Movie Review Rundown: November!

FullSizeRender.jpg

RECENT AND UPCOMING FILMS!

In an effort to discuss even more films that I've watched, I wanted to share little mini reviews on some recent films I've seen, in the theater (and some at home)! Also, since it's award nomination season (cue happy dance!) I've been watching some films that the average moviegoer might have overlooked or might not have seen just yet -- and I'd like to hightlight those as well!

Below are a few films I've recently seen within the last month (minus a few like Justice League, that I saw but don't want to discuss). Here we have three that are currently in theaters and a couple that haven't hit theaters yet but that I got to see early!

MOVIES:

  • ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ.
  • MUDBOUND
  • THOR: RAGNAROK
  • MOLLY'S GAME (out Christmas Day)
  • WONDER
  • WONDER WHEEL (out December 1st)

IMG_1798.PNG
  • Main cast: Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, and Carmen Ejogo
  • Status: Now playing in theaters!
  • Recommend: Yes!
  • Reason: Go see this one for Denzel Washington's performance alone! He's so good in this!

ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ.

*Movies in November Pick: I'm glad I decided to see Roman J. Israel, Esq. in the theater. I enjoyed this one and really thought Denzel Washington was completely compelling, quirky, empathetic, funny, and so good in this role! The film as a whole had a couple of issues and I didn't care for the ending too much, but the performances made up for it.

Director/writer Dan Gilroy (from Nightcrawler), highlights some important issues in this film and puts together a great cast to help elevate the best moments within the script. 

I really enjoyed watching Denzel Washington the most, as the main character that the film is named after, in a role we haven't really seen him in -- and proves once again that he's one of the best in the game! :)

Denzel is Roman J. Israel, Esq!


IMG_1804.PNG
  • Main cast: Garrett, Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Rob Morgan, and Mary J. Blige
  • Status: Streaming on Netflix and in select theaters!
  • Recommend: Yes! (times 2!)
  • Reason: Director Dee Rees's amazing ability to weave together multiple storylines that keep you hooked until the last frame!

MUDBOUND

*Movies in November Pick: I had a good mix of emotions while watching this film. Great acting from a diverse and talented cast, along with incredible cinematography, by Rachel Morrison, and impressive direction by Dee Rees!

I think the flow could have been a tad better. I actually feel like it could have been stretched out into a miniseries (if done right though). But with the little amount of time Dee Rees had to work with to fit within the film perimeter (she also co-wrote the script), she did an excellent job. We stepped into the lives of these characters, saw the different perspectives led by their own narration, and the film never really faultered or got too muddy, which is hard to do -- especially with multiple points of views. 

I commend Netflix, once again, by distributing such compelling, and timely content and bravo to Dee Rees for this important and entertaining piece  of work! I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of attention this film gets during awards season! :)


IMG_1801.PNG
  • Main cast: Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeff Goldblum!
  • Status: Now playing in theaters!
  • Recommend: Yes, yes, yes!
  • Reason: It's just so fun, so good, well acted, and a great time at the movies!

THOR: RAGNAROK!

*Movies in November Pick: New director to the franchise, Taika Waititi, revamped Thor with this newest installment! I didn't go in with high expectations because the Thor movies are actually my least favorite of all the Marvel movies. I like the character, but the Thor movies have just been my least favorite -- until now!

I love the direction and writing by Waititi! I really enjoyed this movie!! So good! Waititi literally reimagined the character and its world -- and he was able to put his own stamp on it with his background in comedy! The film had a great mix of humor (which is somewhat new for this particular franchsie within the Marvel universe) and fight sequences. The acting was on point, really dug the music, the one liners had me rollin' and the cast was great!

We see my girl Tessa Thompson make her Marvel debut as Valkyrie in this film! She killed it and was so badass!! And of course Cate Blanchett did her thing as Hela! (Fun fact: the director actually played the very funny, and scene stealing character, Korg -- the big rock guy)!

I highly recommend seeing this movie, especially while it's still in theaters!! Even if you're not a Marvel or Thor fan per say, it's still very entertaining and a great time at the cinema!!

