Friday, January 31, 2020

The Rhythm Section

My View: The Rhythm Section (2020) R   Stephanie (Blake Lively) will go at any length to seek revenge against those who orchestrated a plane crash that killed her family. I enjoy films about bad ass women that can fight and hold their own against all the odds. One of my favorites in this genre is the Luc Besson 1990 film La Femme Nikita, where a drug addict is kidnapped and is turned into an assassin. Like Nikita, Stephanie, reeling from the death of her family, has become an addict/prostitute who is trained by an ex-MI-6 agent (Jude Law) so that she can wipe out the terrorists responsible for the plane crash. The problem is Stephanie is no Nikita; she sucks at being an assassin, and it gets old very quickly watching Stephanie blunder her way through her attempts to kill people. Why Blake Lively, who I think if given that right part, can be outstanding, along with top-notch actors like Law, Sterling K. Brown would ever take on this project is beyond me. The stops and starts so many times that it seemed much longer than its hour and forty-nine minute run time. The Rhythm Section is meant to be the start of a film series, but I have great doubts that another film will ever be made for us to see Lively as Stephanie gets her butt thoroughly kicked again.   My Rating: Cable    The Rhythm Section Website
My View: Gretel & Hansel (2020) PG-13   A young girl, Gretel (Sophia Lillis), leads her little brother, Hansel (Sam Leakey), into the woods in search of food and shelter. They come across a woman named Holda (Alice Krige) who claims that she wants to help the children, but Gretel senses that there is something evil about the woman. This is a movie that once you have seen it (and I hope you never do), you will go ‘what the heck was that and what happened?”. So, there is a witch, and I guess that she wants to train Gretel to be her replacement (?), while all the while wanting to eat Hansel (I think). The film never delivers any scary moments, and there is a lot of sitting around a table while the witch lectures Gretel on how to be a woman/witch. To say that I hated this film would be an understatement as I had flashbacks to the awful European horror films from the 60s and 70s that I saw as a kid.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again     Gretel & Hansel Website
My View: 2020 Oscar Nominated Short Films (2020) The live-action and animated shorts that are nominated for the 2020 Academy Awards.     2020 Oscar Nominated Short Films Website
        Oscar Nominated Live Action Short Films: There are five films nominated: A Sister (Belgium), Brotherhood (Tunisia/Canada), Nefta Football Club (France), Saria (USA), and The Neighbors’ Window (USA). The two that stood out for me were A Sister, a taut, suspenseful film about a 911 operator that gets a mysterious call and The Neighbors’ Window, an exciting take on mild voyeurism about a happily married couple with two kids and one on the way, who have a young couple move into the apartment across the street that do not have any blinds on their windows. Both films have nice twists that make the movies a smart and clever watch.   My Rating (for all five films): Full Price

       Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films: There are five films nominated: Daughter (Czechia), Hair Love (USA), Kitbull (USA), Memorable (France), and Sister (USA). Note: There are four other excellent animated shorts that fill out the Animated program. I love that three of the films nominated are stop-motion and one, Kitbull, was hand-drawn. The two that stood out for me were Hair Love, a lovely tale about a father trying his best to style his daughter’s seemingly unmanageable hair and Kitbull from Pixar, about a friendship that develops between a homeless kitten and a poor, mistread pitbull.   My Rating (for all five films): I Would Pay to See it Again
Forgotten Film: The Great Mouse Detective (1986) G   Basil (voiced by Barrie Ingham) is a detective in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, and he is on the case of a kidnapping of a toy-maker by Basil’s arch-enemy, the evil Professor Ratigan (voiced by Vincent Price). I love the character Sherlock Holmes, and this film is a treat for fans of the master detective. The animation is beautifully done, back when animation was hand-drawn, and the plot is fun to watch as we see Basil solve a crime that just might even save the Crown. Sadly, this film has long been lost in the vaults of Disney, as it is worth watching if to hear Vincent Price create one of the great villains in the annals of animation.   My Rating: Full Price     The Great Mouse Detective Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of The Rhythm Section: Storeman

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: The Times of Bill Cunningham (2018) Documentary on the legendary NYTimes photographer Bill Cunningham who took some of the most iconic pictures in newspaper history and kept shooting pictures until he died at age 87.     The Times of Bill Cunningham Info
Until Next Time!

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