A new weekend of new movies as we begin 2021 has arrived, I watched three new films ranging from a sci-fi futuristic war film, a supernatural period comedy, and a quirky heist romance comedy set and filmed in the time of COVID itself.
But first, a reminder of what my grading system for movies works like
- S Grade; 5.0 Stars: The Best Film I’ve Ever Seen, Everyone Has An S Graded Film
- A+/A- Grade; 4.0/4.5 Stars: One Of The Best Films Of The Year, If Not All-Time
- B+/B- Grade; 3.0/3.5 Stars: Worth A Trip To The Theatre For First Viewing
- C+/C- Grade; 2.0/2.5 Stars: Watch From Home For First Viewing
- D+/D- Grade; 1.0/1.5 Stars: Don’t Bother Watching This At All If You Can Help It
- F Grade; 0.5 Star: One Of The Worst Films Of All-Time
- Reminder: Reviews For These Films Can Change Over Time And Will Be Reflected Over At Our Letterboxd
With all that out of the way, lets get to those reviews already...
- The Plot: In the near future, a drone pilot is sent into a deadly militarized zone and must work with an android officer to locate a doomsday device.
- The Review: This movie’s cringe dialogue of actors playing military men and women hits you like a ton of bricks as soon as it starts. The film also sets you up for a twist that should be clever, but it ends up predictable as hell given that you see the choices that tip you off to the twist happening right in front of you so that when it hits you’re not all that surprised like you should be. Not to mention that for an action flick this left me feeling bored most of the time. Ultimately this feels like a forgettable sci-fi dystopian war film that belongs on Netflix as is - this is something you watch on there to kill time and then eventually forget. C- for OUTSIDE THE WIRE.
- The Plot: A spiritualist medium holds a séance for a writer suffering from writers block but accidentally summons the spirit of his deceased first wife which leads to an increasingly complex love triangle with his current wife of five years.
- The Review: A film that has been painfully pushed back for almost a year now on the release schedule, it finally appeared this past weekend in select international theatres and on-demand in the UK with a formal U.S release expected next month. I was actually looking forward to this and half-way through was having a lot of fun with it. It felt like a solid B+ kind of movie. Then half-way through the movie decides to make the comedy less fun and more mean-spirited and the third act makes you frustrated as you watch every character compete to see who comes off more unlikable - capped off by a big “F*ck you” ending that I have been told is a disgrace to other adaptations of this story. I watched this film go from something I was having so much fun with to a film that left me angry and disappointed at the end; but I’ll admit the acting is commendable, the movie looks good aesthetically, and the first half was enjoyable so I’ll refrain from giving it a complete skip it D level grade. If you’re super bored or a fan of dark and mean spirited comedy, this might be worth your time as a background and time filler when it shows up on a streaming service for no extra charge or maybe shows up on TV. C- for BLITHE SPIRIT.
- The Plot: Set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 lockdown, sparring couple Linda and Paxton call a truce to attempt a high-risk jewelry heist at one of the world’s most exclusive department stores, Harrods.
- The Review: Scratching my head as to why this film is getting as many rough reviews as it is. While the constraints of COVID era filming can be seen here, the movie has witty dialogue, funny moments, commendable acting, and a decent score. Overall I found this to be a decent movie that I would have recommended to others to go see on the big screen if they were curious about it. That said its on HBO Max for no extra cost and you can make up your on mind by seeing it over there. B- for LOCKED DOWN.