Yes friends! It is time once again to do one of my mini review posts. It seems I never run out of movies to watch and enjoy (or not) even in a time of pandemic. Fortunately I have some fun recommendations for you this evening with a lot of variety and enjoyment to be had. If you get to see any of them let me know what you think. Here goes:
Black is King
Anyone who believes film cannot be art needs to check out Beyonce’s new musical treatise Black is King. This 85 minute music video of her ‘lessons of The Lion King certainly has far more to say and more artistry than the ‘live action’ remake she starred in last year. This is a beautiful mixture of music and art that comes from a true and honest place.
My only nitpicks is the songs run together a bit and there wasn’t one I was humming to myself after it was over. The artistry elevates rather bland songs on their own. Also the ties to The Lion King sometimes took me out of the movie and felt like a stretch at times. Still, rarely in 2020 have we gotten something so emotionally honest and beautiful so definitely check it out if you have Disney Plus.
7 out of 10
Sometimes a movie wins you over by sheer charm and its determination to be liked. This is the case with Summerland. It stars Gemma Arterton as a woman in World War II in seaside England who is happy to be left alone until a young boy named Frank is given to her to take care of and shelter. She’s honestly a lot to put up with for a lot of this film but the flashbacks to her love with Gugu Mbatha-Raw and her bond with the child were enough to win me over.
I won’t give it away but there is a twist I found pretty groan-worthy but the ending is so sweet it won me back over. So Summerland is admittedly uneven but the good is really tender-hearted and good, so I recommend giving it a watch.
6 out of 10
Some cynical types will discard Military Wives as a piece of trite fluff but not this critic. It’s just the kind of sweet, crowd-pleaser I love. The fact that it also has great music and is based on a true story makes it even better! The film tells the story of a group of women who’s husbands serve in Afghanistan, and they decide to form a choir to help cheer up their neighbors and before long they become friends. Of course a movie like this is incredibly predictable but that doesn’t matter to me when it is executed well. I could use a lot more movies with as big of hearts as this one, especially ones that remind us all of the power of a strong group of diverse women. Yes please
Kristen Scott Thomas elevates Military Wives with her turn as the grieving Mother who is the stick-in-the-mud leader of the group of women. I also loved Sharon Horgan as our more free-spirited leader who clashes with Scott Thomas. The music is also very well done so that adds a layer of enjoyment to the film. I real feel-good film we need in 2020!
7.5 out of 10
An American Pickle
I am not always the biggest Seth Rogen fan. Going all the way back to comedies like Knocked Up his whole man-child that wins the gorgeous blonde woman can sometimes get on my nerves. This is why I am genuinely surprised that with American Pickle I actually enjoyed not one but two Seth Rogens!
I must own I have an affinity for fish out of water comedies. Whether it be Encino Man, Kate & Leopold or even the Thor movies there is something inherently funny about the innocent newcomer trying to make their way around a modern world. Of course the story is convoluted and ridiculous but you have to suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride. If you can than I think you will have fun with American Pickle.
In the film Rogen plays a pickle worker from the 1920s who is brined for 100 years only to wake up and confront modern life and his great grandson also played by Rogen. There are some parts of American Pickle that feel dated for 2020, particularly in the middle section, but I was still laughing enough throughout to make it work. It also has a lot of charming moments that did my sentimental heart good. If you have HBO Max I’d give it a watch.
7 out of 10
So look at me. Just full of smiles today!