Watching all the latest movies both rotten and fresh and telling you whether you should take a bite or not. Even though, to be honest what kind of psycho bites into a tomato.
Though her eyes may be dark, her complexion pale, and her smile recognizable, Keira Knightly can still disappear into a role. I haven’t come across her in ages, it feels like, but to be reacquainted is always a joy. She glows as the titular role in Colette, a film I was worried about seeing for fear I wouldn’t be engaged or it would become too much for me to take in. Afraid of heaviness and melodramatics, I was relieved to be taken for an adventure. I cared, and cheered, and contemplated her and the world built around her by Wash Westmoreland.
A period piece always has the probability of feeling pretentious and over dramatized but Westmoreland kept Colette grounded much like the character herself. Like someone out of life now that you’ll meet on the streets while protesting the latest controversy befalling our nation. She felt real and not like a character pulled from lore or distilled into a legend. I suppose this is a compliment for Knightly as well who fits in this world but brings modern life to it. A biopic hardly fails to be interesting but can fall far from captivating and there were moments of true captivation watching her and Dominic West work together.
With life, sensitivity and realism Knight and Westmoreland made this film actually memorable. Which is a testament to all their talents. Perhaps the timeliness of the film is what cemented it’s likability for me, or perhaps it’s just a good film, or both? (shrug emoji) I do know that I will recommend it, and may even see it again. It was good to see her and this world again but have it like a fresh Wash.
What’s Reel: Knightly, the look, the world, the relevance, and the heart.
What’s Rotten: It’s not a period piece that makes you feel one way or another. Which really isn’t a bad thing.
Reel Rotten Rating: Fresh, in more ways than just tomatoes.
Isle of Dogs (2018) - Wes Anderson
It's hard to have anything against a movie that took over 3 years to make. When you find out that individual artists worked for a week and only got 5-10 seconds of the film recorded, you can't hate that movie. Just the production and execution of this film deserve all the accolades possible. On top of that dogs just stare into the camera constantly. What's more enjoyable than a puppet dog with a blank stare.
If you can't tell, I'm down with the dogs. As one of those (apparently horrible) Wes Anderson fans that love Fantastic Mr. Fox, I will say it's not on that level, but nevertheless, still an incredible film. The movie may possibly be the cutest movie ever made. You heard me right, (insert cute film). I loved the dogs, the voices, the story, and though it was meandering (that's the nice way of saying it) I still was along for the ride.
If you were thinking about not seeing this film. I'll ask you to think again. If you were thinking about not seeing this film AND you love dogs. Then stop whatever the fuck you're doing and go. If you can look past some of the cultural issues that may or may not exist in this film, then you'll get to the real heart of Isle of Dogs, which feels genuine. Aside from the obvious subject of the pure love between (wo)man and their best friend, the film can cut deeper and really speak to connections between souls as well as a subtle look at the climate of society.
What's reel: The dogs. The stop motion and models of the dogs keep you engaged the entire time.
What's rotten: The plot sometimes drags and the whole westernized look at Japan can get in your head every now and then during the film.
Reel Rotten Rating: Fresh. Fresh as hell. Worth seeing in theaters.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017) - Taika Waititi
When it comes to forgettable Marvel movies Thor tops the list. There have been two Thor movies and I've seen them both. I watched them, shrugged and moved on. If you asked me to tell you what happened in those two movies, I would say I'm pretty sure Natalie Portman was in them. Then if you told me there would be a new Thor movie and Natalie Portman won't be in it, my interest level would probably drop to cat caring about humans level. Uninterested. That is, until I heard the name attached. Taika Waititi.
My list of favorite things from New Zealand isn't very long, but at the top of that list is the accent and Taika Waititi (If Thor was your first venture into Waititerritory, then go educate yourself). I have yet to have so much faith in a Marvel movie and the fact that it was a Thor movie speaks volumes. So when I finally got around to seeing it, I'm glad I got to say the thing I love to say to myself, "That was worth it." Thor: Ragnarok was a goddamn pleasure.
Like a Kanye back in the day it hit all the right beats. Not only did it make Thor interesting, it made him entertaining. Watching this character that had thrived best when on screen the least receive actual dimensions as a character along with a strong addition of humor, was fun. Fun is my one word and three letter review of this film. Not because I'm incapable of a five letter word, but because it fits. Waititi gave the fanboys their action and comic-ness and gave the normal humans a funny, quirky, visually appeasing and ultimately satisfying film.
One of my new favorite Marvel movies, not sure what that means but it's true.
What to like: Korg the rock monster voiced by Waititi, and I also surprisingly enjoyed Hulk as an actor.
What not to like: There were swings and misses, don't quite know how I feel about the ending. Eh, whatever.
Reel Rotten Rating: Not rotten. Burger fresh, not quite like psycho bite plain tomato ripe but still very tasty on a burger.
Baby Driver (2017) - Edgar Wright
If you haven't felt it before, you're probably not human. The feeling I'm talking about is you, in your car, windows down, and the song comes on. There's no moment quite like it. Baby Driver is that moment, in a way that we (law abiding citizens) will never feel. Sure, that may be the obvious analogy considering this is the premise of the movie, but because it's one of my favorite feelings in the world, I couldn't help myself.
Directed by Edgar Wright and starring a cast that you would want to be best friends with Baby Driver is a summer car movie I'm not ashamed to tell my friends that I saw and loved. Saying a movie is a music video can mean both bad and good things, in this case, good things, very good things. Elgort as Baby was literally and figuratively the driver throughout the movie. I bought into him and everything he brought to the character. I knew I was going to like this movie, because I like all of Wright's stuff but this one is up there with his best for me. He made it feel retro in a modern time and it fucking worked, which makes me hate him with envy.
There's very little to dislike about this movie, unless you don't like criminals in which case, what movies do you like? I laughed, I cried (no), I drank (beer), and I loved. See this fucking movie. Not because it's the anti Fast and Furious (though it is) but because you will like it.
What to like: Baby drivers. Music! The walking to the beat and diegetic and non-diegetic sound. The actors. The gottdamn music!
What not to like: I dare you to not like something.
Reel Rotten Rating: Not reel rotten, just real fucking great.