Fairly big month, with 12 films for May.
#FF21 Nomadland is a masterpiece of a film.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) May 12, 2021
The quiet, determined acceptance of a new life in McDormand's performance, the (real) people she meets stories interwoven into the narrative, stunning shot after stunning shot. It's a slice of reality and a slice of art.
#FF21 Stowaway is fine space fodder.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) May 12, 2021
The central performances are all good, and the visuals match expectations. It doesn't do much that's new: if you've seen a space disaster film, you've seen much of this.
Enjoyable, but not novel.
#FF21 The Mauritanian sees a legal battle around the first trials at Guantanamo.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) May 12, 2021
Cumberbatch and Foster aptly play the rival lawyers in a "Did he do it case?" that devolves into legal principle.
A little dry in places, but decent.
#FF21 Cherry is a story that could apply to many with few prospects: from the army into medication into drug abuse.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) May 12, 2021
Stylish but humanising, with flurries of flights of fancy grounded by deeds. Lots of neat shots keep the visual interest up, but distract a little.
#FF21 Mortal Kombat is a mess of a film.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) May 12, 2021
Outside of a few comically gruesome moments, nothing works. It's poorly acted and expositional. Most of the fights don't work, and many of the effects are laughably bad.
Sound of Metal
#FF21 Sound of Metal is a difficult film about getting to be comfortable with yourself.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) May 12, 2021
The sound design and subtitles work well: excluding you when the lead is, and pulling you in later.
Riz Ahmed is fantastic, playing the part with justified anger, and self pity.
#FF21 Boss Level is a silly, time-loop-set action movie. It's over the top, not particularly clever, but quite fun in places.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) May 15, 2021
Some of the set-pieces work quite nicely, but the cast is a bit overstuffed. Fewer characters would have been better.
Not great but it is entertaining.
#FF21 Without Remorse is what you'd expect from a Clancy action film: vague politics, a wronged hero, and a bad guy with a motive that doesn't really make sense.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) May 15, 2021
The action sequences, particularly the apartment building shoot-out, are very well done but that's about it.
The Woman In The Window
#FF21 The Woman In The Window isn't a subtle film: from the plot to the edits to the camera angles, this is pure Hitchcock.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) May 15, 2021
A melodrama about isolation, mental health, and murder, it's both brilliant and ridiculous. Adams and Oldman take some big swings; fun to watch.
#FF21 Shirley is a fairly slow burn drama, with some great moments.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) June 6, 2021
Elisabeth Moss is excellent, as always, and the rest of the cast do well to keep up. Everything behind the camera is fine too. It flounders with pacing: a bit languid, with few surprises in the plot.
#FF21 Oxygen is a good sci-fi thriller. A woman wakes in a medical pod that is losing air, with only an AI to help her try to figure out how to survive.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) June 6, 2021
Great lead performance. You'll see much of what happens coming, but there's always something else right behind it.
Army Of The Dead
#FF21 Army Of The Dead is pretty bad.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) June 6, 2021
I'll happily suspend much disbelief for action films, but basically nothing in this film is coherent. A mess of bad dialogue, terrible plot, muddled visuals, bad music cues, and poorly done action.
A failure on every level.
The May Winner
Some pretty solid films this month but the clear winner for me is Nomadland, a beautifully shot, fantastically performed masterpiece.