Movies of the Weeks #11 #12 (2019)

True Love

  • Tangerine (2015): Hard to believe I’ve note written anything on this one, although I’ve seen it several times since its release. It’s unfortunate that it follows Tangerines (2013), while not quite predating the fruit either, which makes for a difficult find on Google. But Sean Baker’s masterpiece (yeah, I said it!) is well worth the find. The synopsis really says everything you need to know about the plot, while not giving anything away at all: “A hooker tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart.” It’s a tremendous ride, full of highs and lows, great tempo, fresh characters, big laughs, small chuckles and, indeed, a lot of heart. A proper fairytale. 9/10

Deceit

  • Contratiempo (2016): For whatever reason, I thought this would be a good movie. Probably that ridiculous IMDb rating. In fact, it’s a moderately enjoyable, yet pretentiously silly drama about a stupid crime, inane characters and twists that are equally uninspired and unlikely. Wow, this movie really pissed me off, although I reckon I got more irritated while thinking about not, not while watching it. I might be in the minority here, but if you do want some similar twists executed way better, just watch the first Saw. Well…if you like a bit of extra-violence and gore with your twists. 5/10

There Was a Time

  • Stan & Ollie (2018): Behind its time, as the lack of awards glitter and box office appeal shows, the tale of Laurel and Hardy still works well, thanks to its strong co-leads: Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly. I recall watching my fair share of the comedic duo on TV when I was younger, but it seems their brand of physical humor has aged a lot in the last decades. The movie rarely deals with this disconnect, which is why it is limited to working well as a biopic and not much else. The relationship between Laurel and Hardy is endearing and, in this regard, director Jon Bird does them justice. Shame he doesn’t go beyond. 7/10

Once, twice, once again.

  • Happy Death Day 2U (2019): I might not have liked the original much, but the genre appeals to me, so watching the sequel was inevitable. HDD2 mixes things up in occasionally fun ways, while straying somewhat from the rinse and repeat format of the original, which makes for a better movie – for a while. The third act, with a tiring amount of twists and turns, left me with the same sense of disappointment as the original, which is why HDD2 doesn’t quite get my recommendation either. 5/10

The Verse Speaks to Us

  • Captain Marvel (2019): Skeptical, as always, when heading into a superhero adaptation, particularly a new one, I was pleasantly surprised by what Captain Marvel had to offer. With a strong leading duo (Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson), good side characters and antagonists, as well as some memorable moments and jokes, CM pulls off the unlikely and makes for a fun and refreshing venture into the Marvelverse. It’s not without flaws, particularly pacing-wise, and doesn’t aim particularly high with its story, but you just want to overlook these shortcomings. 7/10