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Category: Drama

MOVIE REVIEW: Just Mercy

Vitals:

Source: YouTube.com. Copyright 2020 Warner Brothers Entertainment. Used under fair use trademark law.

Release Date: 10 January 2020 (USA)
Studio: Warner Bros.
Official Site: https://www.justmercyfilm.com/
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Writers: Destin Daniel Cretton & Andrew Lanham
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2h 17min
Starring: Brie Larson, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx
Genre: Drama
Base Score: 4/5

Source: Official Site. Copyright 2020 Warner Brothers Entertainment. Used under fair use trademark law.

Review:

I love seeing dramas starring comedians. These guys really know how to act. They are experts in not only showing emotion but making you show emotion. Their job is to make you laugh. They are experts at playing an audience.

Think of all of Robin William’s dramatic roles. People thought he was a one-hit wonder until he started making serious, heart-felt dramas.

The actors here don’t disappoint.

Michael B. Jordon is authentic and full of hope. He keeps his dignity in an undignified system. Brie Larson is honest, friendly, and real. Jamie Foxx is resolute in his situation. He is wrongly accused, but he accepts his fate. They are all good examples of how a good Christian person should act.

I came into this movie expecting to enjoy it, but I became incredibly invested in the outcome of the story. There were also some real stakes. Since it is based on a true story, you didn’t know which way it would go. Life isn’t fair sometimes. Would it be the same here?

Source: Official Site. Copyright 2020 Warner Brothers Entertainment. Used under fair use trademark law.

It makes you angry to see how African American people have been treated in the south, even a few years ago. This was in the 90’s. With the recent #BlackLivesMatter campaign, it makes you wonder if we still have this kind of injustice in America. In seeing the way we are treating the poor, I fear it might still be the same way now.

But the movie was good. It was emotional. It made you feel the full range of emotions. At least, it did me. You might be dead inside.

How I Score Movies

Modifiers

Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? There weren’t a ton a special effects, if any. A regular-size screen is fine.
Would I see it again? (+.5) Yes, I would see it again. It was a good, emotional film.
Should I rent it? Buy it? If somebody hasn’t seen it, give it a rental on Redbox when it comes out.
Is it family safe? (+.5) There might have been some language, but it wasn’t overpowering. Nothing else was objectionable (except for the way blacks were being treated).
Did it have “the look?” It was very cool to see people dressed like the 90’s. It reminded me of being in high school. It had a look, but not the look, if you know what I mean. They did a good job of recreating the 90’s, but it wasn’t over-stylized.
Did it have “the feels?” It was emotional, but it never had that super-emotional “oomph” to get bonus points.


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Source: IMDB.com. Copyright 2020 Warner Brothers Entertainment. Used under fair use trademark law.

MOVIE REVIEW: 1917

Score

4: Pretty Good

Summary

Interesting gimmick, but just another war movie

Vitals

Release Date: 10 January 2020 (USA)
Studio: Universal
Official Site:
https://www.1917.movie/
Director: Sam Mendes
Writers: Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Rating: R
Running Time: 1h 59min
Starring: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays
Genre: War Drama
Base Score: 3.5 (meh)

Review

I’m not a huge fan of war movies. That’s my dad. War just seems like a horrible waste to me. The more realistic it is, the more it’s just… sad. Yeah, WW1 was horrible. Yes, those men sacrificed a lot. I’m not saying that. I’m saying that the world would be a better place if those men were still in it.

That’s all I’m saying.

I was going to pass on this movie altogether until I saw the gimmick. This entire movie was shot using one take. I know enough about filmmaking to know that this would be a huge undertaking. I had to see them pull it off.

And… they pulled it off. I saw a couple points in the movie where they could have made some creative cuts, but if they said it was all one take, I believe them. Somebody wise said, “Never Google an interesting fact.”

It was a technical achievement, for sure. My favorite was when one character is mortally wounded off-screen. As he dies, his face is visibly pale. In order to pull that off, makeup artists would have had to rush in while the camera was panned away. Really good job, filmmakers!

But then, about halfway through, you forgot about the amazing feat they were pulling off. The gimmick faded away and it was just a gritty, realistic war movie. I don’t much care for gritty, realistic war movies. I don’t care how good your giggles are.

I was interested, but it was still very, very sad. War is pointless.

Modifiers

Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? If I were filthy rich or a fan of war movies, I might spring for a special screen. It would magnify the intensity of the one-shot gimmick. How did they do that?

Would I see it again? I might see it if somebody else wanted to. I would be focusing on the technical aspect of the filming. I wouldn’t see it again because I wanted to see another war movie.

Should I rent it? Buy it? See it once on the big screen. If you are a big fan of war movies (here’s one for you, Dad), I would buy a copy. That way you can show it to other war-fans and marvel at the technical achievement.

Is it family safe? Besides being realistic war violence, the movie is pretty tame. If you are OK letting your kids see war, you will be OK here. There is some adult language (they’re soldiers), but it’s not “rapper heavy.” I wouldn’t exactly call it “family safe” but it’s not “family unsafe.” Can we call it a “family meh?”

Did it have “the look?” (+.5) Super technical achievement. I hope it wins all the awards.

Did it have “the feels?” It was just sad. War is sad. Somewhere a panda is crying.