NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: 1917, Like A Boss, Just Mercy, Underwater

Week #2 – 1/10 to 1/12/2020 – offers four very different genre films to choose from at the theater: war, comedy, legal drama or action-horror:

  • An imaginative directed and amazingly shot war film creates a completely immersive experience
  • An unfunny and yet oddly entertaining comedy,
  • A dramatic fight to save a death row convict against seemingly impenetrable legal odds
  • A murky mess of a film that belongs at the bottom of the ocean.

#1 is …

… easy to pick (because it’s so much better than the others) …

1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

1917 is one of the greatest technical marvel films ever shot

Roger Deakins is clearly a genius cinematographer. I defy any moviegoer to watch this film and not come away with at least one “how did they shoot that?” moment. They are using wires to guide the camera hovering over water, panning steadily as they are in almost constant movement.

This film is literally on the move and you feel it. Even thought we don’t get to know that much about the two soldiers with a mission to deliver critical battle instructions, viewers are riveted by the danger and peril of the battlefield. It is a captivating, yet unusual war film. Usually war films show tons of battle scenes involving a bunch of soldiers. Here we are treated to mostly scenes after the battle has taken place. It’s like walking through a gigantic cemetery and it’s very, very unsettling.

This is the definition of a must-see film. I’m calling it my favorite film of 2019, even though I watched it 9 days into 2020. Director Sam Mendes, doesn’t get to have his film cover two different years, although it’s probably one of those rare films that deserves the calendar in his favor. Moviegoers will be talking about this film for awhile. Deservedly.

Like A Boss ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tiffany Haddish keeps her streak of unfunny comedies going. If you think her over the top yelling, raspy voice is somehow funny — and many people in the theater we watched did — then this movie is recommended.

The almost completely sold out theater laughed many times at Like A Boss — I didn’t even smile

Kara thought this was funny and a “good” film. I keep going back in my review to the story, which was different for a comedy. I can’t remember the last time seeing any movie about a cosmetics store, so points credited for a creative script. It’s just not funny though. I want to laugh at least a little bit in comedies. Others did, I felt like the person in the room that didn’t get the jokes. This is a very, very reluctant recommendation.

Just Mercy⭐️⭐️½

What a segue to a film that should be rated much higher. The source material is great and there are outstanding actors like Jamie Foxx as an innocent death row convict and Michael B. Jordan as his fiercely determined attorney fighting for his freedom.

Alas, the script is mostly boring until the ending. Major props to Foxx and Jordan for trying to squeeze lemonade out of lemon of a script. I wanted to love this film, but in the end, only loved what it could have been if it had a better script, editing and directing.

Underwater ⭐️

Kristen Stewart is as forgettable as the film

There are so many things wrong with this film, where to start? How about the lack of any significant character building? Compare this to other films underwater like Leviathan (Robocop’s Peter Weller and Richard Crenna ) where building a detailed sense of the crew underwater actually matters. This film inexplicably decides we need none of that.

No, instead, let’s burst into the action with an earthquake and an imploding underwater structure that six members of the team must escape.

Then there is the whole logic problem of how on earth are these people walking around on the ocean floor almost seven miles underwater? Do these incredible underwater suits actually exist that can protect a human being from the massive depth pressure? I kept thinking, almost saying aloud, “is this even possible?”

Now, the other big hazard, the gigantic monster. How it can toss around these crew members like rag dolls and not breach their suits every single time is, well, ludicrous. When it is convenient for the tentacled creature to get the people inside the suit it’s easy, but when the plot requires extending the life of a particular character, nope, the creature is unable to breach this magical logic-defying suit.

Where to start with Kristen Stewart? She is all kinds of bad, and not bad as in a good bad way. Just bad bad. She walks around most of the film with this annoying smirk on her face. Is she constipated? Does she not really care about the film (understandable!), in some kind of physical pain (the suit allegedly was painful to be in) and/or just there to collect a paycheck? We rarely see lead characters in a film so completely disinterested and uninspired. Sure, we can blame some of this on an abortive script and mediocre directing, but no actor/actress leaves with this kind of performance unscathed.

This movie is full of more holes than Titanic.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theater recently (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that it was necessarily that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films we rate as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Ford v Ferrari ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ScreenX
  3. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Richard Jewell ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  6. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bombshell ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Like A Boss ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching!

6 thoughts on “NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: 1917, Like A Boss, Just Mercy, Underwater

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