Out of the sea of Liam Neeson movies that have been coming out like crazy, Marlowe stood out as the one with the most potential. It’s based on the 2014 novel The Black Eyed Blonde by Jon Banville who writes under the pen name Benjamin Black. The cast seemed quite good and Neil Jacobs is a pretty solid director.
Marlowe does have it’s good parts which mostly comes from the performances and the style of the movie. While it doesn’t completely nail the film noire style, it does it pretty well and actually has some quite transformative moments that do put you into the atmosphere of the movie. Between Liam Neeson’s performance (one of the best he’s given in awhile) and the atmosphere it does a decent job of creating a film noire type style.
What ultimately drags this down is everything else, the story becomes way too generic and starts to repeat what a lot of better films in the film noire have done already. The writing falls incredibly flat towards the end with a lot of pacing that is just way too slow for it’s own good, by the end it starts to become your usual Liam Neeson action movie. Which would be fine if this was trying to be something like The Commuter, but that’s not the case here as it’s trying to be a film noire mystery.
Overall Marlowe has great style and acting, it’s also better than a lot of other Liam Neeson movies that have been coming out the last few years, but unfortunately it falls short when it comes to just about everything else.
When Knives Out came out in 2019 it was a huge hit, Rian Johnson took the whodunnit genre and did something completely new with, plus the cast just really made a lot of the film. Since then people immediately wanted a sequel and well here we are, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery in a lot of ways is better than the first film. For starters it’s definitely bigger in scale and you immediately get that impression when the film starts, the cast in this film much like the first film is really strong here and blends completely well together. Everyone does a fantastic job here but the standouts include Daniel Craig who once again is fantastic as Benoit Blanc, heck he’s better here than he was in the first film. He delivers even more clever lines, some really great jokes and brings this old fashion whodunnit type of feel to his character. Janelle Monáe is truly great here and blends pretty well with Daniel Craig especially the scenes dedicated to the two of them, Kate Hudson is just having a blast as well as Madelyn Cline who are two very fun characters. Finally there’s Edward Norton who’s character is very well written and the satire element really shines through. The filming is quite well done and really compliments the whole film’s atmosphere, much like I said about Craig’s performance Glass Onion has a very old fashion whodunnit film type of feel to it. Rian Johnson really does a masterful job of balancing the familiar type of elements while adding an incredible amount of new elements that make the film much more interesting, the writing is very clever and slowly but surely builds the whole mystery of the film. Heck the mystery itself is on a bigger scale than the first one, which leads me to how Glass Onion can be best described “bigger scale” something often that a lot of sequels forget to do is how they can make things bigger granted bigger doesn’t always mean better. In certain films it shouldn’t matter much if the sequel stays about the same, but with Knives Out it was interesting to see whether they were going to keep things about the same as the first movie or were they going to make things even bigger and make a lot of character moments, plot development and even the writing more grand? They chose the latter and completely nailed it there’s so much creativity here that really shines through the film and even opens up to more potential in the future with more installments. If you liked Knives Out you are absolutely going to love Glass Onion, it’s everything a sequel should be and should do.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery releases December 23rd on Netflix.
See How They Run is the result when you take the feel and look of a Wes Anderson film and mix it in with the whodunnit it genre, to the movie’s credit it does a pretty solid job of doing exactly that. Although it might not be the most original idea and it does have a few cliches however the film works around that by excelling at almost everything else, for starters the cast is quite strong here particularly Saoirse Ronan who truly gives one of the most hilarious and entertaining performances of the year. Her comedic timing is truly spot on and her dialogue with Sam Rockwell is truly scene stealers, the film quite honestly belongs to Ronan as she really hits the ball hard with tons of film reference and her facial expressions that truly capture each scene. Sam Rockwell and the rest of the cast are quite great as well, although some of the side characters could have used a bit more screen time they are still entertaining and quite a lot of fun. As I said earlier the conversations between Rockwell and Ronan are truly some of the film’s highlights, there’s so much energy and a very strong comedic atmosphere that truly makes it all work. The dialogue is genuinely funny as well as investing the viewer into the mystery itself, overall See How They Run is a very fun film that any fan of the whodunnit genre should watch!
