Waves (2019)

Waves
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Writer: Trey Edward Shults
Cast: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Taylor Russell, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sterling K. Brown, Lucas Hedges, Alexa Demie, Clifton Collins Jr.
Seen on: 18.7.2020

Content Note: domestic abuse

Plot:
The Williams family has it pretty good, and father Ronald (Sterling K. Brown) is proud of their success. He works hard to maintain it and also pushes his son Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) to succeed. Tyler is a promising wrestler, but when a shoulder injury and a possible pregnancy from his girlfriend Alexis (Alexa Demie) threaten all his carefully made plans, his life starts to unravel before his eyes. Meanwhile his sister Emily (Taylor Russell) flies mostly under the radar, but sees her brother struggling, as does his stepmother Catherine (Renée Elise Goldsberry). But neither is sure how to reach him.

Waves tells an interesting story with good characters, but above all, it manges to use all cinema has to offer to create a sensory experience that should be seen, heard and felt on a big screen.

The film poster showing Ronald (Sterling K. Brown) hugging his daughter Emily (Taylor Russell) on a picknick table, water all around them.
Continue reading

Frozen II (2019)

Frozen II
Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Writer: Jennifer Lee
Based on (or rather inspired by): Hans Christian Andersen‘s fairy tale The Snow Queen
Sequel to: Frozen
Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, Jeremy Sisto, Alan Tudyk, Ciarán Hinds
Seen on: 18.12.2019

Content Note: (critical treatment of) colonialism, racism

Plot:
Anna (Kirsten Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) lifted the curse off Arendelle and Elsa has risen to the throne, making an excellent queen. But when things finally seem to be okay, a voice starts calling Elsa – a voice only she can hear. It beckons her, but it’s only after strange – and threatening – things start happening in Arendelle that Elsa resolves to go. She knows she has to find a forest that used to be the kingdom of Northuldra and the place where her own grandfather was killed by the natives. And Anna knows that she will not let her sister go on any mission alone anymore. So they start making their way north together with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Sven, and Olaf (Josh Gad) to rediscover history.

Frozen II feels very in tune with the first Frozen film, though personally I found the music not quite up to snuff. No matter, though, because the themes the film tackles more than make up for it: surprisingly heavy for a children’s film, they still handle them mostly well.

The film poster showing the main characters and smaller Elsa doing some ice magic.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther
Director: Ryan Coogler
Writer: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
Based on: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby‘s comic character
Part of: Marvel movies
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Florence Kasumba, John Kani, Isaach De Bankolé, Stan Lee
Seen on: 16.2.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
After the death of his father, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) has to return to Wakanda to claim the throne. Returning means reuniting with his friends and family. But the transition of power is a delicate time. And there is more than one threat to Wakanda and T’Challa’s rule.

I didn’t hear a single bad word about Black Panther before I saw it, so my expectations were pretty high. And I’m happy to say that they were absolutely more than fulfilled. Black Panther is a visually, narratively and politically strong film that’s also simply entertaining.

Continue reading