Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Judy

(USA, UK, 2019)

Strangely enough, I have only seen one of the other Oscar-nominated performances for this year: Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story. It’s possible that Cynthia Erivo, Saoirse Ronan, or Charlize Theron were better than Renée Zellweger … but I strongly doubt it. This is one of those uncanny performances where the actress channels the part so strongly that she ... Read more »

Ford v Ferrari

(2019)

Also known as Le Mans ‘66 in Europe. Presumably they might not enjoy seeing Henry Ford II, Lee Iacocca, the legendary Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), and the legendary but lesser known Ken Miles (Christian Bale) hand the super-legendary Enzo Ferrari his ass.

The insanity of Le Mans is a 24-hour endurance race run at speeds well over 225 mph. The cars are ... Read more »

Marriage Story

(USA, UK, 2019)

One of those films that actors love to make, but I’m afraid don’t appeal all that much to me. Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver act up a storm, but after all it’s the story of a divorce, and there is nothing much for me to like here. I saw it just a few months ago when it appeared on Netflix, and I can remember very little about it. I guess there’s not much more to say. If this is your ... Read more »

Joker

(2019)

Once more I broke my vow of not bothering with superhero movies, since this one was nominated for Best Picture. I guess the Joker isn’t a superhero, and technically, Batman isn’t either, he’s just a very rich, inventive, and athletic guy. Still, it’s a movie made from comic books, and though I know some good movies have resulted from “graphic novels,” I can’t recall any that were about ... Read more »

The China Syndrome

(1979)

Sometimes a movie opens at precisely the right time to become a blockbuster. This one would have done well, but the fact that the Three-Mile Island incident happened only twelve days later propelled it to a must see. It’s a scientifically accurate picture of what might happen if a nuclear reactor got out of control. Jack Lemmon is great, as always, and Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas do ... Read more »

Cats

(USA/UK, 2019)

So here it is, the most reviled movie of the year, possibly the decade. Some say the century. Many walked out, many others said it was the worst movie they had ever seen. Won six Razzies: Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Supporting Actor (James Corden), Worst Supporting Actress (Rebel Wilson), Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Combo: “Any two half-feline half-human hairballs.” The ... Read more »

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

(2019)

I’m not the first one to say it, but if Jesus came back today we would nail the bastard up again. (Jesus is a probably fictional character in Christian mythology, written about in manuscripts by four men who almost certainly never met him.) The cross would be constructed by Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, Mike Pence, and the Reverend Jerry Falwell, Jr. Our Goon-in-Chief would congratulate ... Read more »

Parasite

(South Korea, 2019)

First, I have a bone to pick with the Academy. It is just not fair for a movie to compete for Best Picture and Best International Picture (a new category replacing Best Foreign Language Picture). I think the producers should have to choose. Go up against four other non-English films, or roll the dice for the Big One. Please understand, I do Read more »

My Cousin Vinny

How long does it take before a movie becomes a “classic?” A lot of reviewers are fond of the phrase “instant classic,” which strikes me as a total perversion of the whole idea of classics. How about “a brand new antique?” Is 28 years enough? Probably not, I’d opt for more like 50 years before that word could be applied. But this is pretty close to a classic, one of our favorite comedies. ... Read more »

Jojo Rabbit

(2019)

In another year this could very well have been my choice for Best Picture. Instead of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood winning, it might … oh, wait. That didn’t win, did it? Once more the Academy fucked up, as it did recently with Green Book, The Shape of Water, Moonlight, Spotlight, Birdman, 12 Years a Slave, Argo, The Artist, The King’s ... Read more »