A busy month with some pretty great films. 13 in total!
Walk Away Joe
#FF21 Walk Away Joe is about a kid who wants to follow in his dad's footsteps as a pool hustler.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) August 16, 2021
It's pretty forgettable. The story is full of beats we've seen before, none of it quite fitting together; with a fairly slow pace.
Fine visually, just not interesting.
The Best Of Enemies
#FF21 The Best Of Enemies is the fascinating story of bringing together a Black community with white supremacists to figure out a way forward.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) August 16, 2021
Rockwell and Henson are both great, always bringing humanity to their roles.
Good subject, well told.
#FF21 Black Bear sees Aubrey Plaza at her very best.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) August 16, 2021
A stunning, dizzying film of two halves, full of bubbling arguments, dark humour, and an interesting conceit. Absolutely masterful camera work too.
I don't want to say too much but this is a must see film.
#FF21 Money Plane is as terrible as the concept: a bet-on-anything casino plane being robbed.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) August 16, 2021
The plot is stupid, the dialogue is bad, the execution poor, and the action as flat as it gets.
Nothing here works. Skip.
#FF21 The Courier is an intriguing spy thriller, with Benedict Cumberbatch as a business pulled into the cold war.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) August 16, 2021
A solid cast take us through a world of slow tradecraft, that ends with the Bay of Pigs.
The ending drags a little, but worth seeing.
#FF21 New Order is a stark warning against increasing class/wealth inequality and abuses of authoritarian violence.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) August 16, 2021
Every shot is beautiful or gripping, layering unease and trauma onto a turbulent situation. The film forces us to keep watching as the horror unfolds.
#FF21 Free Guy is as tiresome as it is poorly written. A bunch of handwavey tech words to motivate the plot and cover holes doesn't make for a satisfying story.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) August 16, 2021
The action feels empty, the story is boring, it's a bit too long, and it's not particularly funny.
I Used To Go here
#FF21 I Used To Go Here is a fine light comedy about a writer going back to college for a reading, inevitably getting caught up in some hijinks.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) August 16, 2021
It's never laugh-out-loud funny, but there's enough here to keep watching.
#FF21 Beckett is a slow-burn thriller. John David Washington is good as the lead, stumbling into a mystery/conspiracy far bigger than he can imagine.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) August 29, 2021
Well-paced and shot, it pulls us through his understanding of events well.
The Green Knight
#FF21 The Green Knight is an Arthurian tale, told in a dream-like way.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) August 29, 2021
Dev Patel is excellent as the lead, a would-be Knight whose brashness costs him everything. Mythic imagery and storytelling combine for a stunning set of encounters on his quest.
#FF21 Another Round is about losing confidence and trying to regain who you were in youth, through the story of teachers maintaining a low-level of blood alcohol.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) August 29, 2021
Joyful and sad, tragic and triumphant, an interesting take on the story of middle-age.
#FF21 The Vault is a silly action/heist film that draws comparisons with the better (and trashier) Money Heist.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) August 29, 2021
It's competent enough, but there's nothing here that isn't predictable, from the sudden moments of inspiration to the inevitable betrayals.
Fine but forgettable.
#FF21 The Nest is a claustrophobic drama, shot as horror.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) August 29, 2021
Law is excellent as the self-aggrandising narcissist, but it's Carrie Coon who steals the show with a mixture of big and very small performances, as the uprooted family fall apart.
The August Winner
A genuinely tough choice, given some of the better entries. I’ve gone back and forward for a while but I’m giving it to The Green Knight, a film with a sense of myth and folklore that is shown, not told.