An American Pickle is one of those movies that is enjoyable to watch but you don’t expect it to exceed expectations — which, for the most part, it doesn’t. And, as the first film released exclusively on new streaming service HBO Max (of which I am now a subscriber), the expectations weren’t all that high.
Sure, it’s not a perfect film, and clearly critics disliked it enough to give it a disappointingly low Rotten Tomatoes score of 44%; but, I’d have to say I disagree with the critics, for the most part. The plot is fairly basic and not all that original, but the characters, dialogue, and actors are so entertaining and charming that it is nearly impossible to dislike.
I had originally seen Snowpiercer, Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho’s first English-language film, a few years ago. But, perhaps I wasn’t paying that much attention before, as I forgot much of what had transpired the second time I watched it (with nearly 100% attention). I’d forgotten how violent and bizarre it was; but, also, I think I appreciated the impressive scope of the filmmaking more this time, especially after having seen Ho’s Oscar-winning masterpiece Parasite.
Sophie’s Choice is primarily known for Meryl Streep’s Oscar-winning performance, deemed by many to be one of the best performances by any actor (male or female) of all time. I believed critics and viewers, but I was skeptical that it could top who I’d currently ranked as my #1 Best Actress Oscar winner of all time (that I’d seen): Charlize Theron in Monster. I was wrong, and after finishing Sophie’s Choice, I immediately knew that I’d just witnessed one of the best acting performances of all time.
How do you review a film that has already been discussed and raved about since its release (in this case, nearly 50 years ago)? As you may have noticed from my recent posts, I’ve been attempting to catch up on Oscar winners of the past, especially on those that were released way before I was born. I can’t really consider myself a movie snob until I’ve caught up on those movies, and I’m glad I’m finally checking classics like The Godfather off my seemingly never-ending list.
First Wives Club is the kind of film that lifts your spirits and is good to watch in between viewing dramatic, heavy movies. Sometimes, you just need to to watch a trio of A-list actresses engage in hilarious, ridiculous shenanigans, even if the execution isn’t perfect.
A Fantastic Woman is not the perfect film that people have made it out to be, but considering that it is the first Oscar-winning foreign/international film featuring a transgender character — whose star, Daniela Vega, became the first transgender presenter in Oscars history — its impact is impressive.
Just Mercy should be required viewing, no matter how you view incarcerations and death row. And, if you watch this film without feeling any empathy towards the wrongly-convicted individuals featured, then there’s no hope for you. (Also, #BlackLivesMatter).
Project Power is the sort of movie that needs to be seen in theaters, but seeing as nearly all theaters were closed when it was released, it made sense to do so through Netflix. Although, to be fair, despite the film’s expensive special effects and high-watt stars like Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the quality might not have been high enough to warrant a theatrical release.
The Personal History of David Copperfield is probably unlike any other period piece you’ve seen before. For one, there’s color-blind casting, which could cause serious eyerolls from racists and other folks who may claim to be non-racist but prefer more “traditional” (i.e. white) casting in order for the stories to be more historically accurate. But, I believe all-white casting to be boring and not with the times.