The Good Place
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Surprising that the Disney family let this project get screened. At best an "after school special" and at worst a film not worthy of its subject matter. The screenplay, acting, and directorial choices are all significantly flawed. Everyone needs a stepping stone to greater heights, but this is a film about Disney - and the audience expects it to be quality. Disappointing.
Not as compelling as Hidden Figures, only because these women were literally shooting for the moon. Regardless it's important and interesting to learn about how the US got literally 15 years behind the Russians when it comes to women in space. THe film spares no punches when it comes to putting the blame squarely on NASA and the "boys club" that persists perhaps to this day.
This is a movie about poets. That's it. I say that because, its easy to wonder why such a beautifully shot movie doesn't lead towards a bigger story - a deeper meaning. Poets explore the most basic things in life and are content doing that. As our world becomes more complex, to the poets it journeys away from the easily understandable. In Patterson, we have a simple world, easily comprehended by the poets. So in that way this is a fairy tale of a movie. And it would be eminently more enjoyable if - and this is the movie's downfall - if the poetry was actually good. Unfortunately the words and art that are supposed to drive this picture, leave it unrelatable and distant. So we're left to meander through the poets' world without sharing their inspiration. 90 minutes and a week later we wonder if it was worth it.
The Irish-mellenial Ronan is a convincing american teen, though its tough for her to come down a level from the self confident Brooklyn from last year. The supporting cast, too, is convincing and believable in a story that just doesn't set itself apart from all the ones that came before it with the same theme. The script tackles a number of important "coming of age" topics, any of which could be the launching point for a deeper exploration. But things continue relentlessly on leaving the viewer to fill in the blanks, and step back. Wanting to be brought into the film's world but instead having to enjoy it from afar. Worth the time, but could have been so much more.
While admittedly a self serving documentary about an anti-technology fad, there is enough genuine quirkiness and cross-stratus interaction to make this interesting to everyone. A little longer than needed, we're taken into the lives of various aficionados to explore a once ubiquitous thing that is today little thought about. The trivia and history tell their own story though it would have been helpful if narration pulled us along for the more psychological aspects of the subjects. Put down your smart phone for a second and realize the way it used to be.