Waves Review

It’s extremely difficult, to write a review for a film, that had every intention of being beautiful. From the cinematography to the score from Reznor and Ross, to the sound design, the lighting and the incredible performances from the lead actors, everything seemed to be perfect except for the unsettling and infuriating storyline of the protagonist.

The first act was uncomfortable to sit through because of the nonsensical choices that were made for a well educated black teenager from a strong household. Kelvin Harrison Jr. gave a stellar performance BUT Trey Edward Shults turned him into a degenerate who makes the dumbest life decisions. It got to the point where Shults purposely made his protagonist, Tyler, do the complete opposite of what an intelligent black teenager would do. I also believe that writing in an unwanted pregnancy and having it end in such a horrendous and traumatizing way is something a white male shouldn’t have tackled. I felt so much anger during the first act and I truly wanted something terrible to happen to Tyler, he deserved so much worse than what he ended up with.

The execution of this story was handled so poorly and it was a very sensitive subject. I wish this film had more dialogue in order to discuss these matters, rather than show such brutal outcomes. I wanted more conversations between Sterling K. Brown and Kelvin Harrison Jr. because their relationship was so important. The first act lost any respect I had for the characters and I didn’t really care what happened for the rest of the film.

The second act switched gears and hit a sweet spot. The narrative turned into the aftermath of Tyler’s consequences. His sister, Emily played beautifully by Taylor Russell. It was a breath of fresh air when she took control of the narrative. Also, when Lucas Hedges stepped into the picture as Luke, I knew he was going to save this movie from being a complete mess. Luke and Emily’s chemistry was so natural and I loved them together, there was so much purity and their dialogue was effortless. It was like two pure hearts coming together and creating a bond.

This film would have worked better if the 2nd act started the film and the 1st half acted as flashback footage. I truly believe it would have been more powerful in that capacity.

Knives Out Review

Rian Johnson. 

RIAN JOHNSON. 

This was absolutely brilliant. 

As someone who adores murder mysteries, this one was one for the books! 

It had a very intricate story and if you don’t pay attention you’ll definitely get lost in the madness. It also helps to watch this in a theatre filled with people because the reactions, throughout the film, make it a much richer experience. 

This cast was a DREAM cast. Everyone played their part perfectly and KILLED the dialogue. Daniel Craig, Ana De Armas and Chris Evans were the standouts. The entire cast had wonderful chemistry and the laughs never stopped. 

This is my favourite movie of the year and the best murder mystery of the past decade. 

Brilliant.

Uncut Gems Review

The Safdie Brothers continue to evolve into revolutionary filmmakers. Uncut Gems is exhilarating from beginning to end because they make the environment in the frame very loud and busy. The sound design, especially the sound mixing was effortless from scene to scene. 

It was a simple story about a Jewish jewellery store owner, who loved to gamble and unfortunately made some enemies. Adam Sandler’s performance in this film is absolutely brilliant and he really knocked it out of the park. The Safdie’s crafted such a crisp screenplay, it was tight knit and the dialogue was never ending. 

The execution of this story was beautiful. The film was visually appealing and incorporated experimental elements followed by flawless editing. The film had me at peak anxiety level the entire runtime but in a good way. I was jumping out of my seat in anticipation waiting to see what Sandler would do next. The film played w the idea of a gambling addiction and actually MADE you feel the addiction. It was like a drug coursing through my veins while I watched the madness unfold. 

The last 15 minutes will definitely stay with you because of how bonkers it is. Don’t miss this one!

Hustlers Review

Lorene Scafaria read an article about strippers who drugged the wolves of Wall Street and stole their money and thought that this would be a film that would break a glass ceiling.

The first half of this film had promise. It was fast paced and showed the life of strippers in a very tasteful and sexy way. The camera is always different when a woman is behind it but it became inconsistent are far too repetitive.

I don’t think having Constance Wu being that timid as a stripper made for a compelling protagonist. I was excited to see this freshman learn from the best of the best but that was also cut short.

When Jennifer Lopez came out, I thought it was going to be game over. Ms. Ramona came out looking absolutely gorgeous as hell and performed her striptease. I was in awe of JLO, her beauty, her sexuality and her athleticism in this role was unmatched. There was only one striptease in the entire film… I wanted more. There could have definitely been away to balance both but they failed to do so. Also, promising to teach someone how to strip and then NOT having them do their own striptease in the film was very underwhelming.

I also don’t appreciate the current discourse, that these women are badasses for doing what they did in this film. Yes, it’s a true story but people are sitting here and glorifying these actions. These women drugged and stole money from men and that’s not okay. There have been plenty of complaints for other films – The Wolf of Wall Street – for glorifying that lifestyle, yet Hustlers gets a free pass because it’s made by women and JLO is fierce in it? I don’t think so.

This film is mediocre and definitely overhyped. I don’t need people comparing this film to Goodfellas or saying it’s better than The Wolf of Wall Street. Hustlers is a solid film and a great look at how sex workers handled the crash in 2008 but it doesn’t do anything different.

Lucy in the Sky Review

Noah Hawley’s feature film, directorial debut was interesting to say the least.

It started with Lucy (Natalie Portman) up in space overlooking the entire Earth. Hawley’s visuals were stunning and the sound design worked with what he attempted to do. It was a very experimental film and I commend him for thinking outside the box with this one. The visuals and the ever-changing aspect ratio in the first half kept me guessing where the frame was going to go next.

The story however, got lost and I didn’t really understand where Lucy’s story was heading towards the middle. Of course, Natalie Portman put on a clinic with her performance, but it wasn’t enough to save this boring and lifeless portrayal, of an astronaut, who felt like her life was meaningless now after being in space. It was a generic story about an astronaut who is having an existential crisis, except this film was prettier.

The runtime is tedious, considering that NOTHING happens, until the last 15 minutes and the 3rd act seemed like a feminist twist that didn’t need to be incorporated. There were pieces of dialogue that were so strong and I just wish it was consistent throughout because THEN it would have been an empowering female led film.

I understood what Hawley and Portman were trying to do but the execution of the story just didn’t land and for a film that’s called “Lucy in the Sky”, she was grounded the entire film and we only saw her in space once.