Category Archives: Drama

THE GOLDFINCH (2019): The Things I Liked…

The Goldfinch (2019), Ansel Elgort, Warner Bros. Pictures
The Goldfinch (2019), Ansel Elgort, Warner Bros. Pictures

The Goldfinch is a movie for which I had high hopes post trailer viewing. The primary reason is the reliable cast and intriguing themes. 

Starring Ansel Elgort, Luke Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Finn Wolfhard and Sarah Paulson; director John Crowley’s film is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Donna Tartt. A story that follows Theodore Decker, a young boy who loses his mother in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An event that leads to him being taken in by a wealthy Upper East Side, New York family. And from there we get to see the highs and lows of young Theodore’s life as he grows up.

Not particularly’ is unfortunately the answer to the question of whether I enjoyed watching The Goldfinch. The only sort of good news is that I didn’t hate the performances. Yet, I can’t deny that the movie left me disappointed. 

The Goldfinch (2019), Sarah Paulson, Warner Bros. Pictures
The Goldfinch (2019), Sarah Paulson, Warner Bros. Pictures

Part of the problem is the two-and-a-half hour-long runtime which felt excessive. Second, young Oakes Fegley is a talented performer. However, it proved distracting to me, how little he resembled Ansel Elgort, especially since he’s supposed to play the younger version of Elgort’s character. 

The Goldfinch isn’t focused on grief the way I expected. Yet, I’m not mad at that. My issue is more that whatever the film had to say, it could have been better-executed story edit/structure-wise. The lack of satisfaction and the emptiness I felt during much of, and by the end of the movie took me back to that feeling of leaving a dinner party you’d been looking forward to with a largely empty stomach. 

Okay, there were one or two highlights, Young Decker’s relationship with Jeffrey Wright’s character and the tiny little crush I may have had on Aneurin Barnard’s character. Overall, I’m sure it’s unsurprising that I’m having trouble thinking of reasons to suggest you give The Goldfinch a chance. However, Tartt’s book is a Pulitzer Prize winner. So maybe read it if you haven’t already. 

Happy Film Loving 

G

FATHERHOOD (2021): New Trailer From Kevin Hart, Lil Rel Howrey, Alfre Woodard, DeWanda Wise…

Fatherhood (2021), Kevin Hart, Melody Hurd, DeWanda Wise, Netflix
Fatherhood (2021), Kevin Hart, Melody Hurd, DeWanda Wise, Netflix

Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, DeWanda Wise and Lil Rel Howrey are the stars of director Paul Weitz’s new drama, Fatherhood.

Based on a true story, Fatherhood follows a father who has to raise his baby girl as a single dad, following the untimely death of his wife.

Ten words: ‘I did not see that coming, and I love it!’

I’m moved and so excited to watch Hart do well in this role; the kind of part that seems so perfect for him. Then there’s Melody Hurd, who also seems great in the role of Hart’s character’s young daughter.

Paul Alexander Désiré, Rodney Alexandre, Christine Lan, Ryan S. Hill, John Iziomon, Ines Feghouli, Christopher Hayes, Julian Casey, Teneisha Collins, Holly Gauthier-Frankel, Rachel Mutombo also star.

Fatherhood Release Dates: June 18th, 2021 (US), Netflix…

Happy Film Loving

G

LOCKED IN (2021): The Things I Liked…

Locked In (2021), Mena Suvari
Locked In (2021), Mena Suvari

It’s my curiosity about how thrilling movies set mainly in one location can be, that had me watching crime/thriller Locked In. The other motivation is Mena Suvari (an actress I’ll always appreciate because of American Beauty (1999), one of my favourites.

From writer/director Carlos V. Gutierrez, Locked In has some suspenseful scenes. It’s the suspense-filled moments that had me watching through to the very end. Even though by the halfway point, I’d already given up on the movie being the kind I insist others watch. 

The performances aren’t the problem. Locked In is simply not as clever as it needed to be for the viewing experience to feel worthwhile. There are parts of the film where I had to look away as if to signal to the room (since I was watching the movie alone) that what was happening on screen wasn’t up to standard. 

The suspenseful moments and the satisfying last scene are the parts that made me happy. If you’re especially curious about Locked In, then do what you must. Otherwise, how about Locke (2013)Carnage (2011) or Phone Booth (2002)All three are good movies set either completely or predominantly in one location.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER (2021): New Trailer From Shailene Woodley, Callum Turner, Felicity Jones, Joe Alwyn…

The Last Letter from Your Lover (2021), Callum Turner, Studio Canal
The Last Letter from Your Lover (2021), Callum Turner, Studio Canal

When you’re a journalist and you come across a secret trove of love letters with no home address, there’s surely only one thing you can do, right? You decide to solve the mystery of the forbidden love and track down the lovers.

Such is the premise of director Augustine Frizzell’s drama/romance The Last Letter from Your Lover. A film that focuses on a pair of interwoven stories set in the past (1965) and present. Starring Callum Turner, Felicity Jones, Shailene Woodley and Joe Alwyn The Last Letter from Your Lover is based on the novel of the same name by Jojo Moyes.

