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0 film ratings
joelbrandt

Film Freak - 647 Film Ratings

Member Since: Mar 7, 2015

Location: Canada

Bio: i watch movies and write mini-reviews:

joelwatchesmovies.wordpress.com
more Recent Ratings
75 64% Dumplin' (2018) - Dec 10, 2018
"There's not a lot of tension or even momentum to be found in the plot (the revolution meets surprisingly few external obstacles, and conflicts with mom or friend appear and disappear) but that's because at its core it's simply a story about Willowdean (Macdonald is great) and her touching journey through grief and self-acceptance, and gosh, it has so many beautiful moments (the underdogs performing at the pageant was wonderful of course, but I'm pretty sure heaven will be like that Dolly show). "
70 44% Crazy Rich Asians (2018) - Dec 08, 2018
"Takes a while to get anywhere substantial conflict-wise, and when it arrives it's weirdly inconsistent (the post-bach party tension was high but dissipated quite quickly; the side plot with Astrid didn't help). Overall though it has some interesting things to say about prejudice, family, and relationships on its way to a solid climactic confrontation (the Mahjong game) and resolve (cliche but sweet), with lots of laughs filling in the gaps (Awkwafina and Jeong are both hilarious in their roles)."
70 44% Get Smart (2008) - Dec 06, 2018
"A few standout funny bits (I nearly cried laughing at that perfect in-tree cameo), a few standout not-funny bits (the fat jokes and xenophobia didn't sit well), but mostly just a breezy and easily-consumable action comedy with a unique lead (Carrell's dry delivery really works well with a character that's sometimes the butt of the jokes, and sometimes making the jokes), good central odd-couple chemistry, and solid action sequences. Bonus points for the pacifist conflict resolve on the rooftop."
65 26% Widows (2018) - Dec 05, 2018
"Great cast, cool flourishes (see the car-convo tracking shot), but never gets into a good groove (maybe for a few minutes during its heist prep montage). There's a grief-themed character study, a women-empowerment thread, a shady politics sub-plot, and a heist movie all thrown in there-all with potential, but focusing on just 2 of the 4 would've made for a more impactful film. As it is, it feels disjointed (the attempt at a plot-tying twist only raises more questions) and is hard to get into."
70 44% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) - Nov 27, 2018
"The discomforting and racist villanous portrayal of "Indians" should've been thrown away but the rest of the classic Western potpourri here provide lots of cozy charm (love those songs sprinkled throughout) and frigid chills amidst what is a uniquely curated collection of stories (some delightfully bizarre like the titular tale with its compelling narration and amazing climactic duet; others a bit more plodding and unremarkable) about death and judgment and the diehard American dream. "
85 92% Bean (1997) - Nov 19, 2018
"A masterclass in comedic acting; it says something when almost the entire movie is made up of those laugh-out-loud scenes you'd recall to your friends later-and every one was thanks to Atkinson's bumbling (yet oddly brilliant) Bean. He rarely even needs a straight guy to play off of (though the world of serious art criticism here provides many good ones). Bean's outrageous slapstick and hilarious yet heartwarming naivety (see his final speech; newly learned hand gesture) had me in stitches,"
75 64% Incredibles 2 (2018) - Nov 18, 2018
"The superhero politics thread feels a little tired and uninteresting, and the other main catch-the-villain plot is nothing special either (though Screenslaver's monologue about heroes and the people was a standout moment for both). Fortunately, the characters and humour are fabulous (awkward Violet is a delight-see her embarrassing mishap at the restaurant; the remarkable Jack-Jack is a riot-see his raccoon fight, inter-dimensional travel) and the animated action is excellent and thrilling."
70 44% Predators (2010) - Nov 15, 2018
"Sure, the self-serious expository dialogue is a little contrived and cheesy at points (lots of "what's going on?!") but when the actual plot is written and directed as well as it is, you can let it slide. Right from the opening pre-title plunge, the unraveling mystery and monster-suspense-while nothing groundbreaking-is presented appreciably well (acting, cinematography, and music are all solid). The first character twist is a good one, but the last one isn't (where was the motivation?)."
60 13% Predator 2 (1990) - Nov 12, 2018
"Lots of cringe-worthy sleazy action-movie schlock (cue the boobs and blood and Busey and cartoon-ish stereotyped baddies) but it's mostly balanced out by the solid quartet of protagonists (Glover's renegade Mike has a great dynamic with Paxton's goofy Jerry) driving forward the story. The third act drags on though, and because it's an investigative plot and not a survival one, it raises a lot of questions surrounding the Predator's motivations (the biggest being why is here in the first place?)"
90 97% Eighth Grade (2018) - Nov 10, 2018
"Terrific performances, a wonderful, authentic script, and a unique use of music combine to make a wholly immersive and emotional trip back to eighth grade with the endlessly endearing Kayla: every triumph is pure ecstasy, every awkward conversation pure torture, every venture out of a comfort zone more terrifying than any horror flick (see entering the pool party). The chicken nuggets scene was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen- FUCK THE HATERS JUST BE YOURSELF I'M SOBBING"