Movie Review Weekly Roundup: May 23 – May 29, 2021

Minari (2020) is directed by Lee Isaac Chung, starring Steven Yeun.

The following is part of a weekly compilation of movie reviews from The Buzz Track staff. These movies were watched in the previous week, and the reviews were originally posted on Letterboxd.

I Walk Alone (1948)

DIRECTOR: Byron Haskin.
WRITERS: Charles Schnee (script), Robert Smith & John Bright (adaptation), Theodore Reeves (play).
GENRES: Crime, Drama, Film Noir.
LENGTH: 1h 37min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Alamo On Demand.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: May 23, 2021.

This movie is entertainingly good with solid performances from Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, and Lizabeth Scott. The story blends an enterprising spirit and greed with two-faced backstabbing along with a budding romance just for kicks. I enjoyed watching the movie and will most likely watch it again.

Minari (2020)

DIRECTOR: Lee Isaac Chung.
WRITERS: Lee Isaac Chung.
GENRES: Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 55min.
LANGUAGE: Korean, English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: May 26, 2021.

This movie is wonderful. And it bothers me how the Academy tried to pass it off as a foreign language film instead of an American film for the Oscar nominations; lame decision-making right there. The story is sweet, sentimental, and emotional. The characters are believable, and the interactions between them are completely relatable. I love the dynamic between David and his Grandma. My gosh! It’s hilarious and completely lovable. I really enjoyed this movie and could easily watch it several times more in the years to come.

The Keeping Room (2014)

DIRECTOR: Daniel Barber.
WRITERS: Julia Hart.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Drama, Western.
LENGTH: 1h 35min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Alamo On Demand.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: May 29, 2021.

I could summarize this movie as ninety minutes of trauma. Three women are living together in poverty during a downturn in the American Civil War. Every day they wake up, gather together enough food to eat, and hope for the best in the new day. However, a pair of soldiers with malicious intent arrive in town and create terror in their wake. The story is simple and well contained. I felt sorry for the struggle and hardship faced by the main characters. But their story just felt like a long, drawn-out traumatic experience.

The Father (2020)

DIRECTOR: Florian Zeller.
WRITERS: Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller.
GENRES: Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 37min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: May 29, 2021.

This movie is such a sad tale. It yanks the viewer right into the same emotional distraught experienced by the main character. We feel an immediate connection with his sense of confusion. He is constantly attempting to grasp at every straw of logic and familiarity with the surrounding environment. Then everything around him seems to change after he believes it he has it all figured out. The construction of the narrative for this story is wonderfully designed. Spoiler Alert! It is intentionally construed to trick the audience into believing the timeline of the story is non-linear. But some of the elements of the story are unexpectedly fluid in design. The viewer becomes just as frustrated as the main character when trying to keep track of everything around him. As a result, we emotionally bond with his experience and can easily empathize with his predicament. I truly enjoyed watching the movie would love to watch it again. Also, this movie would be great as part of a double feature showing with Proof (2005), which also stars Anthony Hopkins alongside Gwyneth Paltrow.

In China They Eat Dogs (1999)

DIRECTOR: Lasse Spang Olsen.
WRITERS: Anders Thomas Jensen.
MPAA RATING: Unrated – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Action, Comedy, Crime.
LENGTH: 1h 31min.
LANGUAGE: Danish, English, Serbian, and German.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Alamo On Demand.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: May 29, 2021.

It is a Danish movie, and I liked it. The tone of the story reminded me of other dark comedy crime movies that I like. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) or The Nice Guys (2016) are two other examples with a similar tone. The entire vibe of this movie comes across like a comedy of errors. The main characters repeatedly demonstrate their amateurish ways of criminal behavior. They completely fumble their way through a bank heist, improperly blowing up buildings, and multiple murders. I loved it and would definitely want to watch the movie a second time.

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