Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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I can whole-heartedly understand how, in a world rought with constant stress, hate, and cynicism, audiences and critics alike flocked to this film as a universal punching bag. I will not argue for a moment that CATS (2019) is a well-made film by any traditional sense.
If you will tell me that you did not enjoy yourself at Tom Hooper's spectacularly broken adaptation of this surprisingly enduring staple of American musical theatre, you are a liar.
And following all my apologies on behalf of the film, I can't even say my enjoyment of this was wholly ironic the entire way through. I will always hold Andrew Lloyd-Weber's score for this musical very dear to my heart because of its presence in my developmental years, but even without decades of nostalgia behind it, there is no way "Old Deuteronomy" isn't heart-warming. Ian McKellen as Gus the Theatre Cat is actually genuinely lovable and compelling -- unsurprising, considering McKellen's pedigree -- and can you name a single movie in which Idris Elba as a cheesy mustache-twirling villain hasn't immediately made you smile? The answer is no. No you cannot.
I am tired of society as a whole tearing into movies just for not being Oscar contenders (although I'll admit it is pretty funny that Universal tried a "For Your Consideration" campaign on this film.) I am especially tired of society tearing into movie musicals - if this was an action or horror movie of the exact same quality, there would be a much more vocal group of people trying to genuinely defend it in a "turn-your-brain-off-and-enjoy-the-spectacle" kind of way.
I am tired of people criticizing CATS. CATS is confusingly paced, tonally incoherent, inconsistently shot, and I will never forgive Rebel Wilson for what she did to Jennyanydots the Gumbie Cat. But its very existence amazes me. Some may ask how Universal did let this happen? I'm not sure of that myself. But all things considered, I don't care. I'm just glad it exists.
This movie deserves so much more recognition than it's currently getting - the action is on point, courtesy of John Wick fight choreographer Jonathan Eusebio; each of the leads (Jurnee Smollett-Bell in particular) have incredibly charisma, on-screen chemistry, and comedic timing; Ewan McGregor brings an over-the-top manic energy to the film's villain "Black Mask", stealing every scene he's in. But most importantly, director Cathy Yan has such an immensely fresh and creative visual style, applying a pink and pastel filter to a neo-noire action blockbuster, as well as a surprising amount of technically impressive decisions in the writing making a tightly structured and well crafted narrative.
See this movie and more movies like this - in a time dominated by cookie-cutter blockbusters (no matter how satisfying those cookies are), give your money to unique director-driven films such as Birds of Prey.
"Where the Wild Things Are" is a cinematic masterpiece. I know that's an unpopular opinion at best and a down-right disgraceful movie at worst, but I strongly believe it.
This movie perfectly captures what it's like to be a child. What others in the past have dismissed as "pacing problems" in reality only contribute to a fascinating examination of a young boy's psyche. This film is a perfect adaptation of the classic children's book, lest we forget how divisively that was initially received.