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Our Reviewer Hated "Tar" - six Oscar nods be damned


Tar Apple TV D-

Oh, how I hated this film. Let me count the ways.


1. It is BORING, I mean watching actual TAR dry would be more exciting!

2. It is pretentious and condescending. Hey, I love NPR and I take it very personally when people talk about elitist, NPR-listening snobs. Thanks to watching this movie I now know who and what they are talking about. Yeah, I don’t like them either.

3. The leading character is unlikable and unattractive. Yes, I am talking about Cate Blanchett. Yes, I know she is a good actress. Yes, I know she is stunningly beautiful. Despite this, and despite the fact that it is pivotal to the plot of the film that she be charismatic, enticing, and someone everyone wants to be close to…she is none of these things. Any hope that the film works falls completely apart, bringing me to...

4. The premise of this movie is (careful! Spoiler Alerts! ) Women, even talented, successful women, can be predators. I think it is supposed to be revelatory. Sigh. If this is a revelation to you…I have no words. Ultimately what this film is, is a very thinly veiled propaganda piece attempting to justify really bad abusive behavior. Which it does REPEATEDLY. So Barf! And DOUBLE BARF to all the noms and awards this giant turd of a movie continues to receive.

Sr. Netflix A-

This is actually a brilliant documentary about Robert Downey Sr., Robert Downey Jr.’s dad. Sr. was a deeply creative, innovative filmmaker. The film takes us on a wild ride that mimics his process. It doesn’t always make sense in the moment, it takes sharp left turns, it doesn’t know what the end result will be, and it is deeply entrenched in the idea that not knowing what is going to happen is exciting. Sometimes it's painful, sometimes it is tedious, but it’s all worth it. The film is personal. It feels private, and we have been allowed in to see the whole process. It’s beautiful. Ultimately it makes total sense that the only way for the father and son to connect, is through the process of creating a film. Stunning. Emotional. It is worth the work this film will require of you.

All Quiet on The Western Front Netflix B+

The 1930 version of the film won Best Picture, so my first question is, “Does it really need a redo?” I guess so. I can only imagine that part of the power of the original was the perspective of the film – the point of view of warfare from German soldiers during World War 1. The notion that war is hell, no matter which side you are on, it had to have been personal to people who had just lived the war. This film seeks to shock and bring its message in another way, with intense experiential realism. “Didn’t they just do this in 1917?” you ask. Yes. Yes, and they did it better in 1917. Sooooo…Did this film really need to be made? I guess so. The performances are powerful, the storytelling and filmmaking are all on point. The message is clear. War is hell. I guess we need to keep saying it in old and new ways.

Black Bird Apple TV B+

If you love the dramatization of true gruesome crime, you will love this. This is not my usual jam, but I watched because I was told there were a couple of REALLY good performances. It did not disappoint. Taren Egerton is fantastic, and Paul Walter Hauser is mind blowingly, completely, and utterly brilliant – like surface of the sun, brilliant. Ray Liotta gives one of his last performances and Greg Kinnear is great as the straight man in the piece. Why does no one talk about what a great actor Kinnear is? The guy is good, but he is definitely supportive cast in this one to two guys who hit that thing out of the park. Subject matter is only for adults who can take it – which isn’t me.

The Menu HBO Max B+

It was okay. I didn’t hate it; I didn’t love it. There were some good performances, from actors that I would have like to have seen great performances from. The script is the real culprit here. The premise is solid and evocative but then it finds nowhere to go. I found the ending really disappointing. I was looking for something really satisfying, a spectacular last course, if you will. It was not worth the effort of the start of the movie. Still, it is watchable, and the cast is a who’s who list of great actors. Bon Appetit!


ANSWERS TO LAST WEEK'S TRIVIA QUIZ:


LETTER A


Name the film starting with the Letter A that featured the listed character(s)


Mozart (1984 film) AMADEUS

Harry Stamper, deep-core oil driller (1998) ARMAGEDDON

The Brewster Family (1944) ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (four words)

Patrick Bateman, investment banker (2000) AMERICAN PSYCHO (two words)

13 year-old writer, Briony Tallis (2007) ATONEMENT


Want more trivia? Let us know.

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