Friday, May 17, 2019

Someone Great (2019)

Movie Name/Year: Someone Great (2019)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: I Can & I Will Productions, Likely Story, Feigco Entertainment, Netflix
Director: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Writer: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Actors: Gina Rodriguez, Brittany Snow, DeWanda Wise, Lakeith Stanfield, Peter Vack, RuPaul, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Alex Moffat, Joe LoCiero, Rosario Dawson

Blurb from IMDb: After a devastating break up on the eve of her cross-country move, Jenny enjoys one last NYC adventure with her two best pals. Someone Great is a romantic comedy about love, loss, growth and the everlasting bond of female friendship.

Cat’s Point of View:

I’ll start right out of the gate saying that if you’re easily offended by alcohol or recreational drug use, this probably isn’t the movie for you. The R rating stems from a combination of those themes with adult content (albeit mild without full nudity) and language, after all. If any biases to these things don’t dissuade you, then this movie is definitely worth a watch.

Someone Great isn’t your typical rom-com. If you’re looking for a cookie-cutter recipe here, you’ll be disappointed. Just saying.

This film focuses on picking up the pieces after the end of a serious long-term relationship. More so, the movie is about a group of best friends supporting one another in the face of emotional roadblocks. The chemistry between leads Gina Rodriguez (Annihilation, Smallfoot, Miss Bala), DeWanda Wise (Precious, Boardwalk Empire, Knucklehead), and Brittany Snow (Would You Rather, Bushwick, Hangman) was magical. You hear a lot of talk about ‘Squad Goals’ on social media – these women embody that meaning in this film.

I love that the story shines a light on the fact that all relationships change over time – whether friendships or romantic. It’s on us to evolve them as our lives evolve. Friends that help us find our inner truth and see us through the ugly-cries as much as the happy ones are important. The women I am the closest with in my life are the first to call bullshit when I’m being an idiot, and I’d move mountains for them. I digress.

The use of flashback in the narrative was expertly placed, and allows the audience to experience the main character’s emotional journey through the film better.

I really appreciate this new twist on the genre. It’s ok for things to end. Romance movies don’t always have to center on the search and finding of love. I also highly appreciate the use of the humor here. The movie’s not trying to be funny – there are just organically humorous moments sprinkled throughout. 

This is actually a movie I’m hoping develops a sequel somewhere down the line. I became so invested with these characters that I want to see what happens next as their lives unfold from the events that transpire within this 92 minutes of screen-time. This was one hell of a directorial debut. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 83%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 66%
Metascore – 63/100
Metacritic User Score – 5.7/10
IMDB Score – 6.1/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5

Movie Trailer:

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Silence (2019)

Movie Name/Year: The Silence (2019)
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Constantin Film, EMJAG Productions, Netflix
Director: John R. Leonetti
Writer: Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke, Tim Lebbon
Actors: Stanley Tucci, Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto, Kate Trotter, John Corbett, Kyle Breitkopf, Dempsey Bryk, Billy MacLellan, Chris Whitby, Barbara Gordon, Zoe Doyle

Blurb from IMDb: When the world is under attack from terrifying creatures who hunt their human prey by sound, 16-year old Ally Andrews (Kiernan Shipka), who lost her hearing at 13, and her family seek refuge in a remote haven.

Selina’s Point of View:
I was extremely unhappy with The Silence.

It is almost exactly what you’d see if you watched A Quiet Place. I cannot believe they found credible actors to take part in The Silence. It feels like this movie should have been made by one of those copy-cat production companies that puts out lower budget film copies of high budget successes. They shoe-horned in a secondary story line for the last half hour, but otherwise it was the same thing, just not as well done.

This movie was based on a book, and I don’t know what to make of that. Maybe it’s not as close to the story as it should be. I would hope that’s the case. I’d have liked the film a lot more if it followed that last bit of story. It was a shame that it felt like an afterthought.

The Silence just wasn’t for me. Maybe the book would be.

Cat’s Point of View:
I remember being seriously gung-ho to see this movie when I first saw the trailer. I’m not exactly sure that it lived up to the hype. It wasn’t horrible, though. It just lacked … well a few things.

Let’s start with some positives first.

This was an interesting role for Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games, Spotlight, Patient Zero). He was a good pick for a father, and he emotes rather well without the need for dialogue. There were some moments that I am unsure that the appropriate feeling of a scene came through – but that might be direction rather than a choice on his part.

I have to add Billy MacLellan’s (Defiance, Maudie, Ice Blue) character to my list of all-time creepiest. The minute you see this guy’s smile, it’s outright chilling.

We see the story through Kiernan Shipka’s (Carriers, Mad Men, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) character, for the most part. I appreciated that Ally was a strong central character. She was pretty badass, all things considered. I have a strong suspicion that there were a few more layers to what was going on that were centered on her and more subtle and never quite spelled-out by the film. I think that those that have read the book this was based on might know better whether or not this was creative license on the production’s part or if it was something integral to the plot. I’m hoping for the latter, though I haven’t read the novel.

Now for the nitty gritty.

Sure, there are a few plot holes here. No spoilers so I can’t really touch on them in detail, but I get it.

The creatures in this feature were interesting. The CGI wasn’t bad, per say, but there was something slightly lacking in the execution of them, overall. There were too many connect-the-dots that were essentially misnumbered in creating the picture of how scary they were supposed to be for the audience.

Comparisons between this movie and A Quiet Place (2018) are unavoidable. While that movie’s creatures are larger and mostly off-camera, making them a bit more viscerally terrifying; The Silence required swarms of critters for some of the fear element so they couldn’t use the same suspense-building tactics. I guess this film could be considered something like a mashup of A Quiet Place and Bats (1999).

Sadly, I think this movie suffered for the comparisons; even though the book was published and production began before A Quiet Place was released.

While I wouldn’t necessarily outright recommend this film, I wouldn’t steer anyone away from it. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 24%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – 25/100
Metacritic User Score – 3.3/10
IMDB Score – 5.2/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2.5/5

Movie Trailer: