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.
The Pale Blue Eye serves as an origin story to Edgar Allen Poe (kind of) I will give credit where credit is due it’s definitely one of the better Edgar Allen Poe movies that have come out recently. But that really doesn’t mean much when the movie itself falls short, Christian Bale and Harry Melling are both quite great especially Harry Melling who actually does a far better job as Edgar Allen Poe than you would expect. The film itself is shot pretty well and the location helps the movie standout a bit from a lot of other gothic horror films, unfortunately that’s where the movie really ends for me. While the story itself is interesting in concept the movie really doesn’t do anything with it, it’s way too slow for it’s own good especially combined with a 2 hour and 8 minute runtime that just draws out. The worst offender is the twist ending that was way too predictable but at the same time made very little sense, it’s honestly one of those endings that completely breaks a movie and truly makes the rest of the movie seem incredibly pointless. Finally The Pale Blue Eye does barely little to differentiate itself from other gothic horror movies, while yes the filming and the locations help out a bit just about everything else is working against it. A lot of this movie is a gothic horror movie with an Edgar Allen Poe overlay over it, it’s a shame because this did have potential but unfortunately much like a lot of Scott Cooper’s work the ideas are most certainly there the execution is just severely lacking.
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!
Significant Other is one of those movies that has the right ingredients to make a really interesting little movie, but only meets at the halfway point. Maika Monroe gives a strong performance here, she really turns what would otherwise be a lot of dull moments into something truly interesting. The atmosphere is definitely there as well, the movie quickly establishes a thrilling and haunting atmosphere that works for quite awhile until the movie starts to become a bit too goofy. Especially during the third act where the twist while I can see what they were going for, doesn’t quite stick it’s landing. It’s a bit too goofy and takes away from the atmosphere that made the movie pretty thrilling, there’s a few decent character moments here that really work and the setting combined with the atmosphere works well. The movie itself just doesn’t fully come together in the end.
God’s Country mainly works due to Thandiwe Newton’s performance that is very raw and really keeps the interest of the viewer, the photography of the setting is truly beautiful especially when combined with the atmosphere. Speaking of which the film absolutely nails the atmosphere on so many levels, the film does take it’s time to get going but once it does it actually explores a few themes such as racism. Which the film does a pretty solid job in despite feeling a bit unexplored at times, which the movie makes up for with very engaging writing that really builds the characters with a lot of personal moments between one another. There’s a lot here that is very striking and really adds to the film’s overall atmosphere that eventually leads to a very strong third act. Once again Newton is truly what makes the film shine, just watching her character interact with everyone else is really investing and gives the film it’s personality that is very memorable after watching.
Luckiest Girl Alive has the right material to be a really interesting movie on some very heavy subjects but the way the movie is crafted leaves it very disjointed. Mila Kunis does a really great job it’s definitely one of her best performances in awhile, the movie taking on subjects such as rape and school shootings comes as a surprise from this movie. On the surface it seems like it’s going to be another Netflix mystery movie that falls in line with what they usually release. But when these subjects do come up and are shown it comes as a shock, when the film does tackle these subjects it does a pretty good job of nailing down the point. However mixing these important subjects with a very subpar story is when the movie starts to fall apart, the cutting from the past and present is very messy plus it does not give the viewer nearly enough time to fully digest what exactly happened despite being almost two hours long. Lastly the movie juggles way too many ideas at once, between trauma, the mystery element, school shooting and rape it does well with certain ideas but leaves a lot more to be desired about others. Luckiest Girl Alive isn’t a bad movie it’s just a disappointing one that could have really been a home run.
Edgar Allan Poe horror movies aren’t a new concept, they have been around forever but often times it feels like the filmmakers want to do way too much with the subject rather than tell a simple story that scares the viewer or make a eerie atmosphere. Raven’s Hollow tries to do way too much, while there are some strong folklore horror elements as well as the setting becoming a bit haunting due to the atmosphere. The characters are very one dimensional and have very little to no character development, the creature itself is pretty neat and there’s some surprisingly gruesome deaths. But there really isn’t anything of substance to the movie, the movie actually reminds me of a weaker version of The Cursed a movie that came out earlier this year that I wasn’t a huge fan of. But at least that movie used it’s elements in more creative ways, Raven’s Hollow is just another Edgar Allan Poe movie that does nothing to standout.
The audacity to make The Harbinger nearly 2 hours long is through the roof, there’s absolutely nothing to this movie that is even remotely interesting. There’s tons of dull dialogue that doesn’t move the story forward at all, which leads to a huge amount of pointless scenes. It also attempts to try this over the top comedic horror effect which falls completely flat on it’s face mainly due to the horror elements being very limited and are restricted to a couple of jumpscares. I really have no idea what on earth they were trying to go for here but whatever it was they completely missed.
The Harbinger is available on all VOD platforms.
Tiny Cinema is another very uneven horror anthology that really misses it’s mark, I was hoping that this could provide some entertainment since it’s directed by Tyler Cornack who previously directed Butt-Boy. But a lot of the segments are either forgettable or are just bad, there’s some shots here that aren’t too bad and I guess the acting isn’t the worst. But a lot of it really doesn’t use it’s ideas to their full potential.