 


IMG_1800.PNG
  • Main cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Michael Cera, and Chris O'Dowd
  • Status: In theaters on December 25th!
  • Recommend: Yes!
  • Reason: If you're a fan of Aaron Sorkin's writing, Jessica Chastain, and Idris Elba, you'll want to catch this one when it comes out! (But the style might not be for everyone.)

MOLLY'S GAME

Oh, what a film! I saw an early screening of Molly's Game earlier this month at the DGA (Directors Guild of America) in West Hollywood! Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin makes his directorial debut with this film and it's a pretty solid debut by Sorkin! I've always been a fan of his writing. He's one of my favorites and he's written two of my favorite movies, A Few Good Men and The Social Network!! :)


Molly's Game is based on the book of the same name, about a woman named Molly Bloom (she also wrote the book) who "organized and ran one of the largest (and most exclusive) high-stakes poker games in the country for a decade" that involved celebrities, athletes, and billionaires. We see flashes of her life pre-poker drama and after. I'm not gonna give anything away, but the film definitely takes you on a pulsating, non-stop, fun little ride, filled with great lines, impressive acting, funny moments, and a solid cast! And of course, being a Sorkin film and script, it's packed with a lot of dialogue, monologues, and the rhythmic pacing is pretty solid!

Jessica Chastain's performance is so good in this!! It's definitely one of the best ones I've seen her do! And Idris Elba is wonderful to watch in it as well! 

Great film -- but (I have to mention) I had a couple of issues with a couple of the shots and editing. Overall though, I really enjoyed this one and it should be getting some attention this awards season! 

 


IMG_1802.PNG
  • Main cast: Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, and Owen Wilson
  • Status: Now playing in theaters!
  • Recommed: Yes
  • Reason: A sweet, good film for the whole family, that hits the right points and doesn't get too cheesy or over sympathetic. 

WONDER

This movie was on my "maybe list" for this month, but I actually was able to go to an early screening of it. I'm glad I went! This film surprised me a little bit, in a good way. I was impressed with the director's ability to take a (popular, bestselling) children's book that easily could have gone a different, mushy way and created a script and film that was empathetic, heartwarming, funny -- and just a good, solid film. 

The cast and chemistry was spot on and these kids in the film stole my heart. 

I'm a sucker for a good quote (as I'm sure y'all know) and this film has some great ones, without being too sappy (which I appreciated it). 

Overall, I recommend this film for kids, parents, and those of us who are looking for a feel good movie during these trying times. 

#ChooseKind


IMG_1803.PNG
  • Main cast: Kate Winslet, Justin Timberlake, Jim Belushi, and Juno Temple
  • Status: In theaters on December 1st. 
  • Recommend: Maybe, "if it's your jam"
  • Reason: See it for Kate Winslet's performance, but you can also pass on it.

WONDER WHEEL

Wonder Wheel was not on my upcoming watchlist for multiple reasons, but I ended up seeing this one at an early screeing with a Q&A with the main cast (and my boy Justin Timberlake was there! Oh JT!!!)

I liked the movie more than I thought I would, but it's still one that didn't completely win me over. I liked the way it was told -- meaning, the script could have easily been a play and that was interesting to watch as far as the dynamics between the characters. I also thought the cinematography, by the legendary Vittorio Storaro, was fantastic.

Aside from the cinematography, I would recommend this film to see Kate Winslet's performance. At times it becomes a bit much, but she dives right into it and sells it completely. 

See this one if you love Kate Winslet or if this type of film is your jam. Wait to see it if you're on the fence about it. 


Some films I missed this month that I've heard great things about and that I still plan on watching soon:

  • The Florida Project
  • Lady Bird
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

Also, incase you missed it:

  • Marshall
    • This film dropped into theaters back in October, and it's a film that I loved, starring Chadwick Boseman, Sterling K. Brown, Josh Gad, and Kate Hudson! I feel like it didn't get enough attention, but it's definitely one I highly recommend. It's still playing in select theaters, check it out if you haven't yet! :)

That's the Movie Review Rundown for this month! What movies did you see this month that you loved or recommend?! Hit me up on Insta!

And look out for my Movies in December post next week! 

- Jess

IMG_1872.JPG