1917 (2020)

Tonight Jim and I went to see Sam Mendes’ WW1 film, 1917. It was a truly harrowing experience, and a strangely intimate piece despite the grand scale of the theater and war itself. George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman do incredible work forging an emotional connection with the audience in a very short amount of screen time. The movie is paced flawlessly, shot beautifully, whether it’s the pitiless hell of no-man’s land or a burning French town illuminated chiefly by the harsh flat light of flares as the British and German troops play a deadly game of cat and mouse. It’s an extremely tough watch in places, but an effective reminder of the horrors and pointless futility of war.

Ford v Ferrari (2019)

We saw the Ford v Ferrari tonight, and got exactly what we were bargaining for. A film about cars designed to go fast and the men who are driven to, uh, drive them. There’s lots of cussin’ and fussin’ and punchin’, and going real fast. All driving strategy is reduced to shifting a gear and hitting the gas at the dramatically appropriate moment, and there isn’t a lot of depth and complexity. But man, the cars are beautiful, the driving action intense, and the sound design amazing. If you were looking forward to seeing this film like we were, then it’s hard to imagine you’ll be disappointed. And if you weren’t? Well, see us back next week for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

Doctor Sleep (2019)

Jim and went to see Dr. Sleep tonight, and left the theater wide awake. It’s not The Shining, but it doesn’t try to be. Instead, it does it’s own thing, which in retrospect is appropriate for a movie about an adult Danny Torrance, who battles his father’s demons with addiction to emerge a better man. The cast is amazing, led by the ever engaging Ewan McGreggor and relative newcomer Kyliegh Curran as the brightest Shine of a generation. Director Mike Flanagan (Gerald’s Game) once again proves a deft hand adapting Stephen King. Don’t go in expecting Kubrick, and we think you’ll be pleased. See you next week for Ford v. Ferrari!

Ad Astra (2019)

Jim and I went to the outer reaches of the solar system with Ad Astra, the paradoxically slow moving, absorbing, thoughtful, but action packed sci-fi film starring Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones. We spend the better part of an hour talking about what we thought the film was about, and the strange, ultra-realistic yet dreamy quality to a lot of the proceedings. I think we both admired the film more than loved it, but I at least wouldn’t be surprised if further contemplation (and watches) revealed some hidden depths.