Category Archives: Drama

WAVES (2019): The Things I Liked…

Waves (2019), Alexa Demie, Kelvin Harrison Jr., A24
Waves (2019), Alexa Demie, Kelvin Harrison Jr., A24

Starring Kelvin Harrison Jr., Sterling K. Brown, Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie and Lucas Hedges, Waves is a coming of age, raw, emotional and sometimes funny drama / romance centred around the teenage children of a couple in modern day America.

I liked the way Waves opened; the colours, camera angles and music, all of which worked to remind us of the seemingly carefree youthful abandon of late adolescence. As hectic, bright and beautiful as those moments were, it’s not too long before you realise that everything isn’t quite right. Tensions become apparent and it’s clear something is going to change – and not in a good way.

Tyler (Harrison Jr.) is a promising and troubled high school athlete unable to truly open up to his parents, so he suffers behind closed doors. His younger sister Emily (Taylor Russell) who seems to fade into the background much of the time certainly doesn’t have the focus of her parents – especially her father; at least not the the way her brother does. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s Tyler’s troubles that end up tragically and irrevocably altering the lives of more than just his immediate family.

Waves (2019), Taylor Russell, Sterling K. Brown, A24
Waves (2019), Taylor Russell, Sterling K. Brown, A24

Considering the themes of familial tragedy and some very modern / American issues, it’s unsurprising that I shed a few tears as Waves played. Particularly because of the very real and raw way writer / director Trey Edward Shults’s film captures the emotional turmoil suffered by its characters. Some of it so heartbreaking that I have to liken certain moments to having to watch an inevitable car crash while being completely unable to help.

Waves is the kind of movie you watch for the film making artistry, great acting and the ways it beautifully and realistically captures some of the most delightful and heartbreaking events in the lives of teenagers and parents in modern America. You will laugh and smile, be very concerned but also often moved by the generosity of spirit displayed before you.

‘Long’ is another word to describe this movie. It’s not quite the bladder busting 3.5 hour length of The Irishman (2019). However, by the half way point in Shults’s well-captured and highly affecting movie, you’ll think ‘Yeah, I think it’s wrapping up now.’ Except it doesn’t wrap up because that’s when act two – or more fittingly, ‘the second wave’ begins. And sit back you must, because you’re going to need what it has to tell you, especially after the tragedy of ‘the first wave’.

Watch it because it’s good and if you’re curious.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE LOVEBIRDS (2020): New Trailer Starring Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, Paul Sparks, Anna Camp…

The Lovebirds (2020), Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae, Paramount Pictures
The Lovebirds (2020), Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae, Paramount Pictures

In new crime / comedy / drama The Lovebirds, Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani are a couple trying to clear their name after being pulled into a bizarre murder mystery. Will their relationship survive the night following the day’s unexpected events?

Directed by Michael Showalter (The Big Sick (2017); additional key cast includes Anna Camp, Paul Sparks, Kyle Bornheimer…

I’m not yet sure that I’m sold on the premise / believability of this movie just yet, but I do want it to be good.

Also, it’s probably safe to say at this point that Hollywood currently has a thing for murder mysteries right now. First Murder Mystery (2019), Then Knives Out (2019), now The Lovebirds – and I’m probably forgetting another one or two. Maybe.

Joe Chrest, Kenneth Kynt Bryan, Moses Storm, Blaine Kern III, Andrene Ward-Hammond, Jaren Mitchell, Matthew Rimmer, Catherine Cohen, Rebecca Chulew and Kelly Murtagh also star.

The Lovebirds Release Dates: April 3rd, 2020 (US); April 24th, 2020 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

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MORBIUS (2020: New Trailer From Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Michael Keaton…

Morbius (2020), Jared Leto, Sony Pictures Entertainment

In new action / adventure Morbius, Jared Leto is Biochemist Michael Morbius. As he tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease, he inadvertently infects himself with a form of vampirism.

From director Daniel Espinosa, additional key cast includes Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Michael Keaton…

I am intrigued by this trailer and I want the end result to be good.bHowever, I can’t quite say that this trailer gives me plenty of confidence. I’d love to be completely wrong, of course.

J.K. Simmons, Tyrese Gibson, Ria Fend, Charlie Shotwell, Corey Johnson, Tom Forbes, Archie Renaux, Adam Collins, Al Madrigal and Ruth Horrocks also star.

Morbius Release Dates: July 31st, (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN (2019): New Trailer Starring Billy Crystal, Ben Schwartz, Eloise Mumford, Grace Gummer…

Standing Up, Falling Down (2019), Ben Schwartz, Billy Crystal
Standing Up, Falling Down (2019), Ben Schwartz, Billy Crystal

The unlikely friendship between a struggling comedian named Scott and his alcoholic dermatologist Marty is at the centre of Standing Up, Falling Down, the new drama / comedy starring Billy Crystal and Ben Schwartz.

Directed by Matt Ratner, additional key cast includes Nate Corddry, Jill Hennessy, Caitlin McGee…

Movies about unlikely friendships are some of my absolute favourites. I recall Schwartz’s work most vividly in Parks and Recreation. Now I’m curious about what else he can do on screen – besides also playing Sonic in the upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog (2020) movie of course.

