, human connection and the magic of cinema are the subject of new drama/romance Empire of Light.

Set n an English seaside town in the early 1980s, Colin Firth, Micheal Ward, Olivia Coleman and Toby Jones star

I’m ready for the dialogue, cinematography and that special magic that exists in all Mendes films. That moment when I’m joyful to be experiencing a great moment on screen. The kind which reconfirms that this medium really is the true perfect amalgamation of all the arts.

It sure is starting to look like 2022 is the year of movies about movies, right? First, we had the rather fun Official Competition. Now, Empire of Light, and of course, Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans.

There are only 3 months left of this year but what do you think the chances are that at least one more film about movies is on the way? Quite likely, probably. I think I’ll be happy as long as it’s not too much like Hail, Caesar! (2016).

Tom Brooke, Monica Dolan, Sara Stewart, Crystal Clarke, Tanya Moodie, Hannah Onslow, George Greenland and also star

Empire of Light Release Dates: December 9th, 2022 (US); January 13th, 2023 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

DISENCHANTED (2022): New Trailer From Amy Adams, James Marsden, Patrick Dempsey, Maya Rudolph…

From director Adam Shankman, Disenchanted is set a decade after happily ever after. A time when Giselle (Amy Adams) is questioning her happiness and inadvertently turning the lives of those around her, and the rest of the real world upside down in the process.

Additional key cast includes Yvette Nicole Brown, James Marsden, Maya Rudolph and Patrick Dempsey.

Disenchanted is that Disney movie that I never got around to watching. However, now that the New York City setting is clear, a dark twist seems to be on the horizon, and Maya Rudolph is involved… suddenly my interest has come to the fore.

Now I just need to finally watch Enchanted (2007). Finger’s crossed it will be fun.

Have you watched Enchanted? Perhaps it’s one of your favourites. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Yvette Nicole Brown, Jayma Mays, Gabriella Baldacchino, Oscar Nuñez, Idina Menzel, Griffin Newman, James Monroe Iglehart, Ann Harada and Kolton Stewart also star.

Disenchanted Release Dates: November 24th, 2022 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

ATHENA (2022): The Things I Liked…

Athena (2022), Dali Benssalah, Netflix
Athena (2022), Dali Benssalah, Netflix

Romain Gavras’s latest drama Athena is the story of Idir, Karim, Abdel and Moktar. Four brothers whose realities change dramatically because of one tragic incident. 

Stunningly captured and well-structured storytelling is one phrase that fits here. Athena is clever and socially conscious, to the point where you may wish you could have attended a screening followed by a live Q&A session with Gavras himself. 

Starring Dali Benssalah, Sami Slimane, Alexis Manenti, Karim Lasmi and Anthony Bajon, my favourite thing about Athena is the highly engaging way it captures chaos. 

For me, the camera work, choreography and dialogue combined to deliver a movie as watchable as its highly engaging teaser trailer.

Watch Athena for a moving tragedy that cleverly unfolds while offering plenty to consider, hope for and imagine.

Happy Film Loving 

G

THE GOOD NURSE (2022): New Trailer From Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Kim Dickens, Nnamdi Asomugha…

New biography/crime/drama The Good Nurse follows an infamous caregiver who finds themselves implicated in the deaths of hundreds of hospital patients.

Directed by Tobias Lindholm; Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Noah Emmerich and Nnamdi Asomugha are among the key cast.

I’d been missing seeing Redmayne on screen, so I’m watching this for that reason and the chilling fact that this is based on a true story.

As someone who has resisted looking up details about the truth about these characters, I’m now especially curious to understand the thinking behind the ‘one neck, two heads’ artwork above. I’m scared that the truth is far darker than this trailer suggests. There’s of course, also a chance that I’m seriously overthinking matters. Still, I’m cautiously excited to find out.

Malik Yoba, Ajay Naidu, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Maurice J. Irvin, Jennifer Regan, Gabe Fazio, Brooke Stacy Mills and Alix West Lefler also star.

The God Nurse Release Dates: October 26th, 2022 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

WEDNESDAY (2022): New Trailer Starring Jenna Ortega, Christina Ricci, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzmán…

Jenna Ortega, Christina Ricci, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán are the stars of the new The Addams Family spin-off series, Wednesday.

Focused on Wednesday Addams, we get to watch the mischievous Addams daughter as a high school student. She’ll be getting up to her usual fun to watch shenanigans, as well as attempting to master her emerging psychic ability and solve the mystery that’s embroiled her parents.

I must admit that this delightful little trailer has made me so very happy indeed. And what a wonderful young talent Ortega is.

The fact that Wednesday is a series and has input from Tim Burton is the reason this looks like so much fun.

Bring on all that promising humour, beautiful set and costume design. I’m ready!

Emma Myers, Jamie McShane, Joy Sunday, Riki Lindhome, Thora Birch and Hunter Doohan also star.

Wednesday Release Dates

Happy Film Loving

G

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