Tag Archives: Film Reviews

SOMEONE GREAT (2019): The Things I Liked…

Someone Great (2019), Gina Rodriguez
Someone Great (2019), Gina Rodriguez

Someone Great stars Gina Rodriguez as Jenny, a young woman who just went through a devastating break-up. She becomes determined to enjoy one last night in New York City with her friends, before moving to San Francisco for work. 

After you watched the trailer for this movie, just in case – like myself you were thinking that half the film would be set in New York City and the other half in San Francisco, you better forget about it. Someone Great happens entirely in New York and there are zero gorgeous images of the Golden Gate Bridge to be enjoyed here, sorry. 

Now that I’ve delivered the bit of news that probably only I care about, I enjoyed writer / director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson’s film more than I thought I would. In fact, I’ll even go as far as to say that this is my favourite of Rodriguez’s roles. She did a good job of selling the romantic connection, the devastation that followed when it all fell apart, as well as the bond between Jenny and her best friends, played by DeWanda Wise and Brittany Snow.

Nicely edited and paced, Someone Great captures well, though semi-briefly the highs and lows of a passionate relationship in one’s twenties. I also enjoyed the sisterly, non-toxic female friendships plus the music and dancing. The talented LaKeith Stanfield’s performance as the love interest and Rosario Dawson’s small role were also definite highlights.

The only thing that frustrated me during Someone Great is when the momentum slowed down a little and I found myself thinking, ‘OK, OK! You’ve already established the intimacy between the three friends. So please move the story along!’ I may or may not have said that out loud.

The part I liked most overall is actually the voice over towards the end because it’s so beautifully written.

Watch Someone Great for the writing… and all the other reasons mentioned above.

Happy Film Loving 

G

LITTLE (2018): The Thing I Liked…

Little (2019), Issa Rae, Universal Pictures
Little (2019), Issa Rae, Universal Pictures

Little, the comedy about a woman struggling with the pressures of adulthood, and somehow gets to relive the life of her younger self is a movie that did not live up to the promise of the its great trailer. I actually enjoyed the Little trailer so much that for a few days there, I confess to playing it instead of uptempo music as I worked out.

Starring Issa Rae, Regina Hall, Justin Hartley and Marsai Martin, I knew things weren’t great when I found myself losing interest approximately 12 minutes in. The disappointment was so real for me that I actually became quite impatient for Martin’s young character’s arrival; all in hopes that my feelings about director Tina Gordon’s film would improve. They did not. Instead I felt a strong sense of disappointment coursing through me. Okay, maybe ‘coursing’ is a tad strong but I definitely wasn’t happy. In fact I’d best describe Little as mostly flat and bad, with moments of dodgy dialogue including some ‘definitely could have been better acting.’ 

I’m sure it didn’t help that once again, near enough all the best bits were featured in the trailer, leaving not much else to enjoy. And since the premise is far from fresh, the chances that Little would be a great experience weren’t the best. I still like Hall and Rae. I’m just not pleased with the end result of this movie that they made.

In terms of what I liked about Little, that would be everything before the twelfth minute, when I was still hopeful. I also enjoyed the back of Hall’s character’s striped blue shirt – including the joke that’s made at its expense. 

If you like Tom Hanks’ 1988 classic Big, the film that inspired Little,  watch it again instead. Unless you really need to see Little for yourself. Who knows, perhaps the end result would have been different – in a good way if Martin had been a teenager, as Hanks’ character was in Big. Perhaps 

Happy Film Loving 

G

NIGHT SCHOOL (2018): The Thing I liked…

Night School (2018), Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish
Night School (2018), Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish

Night School, Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish ‘s comedy about adult troublemakers forced to get ready for the GED exam during night classes is not all that I’d hoped.

My very favourite moment in the whole nearly two hour duration of the movie is the beginning. Reason being, that’s when it had the most promise. Unfortunately though, from that point on my interest in the characters just decreased more and more as the film continued.

I definitely think that the movie should have been at least 20 minutes shorter. I like what it had to say about second chances and how instrumental the right teacher can be in getting the best out of seemingly difficult students. Nevertheless, I wanted the film to have my whole attention, without my mind wandering as it played. It’s therefore not as funny or engaging as the trailer had me hoping.

Give it a chance if you’re a big enough fan of Haddish, Hart and Taran Killam Just know that you probably won’t consider it one of their best movies.

Happy Film Loving

G

FIRST REFORMED (2018): The Thing I Liked…

First Reformed (2018), Ethan Hawke
First Reformed (2018), Ethan Hawke

In First Reformed, Ethan Hawk is a solitary, middle-aged parish pastor who’s plunged into his own tormented past and equally despairing future, after a pregnant parishioner asks him to counsel her deeply troubled husband.

Hawkes notable performance and the special way the movie’s dialogue shines a light on some of the more challenging experiences of the human condition are reasons why director Paul Schrader’s film was worthwhile for me. Challenges including the anguish experienced by those grappling with their religious faith or more generally, those lacking in hope for the future. 

All of First Reformed is engaging but a particularly memorable scene is the face to face conversation between the Reverend and the very troubled husband. I enjoyed listening to the interesting questions asked, some of which are literally answered and some answered through the films impressive execution which features some unexpectedly dark turns.

As a Hawke fan and a general lover of good movies, I say give First Reformed a chance and who knows, you may even find yourself feeling comforted by the knowledge that at some point, you too asked the same questions. And so, in that way, First Reformed is about you / everyone.

Happy Film Loving 

G