The Good Place
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Electric opening act, with the 2nd half of the film dragging. David Robert Mitchell creates something truly his own, with so much enthusiasm for his world. You feel like a kid again watching it all develop in its strange, surreal way. However, without the excellent soundtrack pushing things along, you'd fall asleep in the last 30 minutes. The music makes this film.
Feels like a memorial service with no speakers or speeches, leaving little context for the situation at hand. The heroism is overshadowed by the relentless brutality, and you're left wondering why Hollywood felt this movie needed to be made. Likable characters and global awareness are the bittersweet silver lining.
A lot of fun with more developed moral takeaways than the predecessor. Not everything is always awesome, and that's okay. Measured optimism is a great thing.
Dry, not in a good way. Boring writing and lack of much character depth lowers the stakes of the film - hard to feel that connected. Kudos for the subdued depiction of tribal rivalries and balanced storytelling of the Americans and various ethnic groups. Learned more than I thought I would about the first response to 9/11 and the region's politics. I have this film to thank for ending up on Wikipedia right after the credits rolled.
Slapped-together production with a weighty, tragic hook. A cautionary tale about what entitlement mixed with lack of focus and consideration can do. The intelligent, kind skaters like Hawk seem to be the ones who rise to the top, leaving those jerky, self-absorbed ones like the Pappas brother stuck in drugs and denial, trying to justify their failures by saying they were screwed over by the skate industry. Misguided and poorly researched, though it includes an engaging human story of brotherhood and loss.