David Castañeda, Leonard Ouzts, John Behlmann, Debra Monk, Kevin Dunn and Wade Allain-Marcus also star.

Standing Up, Falling Down Release Dates

Happy Film Loving

G

CONFUCIAN DREAM (2019): New Trailer For Documentary About A Young Mother's Enthusiasm For Confucianism, Against Her Family's Wishes…

Confucian Dream (2019), First Run Features
Confucian Dream (2019), First Run Features

Directed by Mijie Li, Confucian Dream is a new documentary about a young Chinese mother named Chaoyan, and her truggle to bring ancient teachings of Confucianism into her modern family.

Having transitioned from countryside dweller to her new city based role as wife and mother with a steady job, Chaoyan is determined to rid her life of the emptiness she finds at home with her family…

I’m curious about confucianism’s focus on the importance of the family, social harmony, and the reasons Chaoyan’s family give for not wanting it in their lives.

Confucian Dream Release Dates

Happy film Loving

G

MARRIAGE STORY (2020): The Things I Liked…

Marriage Story (2019), Adam Driver, Netflix
Marriage Story (2019), Adam Driver, Netflix

Marriage Story is a good movie. Beautifully written, well acted – by everyone, including Ray Liotta, Laura Dern and young Azhy Robertson.

Directed by Noah Baumbach of Greenberg (2010) and Frances Ha (2012); Marriage Story is a film I wanted to see because of its director’s previous works. I’m also a big fan of the lead actors, (Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver), I loved the very well edited trailer and I wanted to see what Baumbach’s movie had to say about this thing called marriage. Particularly the very type that ends in divorce.

Categorised as a comedy / drama, you’ll indeed smile and laugh but certainly not as much as you’ll be moved almost to tears if not actual streaming tears. This one is a film that deals with the classic challenges faced in many modern relationships. Especially, the kind that can arise where both parties are ambitious and with clear ideas of what they want for their life and career. It’s also a story that features the one thing that’s always there as one of the key reasons for the breakdown of all relationships; ‘ineffective communication’. 

Marriage Story (2019), Scarlett Johansson, Azhy Robertson, Adam Driver, Netflix
Marriage Story (2019), Scarlett Johansson, Azhy Robertson, Adam Driver, Netflix

I’m glad to confirm that the things I liked most about the trailer for Marriage Story are the very things that stood out beautifully in the  finished film. Great writing / dialogue, editing so well executed that I personally didn’t need a second to question any of Baumbach’s creative decisions; they all made sense to me since everything felt rooted in a level of unquestionable realism that resonated with me.

As you watch Baumbach’s movie, almost throughout you’ll find yourself smiling, then sad within seconds. Yet it’s unlikely you’ll be mad that you decided to watch at all.

Other things that stood out about Marriage Story… I loved the humour, perfectly choreographed scenes and the film’s general rhythm. There’s also the heartbreaking yet fun to watch courtroom drama antics, that last big argument and Driver’s character’s singing at the very end. That scene was just somehow perfect. 

Definitely watch it because it’s very good.

Happy Film Loving 

G

WAITING FOR ANYA (2020): New Trailer From Anjelica Huston, Noah Schnapp, Jean Reno, Sadie Frost…

Waiting For Anya (2020), Anjelica Huston, Jean Reno, Vertical Releases
Waiting For Anya (2020), Anjelica Huston, Jean Reno, Vertical Releases

Based on a true story; starring Anjelica Huston, Jean Reno, Sadie Frost and Noah Schnapp, Waiting For Anaya is a new Ben Cookson directed wartime drama. The story of Jo (Schnappp), a young shepherd along with the help of the widow Horcada (Huston) as the help to smuggle Jewish children across the border from southern France into Spain, during World War2.

Additional key cast includes Frederick Schmidt, Thomas Kretschmann, Nicholas Rowe, Gilles Marini…

The moving and well edited trailer grabbed my attention and now I’m compelled to find out if Anya and her father are reunited.

Tómas Lemarquis, Joséphine de La Baume, Elsa Zylberstein, Urs Rechn, William Abadie, Jean-François Balmer, Raj Awasti

Waiting For Anya Release Dates: February 7th, 2020 (US); February 14th, 2020 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

FIRST COW (2019): New trailer Starring John Magaro, Alia Shawkat, Orion Lee, Toby Jones…

First Cow (2019), John Magaro, A24
First Cow (2019), John Magaro, A24

Starring John Magaro and Orion Lee, First Cow is astory of human connection featuring a loner / cook named Cookie and Chinese immigrant King Lu.

Set in Oregon Territory among a group of fur trappers, the two men collaborate on business that’s reliant on the participation of a wealthy landowner’s prized milking cow.

Directed by Kelly Reichardt, additional key cast includes Toby Jones, Alia Shawkat, Rene Auberjonois…

I’m curious about those ‘cakes,’ the bromance and the historical period in which First Cow is set.

Ewen Bremner, Scott Shepherd, Ted Rooney, Gary Farmer, Patrick D. Green, Dylan Smith, Lily Gladstone, Orion Lee and Mitchell Saddleback also star.

First Cow Release Dates: March 6th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

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