See How They Run is available on all VOD platforms.
I really don’t have a whole lot to say here..Enola Holmes 2 is a sequel to Enola Holmes which came out in 2020, a movie that I found to be pretty okay for what it is, Enola Holmes 2 is definitely an upgrade from it’s predecessor although not that much has changed. There’s still the incredibly charming performances from Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill that completely steal the show throughout the film, where as the first movie felt more of a background movie this one offers more depth to the characters. We actually get some character moments that do add certain character arcs, the fourth wall breaking does get to be a bit much after awhile as it does tend to repeat the same sort of jokes that other movies have. The running time combined with the pacing in some areas also tend to drag a bit, but there’s a lot of genuinely charming bits here that make up for it!
The Good Nurse is based off of a 2013 book of the same name by Charles Graeber which the book is about serial killer Charles Cullen. The true story of The Good Nurse is quite disturbing and I highly recommend reading about the case as it is very interesting. Right off the bat Jessica Chastain gives a really strong performance, she puts a lot of heart and emotion into the role that really captures her role. Eddie Redmayne is actually quite great here, it’s been awhile since he’s given a very solid performance but he really hits out of the park during the third act where he actually becomes very intimidating. It’s a great transformation of his performance that goes from being kind enough to downright chilling, while the writing during the first two acts isn’t anything to write home about. The third act on the other hand really pushes the movie into a thrilling atmosphere that invests the viewer quite well, the movie is just barely over 2 hours which does start to drag a bit during the second act. But luckily the movie quickly does get a lot better as it goes on, overall The Good Nurse is a solid enough crime drama with some very thrilling moments that I would recommend.
I knew someone was going to jump at the chance of capitalizing off of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial, what I did not expect was it to be this soon. Hot Take: The Depp/Heard trial is a Tubi original movie that was announced a few days before release (as far as I know) at first I thought it was some sort of documentary or maybe just someone sharing their opinion about the trail. But it’s actually a biopic (sort of) of the trial, what I don’t get is the name. “Hot Take” implies that the movie is going to say something against an opinion many people have, yet the movie never does that it simply plays out the events of what happened during the trial even throwing in moments that a lot of people remember. It does this back and forth between the present and the past of Heard and Depp’s relationship, the movie itself is just garbage there’s no other way to describe it. There’s no effort, soul or any sort of thought put into it at all. The movie attempts to try and throw in Tiktok humor into it, which I do agree that there definitely is a conversation to be had about how Tiktoker’s and some social media influencers profited off of the case in very gross ways. But that’s not what the movie is doing here, it’s throwing random shady comments that the writers thought were hilarious. The acting is just not good at all, while there might be one or two moments where Mark Hapka and Megan Davis play Johnny Depp and Amber Heard fine enough, those moments are quickly destroyed with either going way too over the top or have the energy of a terrible YouTube fan film. Overall if you are going to watch the trial, watch it on YouTube how anyone thought this was a good idea is truly baffling. Whether you supported Johnny Depp or Amber Heard I think everyone can agree that this movie is horrendous.
Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial is available on Tubi.
The Outfit is an interesting little movie that keeps the viewer guessing on which direction it’s going, first and foremost the acting all around is really strong. Especially from Mark Rylance who really does a fantastic job of keeping the viewer in the film, the one location thriller element really works here as well. It’s one of my favorite types of elements or style that a film can do and The Outfit makes sure to build upon that and add even more to it. As I said before the movie does a really good job of making the viewer keep guessing which direction it’s going to go, just when you think you have figured the film out it goes into a completely different direction. The writing and direction are both quite fantastic and compliment each other beautifully, the film becomes an old fashion crime thriller that is very effective due to the pacing and performances. Graham Moore really understands the genre quite well he took something that has been done before but went in many different directions, go into this one knowing as little as possible. One of the biggest surprises so far this year.
