Knives Out – A Movie Review

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I saw this quite a while ago but never got around to reviewing it. However, now that I see it is available on demand, and because quite a few of us have a lot of extra time on our hands, I thought I’d share my thoughts.

First of all, if you’re looking for a compelling grown-ups movie, a movie that a couple might enjoy for a “date night,” this is the one for you.

It is funny, mysterious, thrilling, and–best of all–endlessly entertaining.

The general plot revolves around a famous author dying unexpectedly at home while his entire family happens to be visiting. Each member of the family stands to benefit from his death, and each is a suspect. They, consequently, believe that his home health care assistant–Marta Cabrera–could be at fault. Daniel Craig enters the movie as Detective Benoit Blanc, a seemingly inept investigator. He doesn’t even know who hired him, but he means to get to the bottom of this mystifying case.

The acting in this film is a hoot. Daniel Craig utilizes a ridiculous southern drawl that doesn’t take long to become charming. Chris Evans is at his absolute best when he’s playing a cocky jerk. Ana de Armas loses every ounce of glamour as Marta which makes her all the more sympathetic. And those are just the main players! The film also has excellent performances from Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, and Christopher Plummer.

The writer and director, Rian Johnson, reminds us that movies don’t have to have huge special effects, CGI, or muscular people in tights to be great. This movie thrives on an irresistible mystery, quirky details, and superb acting.

Like I said, if you need a movie that will appeal to a variety of grown-ups, you can’t go wrong with Knives Out.

Snowpiercer – A Movie Review

Primal, captivating, and unique, Snowpiercer is honestly unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

The premise is simple.  Mankind, in an effort to reverse global warming, succeeded all too well – it sent the world into a deep freeze.  Snowpiercer is an incredibly long train that shelters the last of humanity.  The tail of the train houses the less fortunate, and as one progresses along the train, life gets more and more advantageous.

 

Chris Evans plays a character named Curtis who reluctantly leads his fellow impoverished in revolt through the length of the train.  No uprising has ever succeeded, but his mentor called Gilliam played by John Hurt assures him that they will experience success this time.  Curtis and his crew must first get past Mason, played by Tilda Swinton.  Mason easily steals the movie because she is one of the oddest characters I’ve ever seen.

I won’t give away the ending, but there is lots of bloodshed, plenty of action, some unexpected twists, and even some pretty good acting.  In fact, this is probably Evans’ best role to date.  I love him as Captain America, don’t get me wrong, but Curtis is no Captain America, and Evans brought depth and validity to this character who is by no means a hero in the traditional sense.

Snowpiercer is not perfect.  There are several plot holes that still irk me, and you will definitely feel like you’re missing at least half of the overall story.  Yet, the film mesmerizes.  It has a quality that forces the audience to pay attention, to stay riveted, and to occupy the edge of the seat.  It forced me to ignore its flaws and instead appreciate the raw vitality displayed throughout.