The love story based in the past is the primary reason I’m interested. Then there’s Woodley’s character – Jennifer Stirling’s elegant style, plus my commitment to seeing her free of Alwyn’s seemingly hateful Laurence. Of course I’ll be there on Platform 2, Friday, at 7:15pm. Mind you, only to bear witness and nothing more.

Emma Appleton, Ben Cross, Ncuti Gatwa, Christian Brassington, Nabhaan Rizwan, Vilhelm Blomgren, Diana Kent, Ann Ogbomo, Alfredo Tavares, Louis James and Matt Mella also star.

The Last Letter from Your Lover Release Dates: July 23rd, 2021 (US); August 6th, 2021 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

AWAKE (2021): New Trailer Starring Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Shamier Anderson, Ariana Greenblatt…

Awake (2021), Finn Jones, Gina Rodriguez, Netflix
Awake (2021), Finn Jones, Gina Rodriguez, Netflix

In the world of new sci-fi/thriller Awake, a devastating global event has wiped out all electronics and eliminated people’s ability to sleep. Gina Rodriguez stars as former soldier Jill, whose daughter may just be the solution.

Directed by Mark Raso; additional key cast includes Barry Pepper, Shamier Anderson, Ariana Greenblatt and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

The chaos of it all is what I’m drawn to; the idea of a world functioning on zero sleep. I mean, many well-rested individuals make terrible decisions, which begs the question, precisely how scary can we expect things to get?

I’m in for the answer to the above while hoping that this movie will exceed all my expectations.

Frances Fisher, Gil Bellows, Finn Jones, Sebastian Pigott, Sergio Di Zio, Alex House, Michael Hough, Lucius Hoyos, Trevor Hayes and Shawn Ahmed also star.

Awake Release Dates: June 9th, 2021 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE KOMINSKY METHOD – SEASON 3 (2021): New Trailer From Michael Douglas, Alan Arkin, Sarah Baker, Morgan Freeman…

The Kominsky Method (2021), Michael Douglas, Sarah Baker, Netflix
The Kominsky Method (2021), Michael Douglas, Sarah Baker, Netflix

The Kominsky Method, one of my favourite things to come out of Netflix has one last season.

Starring Michael Douglas, Sarah Baker, Alan Arkin and Morgan Freeman; the comedy/drama follows an aging actor who had a brush with fame many years ago, and now he works as an acting coach.

I’m sad that this show is ending. However, better to end on a high, rather than to drive a good thing to the ground, right?

If you haven’t seen the first two seasons, I highly recommend. The acting is super, and the writing is good/funny. So, treat yourself to this little Netflix gem, why don’t ya?

Jane Seymour, Nancy Travis, Graham Rogers, Melissa Tang, Jenna Lyng Adams, Casey Thomas Brown, Emily Osment, Lisa Edelstein, Ramon Hilario Ashleigh LaThrop and Susan Sullivan, also star.

The Kominsky Method – Season 3 Release Dates: May 28th, 2021 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER (2021): The Things I Liked…

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021), Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Marvel Entertainment
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021), Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Marvel Entertainment

I liked The Falcon and the Winter Soldier immediately, thanks to a tense, action-filled first few minutes. This is precisely what I’d been hoping for from a series about two of the Avengers. Even more so considering my disappointment with the first two episodes of WandaVision (2021). 

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s six-part series is an action/adventure that sees Sam Wilson (The Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier) adjusting to the world following the events of Avengers Endgame (2019). And it’s not long before they have to deal with a new, earthly enemy.

My partiality to a beautiful bromance makes it no wonder that the scenes of Mackie and Stan on screen together are my favourite. The moments when they appeared separately or not at all were often engaging too. Nevertheless, ‘fully engaging throughout’ is not how I can best describe The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. There are periods when it feels flat, less urgent, less exciting, and lacking my favourite element of all; the fun action and an adequately speedy pace. 

The other issue I have with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is its main villain, Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman); a character whose story/villainy I just didn’t fully buy.

Overall, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is good but I can’t say that I love it in its entirety. However, I will remember it fondly for the bromance/action. Especially in episode one, towards the end of the fourth episode and much of episode five. Make time if you’re curious.

Happy Film Loving 

G

MOSQUITO COAST (2021): New Trailer From Justin Theroux, Melissa George, Logan Polish, gabriel Bateman…

Mosquito Coast (2021), Justin Theroux, Apple TV+
Mosquito Coast (2021), Justin Theroux, Apple TV+

Mosquito Coast is the latest adventure/drama/thriller seven-part Apple TV+ series starring Justin Theroux and Melissa George. It’s the story of an idealist who uproots his family at brief notice to move them to Latin America.

I didn’t realise I hadn’t seen George in a movie in a while until this trailer. How the story explains the parents’ seemingly questionable life choices is why I’m in for this one. The children’s emotional journey through it all is another reason I’m interested. Last but not least, it’s an adventure/thriller. Who doesn’t like those?

John J. Concado, Kimberly Elise and Scotty Tovar also star.

Mosquito Coast Release Dates: April 30th, 2021 (US & UK), Apple TV +

Happy Film Loving

G