Windfall is Netflix’s first great film of 2022 and that’s mostly due to the cast and the atmosphere. Jesse Plemons, Jason Segel and Lily Collins (definitely one of her best performances) all do a fantastic job here and have wonderful chemistry between one another. They each add their own strength to the film and make it all the more suspenseful, the film definitely feels a lot like Funny Games (1997) only that it’s much less disturbing. The atmosphere of the film is really strong, as it goes on it gets more and more suspenseful until the whole thing explodes at the ending which is a huge payoff. The direction from Charlie McDowell is also really well done, we explore each of the characters and really dive into their minds. I will say that Windfall is certainly not going to be for everyone, but is definitely something worth watching if the plot interests you!
Steven Soderbergh explores many different types of genres and it’s something I truly respect him for even if they don’t always work. Kimi is a thriller a genre that Soderbergh is does really well and that shows here, Zoë Kravitz gives a very strong performance that actually keeps things grounded, combine her performance with Soderbergh’s direction and you truly get something special. The pacing is absolutely fantastic here, this is the type of pacing that I wish more thrillers attempted, you have such a nicely paced film that is both suspenseful and energetic as well. The atmosphere is some of the most suspenseful I’ve felt from a thriller in quite some time, it has that good old fashion Soderbergh thrilling atmosphere to it. Then there’s the camerawork which Soderbergh continues to prove that he’s a mastermind behind the camera, each shot has it’s own identity and truly feels special in a unique way. The film combines themes of paranoia and technology both and does both those themes very well, it captures why we feel paranoid about technology. Such examples we ask ourselves are Who’s watching? Who’s listening? and so on, Kimi is also a film that actually uses the premise of Siri or Alexa in a clever way. The film goes for a more serious tone with using the two with some very strong writing as well, overall Kimi is so far one of the best films of the year and is absolutely something that you should check out!
Death On The Nile wasn’t something I was particularly excited to watch, I liked Murder On The Orient Express fine enough but it wasn’t something that I would ever come back to. The exact same can be said with Death On The Nile, the movie opens with a very goofy backstory that I just couldn’t help but laugh at after that however is when the movie takes a good while to get going. I’ve heard the first murder doesn’t happen until like 100 pages in the book which explains why it takes awhile to get going. However the issue isn’t really the fact the first murder doesn’t happen until awhile the major issue is that the first half of the movie is just not that interesting, there’s definitely a few decent moments that come from some of the cast particularly Kenneth Branagh, Annette Bening, Emma MacKay (especially her she absolutely slays it), Letitia Wright, Sophie Okonedo and Tom Batemen. Everyone else rangers from being terrible (Gal Gadot) or nothing special at all (Armie Hammer). After the movie finally gets going it’s quite entertaining and does a really decent job of making the viewer follow the mystery, it definitely is on the predictable side even if you haven’t read the book, but that really doesn’t take away from the acting bits, some very engaging writing and some overall very strong direction. The atmosphere is also pretty strong as well, it captures the type of feel you want from a murder mystery. The visuals are a bit distracting and do not fit the movie at all, they try to go for this glossy type look which works well in other films but definitely not here. Despite Emma MacKay not getting much to do, she absolutely steals the show here, every single time she’s on screen she captures the spirit of her character and goes all out in her performance. It’s nice to see Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot again he did an excellent job in Orient Express and he does an excellent job here, especially when he shares the screen with Tom Bateman who plays Bouc. The two just work together really well and bring some genuinely funny scenes and one touching scene in particular. Overall Death On The Nile is very flawed but entertaining murder mystery, it’s not going to break any new ground and I definitely don’t see myself ever coming back to it. However it is a very decent watch and could have easily been a whole lot worse. If you liked Murder On The Orient Express chances are you will like Death On The Nile!