Tag Archives: Movie Reviews

GREEN BOOK (2018): The Things I Liked…

Green Book (2018),  Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortensen
Green Book (2018), Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortensen

Directed by Peter Farrelly and starring Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortensen  and Linda Cardellini, Green Book tells the story of the great friendship between a working-class Italian-American bouncer / driver and an African-American classical pianist.

Since Farrelly’s story is set in 1960s America, racial tensions play a significant part in the movie. However, the main focus is very much the developing friendship between the two men.

There’s a number of heartbreaking scenes in Green Book but there are definitely far more that’ll make you smile and have you thinking about the great friends you have and / or want in your life. You may also be moved to be even kinder than I’m certain you already are.

What stands out most for me about Green Book, in addition to the great performances is the fact that, for me, Green Book is one of those movies with a rhythm so perfect that there wasn’t a single moment when I questioned any of the director / editor’s choices. Everything just flowed beautifully and my eyes gladly took in and appreciated the skilful execution before me.

Some of the music in Green Book definitely had me contemplating dressing up and showing up at the nearest jazz venue; not that the main music featured is jazz, by the way. I enjoyed Mortensen’s performance as what one might argue is the most convincingly Italian non-Italian to ever be seen on screen. 

I say, watch Green Book because it’s good and to see an inspiring growing friendship and respect between to men, one that ends up altering them both.

Happy Film Loving 

G

VENOM (2018): The Thing I Liked…

Venom (2018), Tom Hardy
Venom (2018), Tom Hardy

Even though Marvel’s Venom is definitely not in my top five list of favourite superhero movies – or my top five list of Marvel movies for that matter, I still found a scene that I loved.

Directed by Ruben Fleischer; starring Tom Hardy, Jenny Slate, Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed, I’m not sure that the worst thing about Venom is the performances. For me, the key issues exist in three areas, the story editing / script, the final version of the fully formed CGI embodiment of Venom and Venom’s actual speaking voice, All these elements left me less impressed than I’d hoped to be.

To give an example of my issue with the story, I know that Brock, who later becomes Venom is supposed to be an antihero but because of his highly inconsiderate behaviour during the Colton Drake interview early on in the movie, I think I had trouble fully being on his side after that. I mean, he’s still the protagonist and I didn’t want him to get hurt; yet I was reasonably annoyed for his girlfriend. As a result, it wasn’t actually until the desperate scene in the restaurant that I was most moved; both by how helpless Brock seemed in those moments and by Tom Hardy’s arresting performance.

Along with a less cartoonish looking CGI version of Venom and Riot, I really did expect a far slicker execution from Marvel Studios overall; one where the finished product hit all the right notes in terms of what makes a good film and had me feeling like: Yes! YES! I knew this would be good!instead of: ‘Yeah… it’s really not the best. What a shame.’

Watch it if you’re curious enough and if you’re a serious comic book fan, no doubt you’ll have a better time than I did.

For me, the title of ‘favourite superhero movie’ still belongs to The Avengers (2012).

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