The Favourite

by Alan Rapp on December 14, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Favourite
  • IMDb: link

The Favourite movie reviewSet during the reign of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), The Favourite is a sly period dramedy focused on the rivalry between two cousins (Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone) over position and the affection of the Queen. Filled with backstabbing, political maneuvering, and deception, the story begins with the arrival of Abigail (Stone), a former lady now forced into the role of a servant. Abigail is given a position in the palace by Lady Sarah (Weisz) who underestimates just how far her cousin will go to increase her station.

Set between the two women, and also the two political factions fighting over the war in France, at the heart of the film is Anne herself. Presented as a broken woman, who may not have been all that smart to begin with, Coleman infuses her with unexpected depths as we begin to wonder just how much of the manipulation she suspects. Beautifully shot by cinematographer Robbie Ryan, the look of The Favourite offers sharp contrast to the more vile machinations under the surface (not unlike its lead characters). Although there are men present, mostly in Parliament, the script views them as largely superfluous and spends little effort to hide where the true power in England lies.

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The Other Side of the Wind

by Alan Rapp on December 13, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Other Side of the Wind
  • IMDb: link

The Other Side of the Wind movie reviewIt may have taken an extra 40 years, but the last film from Orson Welles is finally available to be seen. While it is nearly impossible to separate the film from its history (covered in detail in the new documentary They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead), The Other Side of the Wind has the benefit of working despite this potential limitation and delivering a fitting last chapter to Welles’ career with a biting satire and visual smorgasbord finally pieced together more than three decades after the director’s death.

Never one to back away from a challenge, Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind offers a layered feast, which can be devoured all at once but is best digested over multiple viewings. The experimental project delivers one or two small missteps (most notably the horrific performance by Cathy Lucas in a, thankfully, small role) but also yields terrific results. The narrative follows the final days of an aging director struggling with his latest film while make statements about the change in Hollywood culture from the old school studio system to the rise of a New Hollywood.

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They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead

by Alan Rapp on December 13, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead
  • IMDb: link

They'll Love Me When I'm Dead movie reviewFor more than a decade before his death, Orson Welles worked on a film that was never finished. The new documentary by Morgan Neville, featuring plenty of clips from The Other Side of the Wind and interviews with cast and crew, takes audiences back into Welles’ struggle with the experimental film about an aging director and his tumultuous relationship with Hollywood. Although Welles repeatedly denied any autobiographical nature to the film, as the documentary points out, it’s hard to not see the parallels to his own life.

With The Other Side of the Wind finally finished and released almost five decades after Welles began the project, They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead is timely both in explaining the project’s history and enticing viewers to seek out the movie itself. The documentary doesn’t shy away from the rougher edges of Welles’ nature whose bullying hardheadedness led to strained relationships. Like many documentaries in the same vein, the main takeaway from They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead is how hard it is to get a film made. Whether a fan of Welles or just movies in general, the documentary is definitely worth your time.

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Widows

by Alan Rapp on December 13, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Widows
  • IMDb: link

Widows movie reviewRe-imaging a twelve-hour mini-series into a two-hour film, Steve McQueen delivers an action-drama featuring Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, and Elizabeth Debicki as the widows of an armed robbery team who are forced by the gangster (Brian Tyree Henry) turned political figure their husbands robbed to pay back what they owe.

There’s an awful lot of plot and superfluous characters here, most likely because they appeared in the mini-series. A tighter focus on Viola Davis’ character and the robbery itself could have helped shore up the script a bit more, which gets lost in the weeds a bit when dealing with the political aspirations of a criminal and the criminality of the son (Colin Farrell) running for his father’s (Robert Duvall) office, as it seems to need at least one additional rewrite. The also the trouble with Debicki’s arc, while her new-found self-confidence makes sense as part of the robbery I’m not sure how it makes her twice as intelligent by the movie’s end (seriously, I was starting to expect a Keyser Söze twist). And the film isn’t without twists, although none are particularly necessary to the overall plot or natural conclusion of the story. (And one actually wraps up things a bit too neatly.)

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Supergirl – Elseworlds (Part 3)

by Alan Rapp on December 12, 2018

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Supergirl – Elseworlds (Part 3)
  • wiki: link

Supergirl - Elseworlds (Part 3) television review

Although apparently it will be the last we see of him for awhile, Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) gets quite a bit of screentime in the the “Elseworlds” finale as Hoechlin does double duty as both the Man of Steel and the new form of John Deegan (Jeremy Davies). As with the previous two episodes, Part 3 gives us more nods and winks at both Crisis of Infinite Earths (which apparently will be next year’s big crossover) and other famous moments of our heroes climaxing in the Flash (Grant Gustin) and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) circling the globe (Superman: The Movie) so quickly they begin to burn themselves out of existence (Crisis of Infinite Earths). The visuals work quite well, even if the logic of the entire segment seems pretty shaky on multiple levels.

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