John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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Aaron Katz's murder mystery 'Gemini', is an entertaining, albeit flawed feature for the writer and director. In the 80s this would have been a straight to video film, but if enough people see this it may age better than most indy flicks.
The cast is remarkably great. I never get enough John Cho and he's great in a limited roll. Zoe Kravitz is cast perfectly as the starlet. The real breakthrough star here is Lola Kirke who is nuanced and fresh. Several bit players come and go and we're left wondering who committed the murder. The twists are interesting and keep what could be a stale film an anticipatory delight. While there are some easy ways out of tight spots, Katz has cobbled together a movie that is tight and doesn't overstay its welcome. The ending is growing on me, but I'm sure isn't for everyone. While for some this will leave more questions than answers it did enough for me to give a slight recommendation. Final Score: 7.2/10
Part Civil Rights story, and part a voice for all the woman who have been sexually assaulted and not believed or taken seriously, 'The Rape of Recy Taylor' is a tribute to the title character and many many many women (and a few men) who needed to have their voices heard when it mattered.
Interwoven with tidbits on other civil rights leaders, the film doesn't dive into the Recy Taylor story as much as it could and that takes away from the power of the film albeit just a touch. Documentarian Nancy Buirski put forth an important film, but one that couldn't always stay on track. A tough and necessary watch. We need to respect all people and this should never be debated. Final Score: 7.1/10
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are back and the world is better for it. The filmmaking duo have crafted another mind-bending thriller which has a few laughs along the way. Do yourself a favor and start watching their films. They are superstars. This one is a bit hard to explain, and has a lot going on, but if this type of science fictiony film is your thing then you can thank me later. Just watch it, don't read about it. Final Score: 8.7/10
'Journey's End' is a film with outstanding acting, realistic WWI scenes, and a slow build that raises tensions and engages the viewer.
The picture isn't without what could be perceived as a flaw. You can tell this was a play. As a film it's claustrophobic. Rarely do you get a big picture of this wartime drama. Eventually I bought in, but I can certainly see how the way this was filmed would bother some.
One thing that isn't an issue is the acting. These characters are developed and that are believable. It's a powerful film and although the reality is we have no idea what the war was like, I couldn't help but think this is about as believable as it gets. War movies have been done hundreds of times, but this one felt unique and authentic and is a definite recommend. The ensemble cast is darn near perfect. The film has a perspective and it's actors do a fantastic job with facial expressions and non verbal communication (as well as an excellent screenplay) to tell you just what that perspective is. Final Score: 8.2/10