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Rating History

Coco
Coco (2017)
7 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A standard retelling of the hero's journey can get predictable (see: Robots). And while the beats in Coco are familiar, there is plenty in this movie to think about: what if chasing your dream means leaving your family? What kind of family isn't supportive of your dream? The answers given in Coco are a little too neat and tidy, but that doesn't mean that the movie doesn't offer genuine emotion through its visuals, its music, and its story. While the world-building isn't as imaginative as Inside Out or WALL-E, the design of the Land of the Dead is something to behold, a Pixar version of a less-depressing Blade Runner.

The Disaster Artist
7 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The Room is a bad movie, but it's not bad because the Tommy Wiseau was lazy (like Seltzer and Friedberg), but because his vision was so myopic in his own worldview that he couldn't relate to regular human behavior. Additionally, no one could relate to him, and that distance is what Greg Sestero tried to join. Dave Franco's portrayal of Sestero is one that is so genuine and poignant, that without it, James Franco's portrayal of Wiseau wouldn't be grounded in anything resembling reality.

But why make a movie about a terrible production? The answer lies in why we go see any piece of art: to feel something. Maybe Tommy Wiseau didn't intend to evoke the feelings he received, but he evoked feelings nonetheless, and that is a very powerful thing indeed. Disasters are more memorable than mediocrities, and seeing how this disaster known as The Room was made was so much fun to watch.

A Bad Moms Christmas
13 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

There are some real laughs in this movie, but not enough depth to warrant any real recommendation.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
14 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

American life seems to be defined by storytelling, and closure and resolution are fundamental parts of stories. Justice is a type of closure, and when injustice happens, it is as if nothing is resolved. Understanding that is understanding what drives not only the characters of Three Billboards, but also the movie itself. The movie begins with audiences having already resolved their opinions on certain characters: the cops are racist, and are therefore incompetent; the uneducated have little to offer, and are therefore dismissed; and then we see that the characters are much more nuanced than those resolved presumptions would lead us to believe.

What is this movie about? It's not about bringing justice to a victim or a family. It's not about tying up loose ends. It's about the grief and frustration and anger that manifests when you can't find justice or are unable to tie up those loose ends. This all-star cast all find ways to find the humor in the tragedy, with Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell delivering impeccable performances into characters that could have ended up being caricatures of small-town rural Americana.

Lady Bird
Lady Bird (2017)
18 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A 100% rating on RT doesn't mean that this is the best movie ever. It just means that everyone who has seen it said it was a good movie. And it is. It's a pretty good movie. Saoirse Ronan delivers a very relatable young woman whose quirks aren't exactly unheard of. The story isn't particularly original, but that doesn't mean the movie isn't enjoyable. There are a lot of funny zingers in this movie (does being set in 2002-2003 make it a period piece?), and there is a lot of love for all of its characters. The only problem is that there is no subtlety in the script or the performances, so there's no real subtext; what you see is what you get, and what you get is a pleasant 90 minutes.