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Pretty Wild S:1 E:6
I’m not the target audience for this movie, but I love Chloë Grace Moretz, and she’s really the best part of this movie. Like her other performances, she’s grounded and realistic and not going, “Oh, look how adorable I am,” (even though she is) so she helps this for a bit, but she can’t keep this afloat forever.
This is 106 minutes, which is a comfortable runtime for any movie, but the characters have the same conversations multiple times and it really starts to wear on you. They talk about going to Juilliard at least five times and it gets pretty annoying. Even though the supernatural element here is a bit interesting, it all gets boring after about 50 minutes, which seems to be mostly due to the direction.
The characters are fine; they aren’t detestable but might come off as annoying (don’t drive on mountain roads on a snow day because you WILL get in a car accident, duh), but carry the story along enough more the most part. However, the movie gets to be really manipulative as opposed to genuinely affecting, just throwing the saddest stuff at the screen. It doesn’t come off as cynical or anything, but it just doesn’t work. And side note: Jamie Blackley is six years older than Moretz, which is distracting and kind of creepy given that she’s a minor in real life and he’s an adult.
4.8/10, lame, two thumbs down, below average, etc.
Billing this as a black comedy almost does this film a disservice. Sure, there is dark humor laced here and there, but it’s very brisk and never really dwelled on, and that helps this be one of the bleakest movies of the year, striking a chord almost like The Rover did earlier this year.
The film is successful as a whodunnit, but that isn’t its main focus. As we see these townspeople and their lives, the attention isn’t on whether or not we suspect them of conspiracy to commit murder, but we instead peek into their character and ask ourselves how much we could forgive each and every one of them, almost out of empathetic pity. The film’s message is brave — more or less that forgiveness could be called overrated — but very true, whether you want to admit it or not. Its tone and nearly-fully-overcast color palette compliment this as well.
Brendan Gleeson is terrific, and witnessing his sort of (de)evolution as this character is almost magical in an odd way, given how effortlessly he slips into character. You forget that you’re watching someone act, and that’s something I almost never say. His character acts as a parallel to Jesus Christ, and while it doesn’t carry any specific religious perspectives, the themes that he helps carry are fascinating.
I could see myself thinking about this movie longer than I would most other films. It has the ingredients of being a slow-burn film: the sense of relaxation you get watching it just because it feels like watching life unfold, the landscapes and colors, and the fact that I’m getting more out of this movie by writing about it after seeing it.
8.7/10, terrific, two thumbs up, far above average, etc.
This is movie is predictable as hell, but Radcliffe and Kazan are great together and the movie is well-paced and enjoyable throughout. Although the film’s narrative structure is full of tropes and has its share of plot contrivances, the script works well on a smaller, more human level thanks to the realistic and quick dialogue.
It’s a funny and pleasant 101 minutes, and even if you know how it ends right from the beginning, you enjoy the journey because they’re so damn adorable. (But side note: there’s one scene here that’s so much like a scene from Drinking Buddies that they had to have seen that beforehand.) That’s it. Shortest review ever.
7.3/10, good, one thumb up, above average, etc.
I really don’t have much to say about this, other than the fact that Chadwick Boseman is AMAZEBALLS. He is James Brown, actually James Brown. From the dances to voice inflections to the way he carries himself, it’s pretty amazing.
The direction is good: it’s different and while it starts out really shaky, it finds its footing quickly. It’s nice to see a rather standard biopic have a more nontraditional narrative structure. The pacing is good, and while I was never enthralled, I was never bored either, but I did have the thoughts of “this could be shorter than it is.”
Some of the drama isn’t perfect either, as some people in my showing were laughing, probably because the narrative is awkwardly put together at a few times. This is like everything that Jersey Boys did wrong, but done rather well here, such as acknowledging current events happening around the protagonists, breaking the fourth wall more subtly, and having a sense of cohesiveness.
7.2/10, good, one thumb up, above average, etc.
some people be needing some