Tag Archives: Katherine Langford

Knives Out (2019) Review

Time: 130 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive language
Cast:
Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc
Chris Evans as Hugh “Ransom” Drysdale
Ana de Armas as Marta Cabrera
Jamie Lee Curtis as Linda Drysdale
Michael Shannon as Walter “Walt” Thrombey
Don Johnson as Richard Drysdale
Toni Collette as Joni Thrombey
Lakeith Stanfield as Detective Lieutenant Elliot
Katherine Langford as Megan “Meg” Thrombey
Jaeden Martell as Jacob Thrombey
Christopher Plummer as Harlan Thrombey
Noah Segan as Trooper Wagner
Director: Rian Johnson

When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death.

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Knives Out was one of my most anticipated films of 2019. I’m always interested in seeing what writer/director Rian Johnson does next, and with him going from Star Wars to a much smaller movie and especially a whodunit, I was already on board. However, you add on top of that an insane cast that includes Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon and more, and I’m absolutely going to be excited for it. Knives Out is not only one of the biggest crowd-pleasers of the year, it’s one of the best films from the year too.

Rian Johnson’s script is nothing short of fantastic. Talking about how and why much of it works so well is quite difficult without revealing important things, so don’t go in knowing too much. Even the non spoilerish aspects are best experienced for yourself. Thankfully the trailers do a good job at not revealing too much about the movie beyond the premise and setup. What I can say is that Knives Out is quite different from what you’d initially expect it to be at first. What Johnson did with the noire genre in Brick, he does with the whodunit here, modernising it, and adding some twists on it. I will need to watch it again to see if much of the reveals still hold up, but on first viewing I’m more than satisfied with where he took the story and characters. I genuinely was surprised at some of the twists that happened. It’s also a hilarious movie, with some great and memorable dialogue. At 2 hours and 10 minutes long, it has your attention from start to finish. Early on I can see people wondering where this movie is going. However, at a certain point, I think most audiences are going to be locked into the plot.

As previously mentioned, the cast is massive and they played their roles really well. Daniel Craig is instantly iconic as Detective Benoit Blanc, a private detective investigating the murder. His performance is definitely over the top, especially with the southern accent, he’s playing on detectives like Hercule Poriot. With this and Logan Lucky, Craig has been really showing that he has a solid comedic side to him that we don’t get to see often. There have been talks about having more movies featuring the character of Blanc, and I’d definitely like to see that. However one of the biggest surprises is that Craig isn’t even the main character. When I say that Knives Out is Ana de Armas’s movie, I’m not just saying that because she steals much of the movie, even though she does that. Her character of Marta is at the centre of the film, and without revealing too much of the movie, she’s ultimately Knives Out’s secret weapon, she’s going to take a lot of people by surprise. The cast making up the rich family at the centre of the mystery with Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell and Christopher Plummer are all great, and have plenty of moments to show off. They work well at both the dramatic and comedic parts. Some of them get to do more than others, like Martell out of them is really only noticed in a few scenes, but the rest of them do well to make themselves known. Out of them however, I’d say that Evans is the standout. Plummer as the murder victim at the centre doesn’t get a massive amount of screentime but he’s nonetheless a major part and is a presence felt throughout. Additionally Lakeith Stanfield and Noah Segan also work well in supporting roles as a detective and a police officer investing the murder along with Blanc, though I did want to see a little more from Stanfield.

Rian Johnson’s direction is still on point, and he’s got a fantastic handle on the whole film. When the first trailers came out from Knives Out, I noticed some people commenting that it looks like a tv show rather than an actual film. I can say that sitting in a theatre and watching the movie begin, that couldn’t be further from the truth, it was stunning to look at. It’s very much stylised, and like with Johnson’s debut with Brick, it throws back to the movies of the same genre that its clearly inspired by (in Knives Out’s case that of course being the whodunit).

With Knives Out, Rian Johnson shows once again that he’s one of the most unique and exciting filmmakers working together. It’s very well directed, and the script is outstanding, with some effective twists, fleshed out characters, and is much more than what you’d expect it to be at first. Add on top of that a fantastic cast who perform excellently (highlights being Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas and Chris Evans), and you have one of the best (and most entertaining) movies of the year. Definitely don’t miss it at the cinema.

Love, Simon (2018) Review

Time: 110 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive language & sexual references
Cast:
Nick Robinson as Simon Spier
Josh Duhamel as Jack Spier
Jennifer Garner as Emily Spier
Katherine Langford as Leah Burke
Alexandra Shipp as Abby Suso
Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Nick Eisner
Keiynan Lonsdale as Abraham “Bram” Greenfeld
Miles Heizer as Cal Price
Logan Miller as Martin Addison
Director: Greg Berlanti

Everyone deserves a great love story, but for 17-year-old Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), it’s a little more complicated. He hasn’t told his family or friends that he’s gay, and he doesn’t know the identity of the anonymous classmate that he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing.

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Love, Simon is a movie I’ve been meaning to get around to seeing. While it is yet another teen romantic comedy, I had been hearing some good things about it, and plus it was pretty significant with it being the first major studio movie to focus on a teen gay romance. Love, Simon definitely lived up to all the hype and is worth watching by everyone.

Love, Simon does follow similar beats to other teen romances movies and doesn’t offer up a ton of twists, surprises or anything like that, but it’s a very well written movie and was pretty good for what it is. It’s emotional, funny, and really all of it works. Yes it can be cheesy but honestly, none of it bothered me that much and usually when things in movies get cheesy or corny it can get on my nerves. Not even the clichés in this movie bothered me. Love, Simon just worked so well as a feel good movie that I was on board with it from start to finish.

I’ve only seen Nick Robinson in Jurassic World and The 5th Wave and his performances in those weren’t all that good but here he really gets to show off his talent here in the lead role of Simon. He’s likable, easy to follow as the protagonist and stole every scene he was in, all in all it was a great performance. Robinson more than showed off his talents here and I hope that he gets more great work and roles like this in the future. His friends played by Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and others were also good and worked together really well. The parents played by Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner also added quite a bit to the movie, even if they weren’t in it a ton. Really everyone’s performances were really good and added to the movie in some way, shape or form.

Love, Simon was directed reasonably well by Greg Berlanti, it’s definitely directed like a typical teen movie, especially with all the music choices, but it was still directed at an adequate level. The editing and all of that really worked for the movie.

Love, Simon for the most part doesn’t do anything revolutionary, but it is successfully entertaining, funny and heartfelt, and achieved what it set out to do. I’ve noticed that there was a little bit of backlash against this movie because although it was a movie focussing on gay characters, it was really a cheesy romantic comedy that in itself wasn’t anything particularly special, or really anything overly complex and didn’t necessarily have nothing new to say. No, it’s not a movie like Moonlight, Carol, or any other academy award worthy movie focussing on gay characters, and it doesn’t reach a level anywhere close to them, but it wasn’t trying to. And at the same time though, it actually still is kind of special. It really should be acknowledged for what it did, it’s the first film by a major Hollywood studio to focus on a gay teenage romance, and that in itself is an achievement. If you despise the whole teen romantic comedy genre, this movie probably won’t change your mind, but I think no matter what you feel about the movie, it is still worth celebrating. Love, Simon is a great coming of age story for today’s generation.