Movie Reviews
Saturday , April 4 2020

2020 Films

(based on non-festival, U.S. theatrical release date)

The Assistant. Seriously though, all of you corporate employees out there know that HR is not your friend, right? (Grade: B-)

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). The bar was set about as low as it could go with Suicide Squad, which I believe explains the inflated scores; but this is also a case of setting the bar lower for female-dominated action films – as a certain group of cinephiles will give an extra star or two to a film like this solely due to the identities of the director and cast, the filmmakers tend to take much of the audience for granted (a problem that I think can only be solved, perhaps ironically, by there being more female-dominated subgenre fare in the competitive marketplace).  Outside of Margot Robbie’s kinetic and colorful rendering of the title character, however, much of the dialogue lands with a thud; the storytelling is as blunt and monochromatic as its gender politics (underscored with a pink highlighter in the film’s only manifestation of a supernatural power); and the Birds of Prey themselves have little on-screen chemistry.  I am not familiar with the comic book, but I think this particular antihero deserved a better crafted script and better supporting performances. (Grade: C+)

The Lodge. Kids are just the worst. (Grade: B)

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