A Triple Feature Review

A Triple Feature Review

So I saw these movies and varying times but all within two weeks of each other, and I know I’m a little behind, but hey, better late than never. Here are my thoughts on three recent movies.

Doctor Sleep – This is based on the Stephen King novel, a sequel to The Shining, and stars Ewan McGregor. The premise it that Danny Torrence, the young boy from The Shining, is now all grown up and a bit of a wreck from his experiences at the haunted hotel. His life gains some purpose when he discovers that a young girl who also has the shine is being hunted by a group of what can best be described as psychic vampires. And the key to saving the young girl’s future may lie in Danny’s past.

The movie was directed by Mike Flanigan, a director whose work I really enjoy. He has done a fine adaptation of the book and there are some great performances, especially by Rebecca Ferguson, who plays Rose the Hat, the leader of the bad guys. This was a well done film and, while occasionally tense, was never really scary. Maybe because I listened to the audiobook and knew what was going to happen, I never felt any real peril for the characters. However, the recreation of the Overlook and some of the scenes from the original Shining were spot on. This one is definitely worth a watch, especially if you are a fan of the original movie and book. GRADE: B

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood – This film from Quentin Tarantino tells the story of Rick Dalton, an almost washed-up TV actor, his stuntman Cliff Booth, and the Manson clan, who was responsible for the murder of Sharon Tate and her houseguests in 1969. If that seems like an odd combination of elements, it kind of is. But it all makes sense in the end, and also plays into Tarantino’s recent penchant for rewriting history.

This is an odd film. It is basically Tarantino’s love letter to the old style of Hollywood, and I suspect Rick’s had-been status is Quentin’s way of mourning for a Hollywood that doesn’t exist anymore. He brings celebrities from that time in an out of the movie and plays fast and loose with the facts. While having several fun moments, there really isn’t much else to this movie. And while I was never exactly bored, there wasn’t a whole lot recommend it either. It’s not action-packed (except for a fairly brutal scene near the end) and even the dialogue really isn’t up to Tarantino’s usual snuff. While offering homage to a lost time, he also forgot to really include a story to wrap around it. The running time flew by, but except for a scene involving Bruce Lee and another with a young actress whose character is going to have trouble in the future, there won’t be much to remember about this movie. GRADE: C

Grade compared to other Tarantino movies: D

KNIVES OUT – This is the latest film from Rion Johnson. It tells the story of the Trombley family, the heirs to a fortune built up by the head of the household, a famous and wealthy mystery writer. When the story begins, he’s dead in an appartent suicide. But there is someone who tinks it might be murder, and so hires Daniel Craig’s famous southern sleuth, Benoit Blanc, to determine what happend.

To say any more would be to spoil what is a clever and witty script, a throwback to the old Agatha Christie movies with a modern sensibility. The acting is uniformly perfect and the dialogue crisp. If anything, I wish it could have been longer so we could have spent more time with the family and the great actors who inhabited the characters (although this is probably not a family you would want to spend a lot of time with in real life.) If you’re one of those people who bemoan the fact that intelligent script don’t exist anymore, do yourself a favor and check this one out. It’s a great deal of fun. GRADE: A

That wrap it up for this time. Check in again and I’ll some more reviewsup soon.

2 thoughts on “A Triple Feature Review

  1. Well I saw Knives Out and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with you and agree with both assessments. I also saw Dr. Sleep (without you) and really enjoyed it. It helped me to wrap up and understand the Shining better! Look forward to more movie reviews!

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