Film Brief: Wonder Wheel

Wonder Wheel has some nice attributes, but probably skip it unless you’re a die-hard Woody Allen fan.  The rhythm and cadence familiar to WA moviewatchers is there, but the story is not particularly original or deep.  The “Mapping” I wrote of earlier is definitely employed again here.

I blame Amazon Studios for the the shortcomings of this film, not WA.  Marginal thumbs-down with the standard caveats.  5/10

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Film Brief: Thor: Ragnarok

The 2017 Thor movie gets a marginal thumbs-up laden with the normal caveats.  Definitely some fun moments and charged performances, especially from Cate Blanchett, who was utterly charming last time out on Ellen.  Second half of that appearance below, along with her “Kneel.” clip.  6/10

Film Brief: Thelma

Not to be confused with Thelma and Louise.  It’s just Thelma here.

Knowing filmmaking locked onto a tight character-driven story kept me enrapt.

Note: Two Norwegian films within a month of one-another: what’s going on?  Is Norway the new France for film?

SPOILER ALERT:  I suggest watching only HALF of the trailer below.  It gives away too much.

8/10

Comparison Notes: Recommended: Donnie Darko, Sleeping Beauty, The Craft; Not recommended: Ich Seh Ich SehThe Square, Raw.  A number of similarities exist between Raw and Thelma.  Thelma is the right way to do it.

Film Brief: Jigsaw

Jigsaw is a lot better than critics would lead you to think.  It’s one of those films with a huge disparity between the Rotten Tomatoes Audience & top critics scores (93% & 27%).

My issue was not that there was too much gore, but that there was not enough.  The camera cut away at the promised moments of maximum shocking graphic imagery.  The film was also hampered by a parallel, simple-simon story on the level of average TV fare.  But there’s still some fun, mostly in the first half.  4/10

Comparison Notes (recommended): Cube

Film Brief: The Square

The Square is interesting, perhaps, but more so self-important.  Pretentious even.  It is ultimately a small movie, and I’m not talking budget.  I didn’t hate it, but there’s too much nonsense and weak elements masquerading as something bigger — a veil I saw right through.  4/10

 

 

 

PS: The fact that so many critics thought The Square better than director Ruben Östlund’s previous work Force Majeure lays bare why I write a movie blog.  A lesser critic called The Square “Smart, Sharp.”  I got news for you: I’m smarter than you, and I say The Square was not smart.  The ape-man finale that you thought was so clever was ridiculously untenable.