The Forgiven has a pretty strong cast that is ultimately the best part about it Jessica Chastain, Ralph Fiennes, Christopher Abbott, Ismael Kanater and Matt Smith are all great and for the script they are given they do a great job. What mainly hurts The Forgiven is that it really doesn’t do anything with it’s topic, being a satire of eating the rich or of the very wealthy is something that could be interesting if done right. But unfortunately The Forgiven doesn’t have the script to back it up, there’s some decent shots here and it’s competently made but script doesn’t offer anything investing and instead is very surface level at best. The basic formula with The Forgiven is the following…present an interesting idea, explore it for about five minutes and then abandon it and finally move on to the next. The Forgiven isn’t a terrible movie as it is well acted and decently made but it’s definitely one that could have been really great.
Where The Crawdads Sing has a lot to like about it, there’s some really strong acting from Daisy Edgar-Jones, Jojo Regina, David Strathairn, Michael Hyatt and Sterling Macer Jr. There’s also the setting combined with the atmosphere that is actually pretty well done here, there’s plenty of thrilling moments that give the setting some sort of beauty to it. The film also does a solid job of building Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones) as a character and showing her backstory so the viewer can connect with her, the major problems here are the pacing, the romantic scenes and the running time. For starters the pacing drags quite a bit towards the end, when things seem to be wrapping up it just keeps going and really puts the movie at a halt. The romantic scenes aren’t strong enough mainly due to Taylor John Smith’s and Harrison Dickinson’s performances being really nothing special, there’s definitely a few moments that are emotional and quite beautiful they aren’t enough to outmatch the forgettable ones. Then there’s the running time of 126 minutes that definitely overstays it’s welcome, scenes quickly become repetitive and as I said earlier drag on quite a bit. Despite that Where The Crawdads Sing is still a decent enough murder mystery that has a lot of positives.
Not a whole lot to comment on here, Cryo is a student film and there was clearly a huge amount of effort put into it that’s very commendable. The atmosphere is quite great and I do like the premise of it, even if it’s very much like The Cube, the major problems are the paper thin characters who just don’t have a whole lot going for them. And the running time which is for whatever reason nearly 2 hours long, combine that with some very messy pacing and you get a huge mixed bag of a movie. The acting is at least decent and the writing is actually not that bad, it’s just when it comes to character development is where the movie really lacks.
So I had no idea what to expect from Mid-Century all I knew was that it had a surprising amount of talent in it Stephen Lang, Vanessa Williams and a few others are in it. Unfortunately that’s the only good part about it, this movie pretty much felt like if the LifeTime channel decided one day they wanted to attempt at a thriller/mystery movie. It has the same terrible acting, the same messy writing and a lot of moments that are just absolutely horrendous. The ideas the movie presents are interesting they are just executed in such a lazy and uninspired way where the movie runs out of energy before it can even begin, I really don’t know what else to say. Mid-Century could have been an interesting little movie but completely forgets how to use creative ideas.
I feel like I’m in a time loop, The Contractor starring Chris Pine released last week and was a very nothing special about action thriller, now this week we have All The Old Knives another thriller (minus the action) starring Chris Pine which again is another nothing special about it thriller. To be absolutely fair All The Old Knives is better than The Contractor, mostly due to the first and act of All The Old Knives at least being somewhat interesting. The chemistry between Chris Pine and Thandiwe Newton was surprisingly pretty decent both of which give solid performances and Lawrence Fishburne was decent as well. What hurts this movie is the 3rd act with twists that lead to some very ridiculous moments that don’t fit the movie at all, it’s one of those situations where the twists had no reason to be there but the writers put them in there because they wanted to. it’s a prime example of a movie that could have been overall pretty decent hadn’t been for some nonsensical decision making.
All The Old Knives is available on Amazon Prime Video!
It’s been two days since I watched The Cow and some of it I completely forgot about until I started writing this review, so that’s a bad start already. The Cow has an interesting premise that never gets fully realized, Winona Ryder gives a really strong performance and the same can be said for Brianne Tju, the atmosphere is definitely there as well. There’s some genuinely suspenseful moments that really capture a thrilling experience that I wish the rest of the movie had. I’ve noticed with some of SXSW’s films this year there’s a lot of them that have no idea what genre they want to be, so they just throw in random elements from other genres and hope they stick. That’s the case with The Cow, the first act plays out like a drama but then quickly becomes a thriller that gets very ridiculous at the third act. It’s a fine enough setup to a very lousy result that could have honestly been disturbing if the writing and the atmosphere were a lot stronger, what definitely breaks this movie is the dialogue. There’s moments where it’s so bad it takes you out of the movie, when you are trying to build a suspenseful movie that’s the very last thing you want. Overall The Cow is a missed opportunity, there was definitely an attempt to try and make this work but so many flaws are holding this one back unfortunately.
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!
Brazen is the very definition of a movie that tries way too hard, it tries to build this mystery but completely forgets how to not make it so predictable that you will guess correctly within a few minutes into the movie. Alyssa Milano already gives the worst performance so far this year, it doesn’t help that the writing is embarrassingly bad. It only makes sense to get a director who’s specialty is Hallmark movies yet this somehow ended up on Netflix. The movie tries to have this weird blend of comedy, romance, mystery and thriller but completely fails at each and every single one of those genres. Brazen is basically what you get when a Hallmark movie wants to be mystery thriller for some reason, there are some very unintentional hilarious bits here and there. But that is definitely not enough to warrant a watch. Outside of that there really isn’t much else to say about this one, it’s forgettable, terrible, poorly written and a waste of time.
Antlers was another one of those movies that was caught in the whole delay-a-thon during the beginning of COVID, it finally released in October of this year and ever since then I heard nobody talk about this movie outside of “it was disappointing.” Which after watching it “it was disappointing” about sums up the entire movie, but we will get to that first I’ll mention the positives real quickly. The acting I thought was pretty great Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons and Graham Greene were definitely the standouts (Jeremy T. Thomas was fine but really nothing special), the atmosphere was definitely there. It had a very creepy feel to it where something could happen at any moment, lastly there’s the cinematography which was quite beautiful and has some genuinely haunting shots that add to the atmosphere. Antlers completely falls flat when it comes to exploring themes, the movie itself presents a lot of interesting ideas however it doesn’t explore them at all. It acknowledges the ideas are there and that’s about it, you have several themes such as abuse, poverty and the whole Wendigo mythology that’s shown for about 5 minutes but never actually discussed. The writing needed to be a lot stronger as well, while it isn’t necessarily bad it’s definitely on the weaker side. It needed to have a lot more interest and power to it which is unfortunately not there. Overall Antlers is a huge missed opportunity, had this movie actually explore it’s themes and had a rewrite I genuinely think this could have been a really good film.
Making an erotic thriller in 2021 is something I definitely admire, as there really isn’t a whole lot of modern erotic thriller movies. The Voyeurs is a pretty neat one that actually manages to be a whole lot of fun, Sydney Sweeney and Justice Smith easily steal the show here. They both give genuine great performances and have great chemistry between one another, the movie throws one ridiculous twist after another which quite honestly works in this case mostly due to how interesting and fun this movie gets as it goes on. If you look at Voyeurs from the perspective of it being a throwback to the time where erotic thrillers were much more common you are definitely going to have more fun with this movie. As it does it’s job very well it is very predictable and definitely is a Rear Window clone as well but it’s actually one of the better ones. The movie knows what it is and doesn’t pretend to be anything else, which is something some other movies struggle with. Overall The Voyeurs is not too bad, it’s a decent enough movie that is quite fun!
The Voyeurs is now available on Amazon Prime Video!