Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Go Bucs! A new week for my 2021 movie season watching has come and gone and two new films caught my attention this weekend, both being twisted love stories of a sort just a week out from Valentine’s Day - Malcolm & Marie and Bliss.
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 the reviews already...
- The Plot: A filmmaker and his girlfriend return home from his movie premiere, smoldering tensions and painful revelations push them toward a romantic reckoning.
- The Review: This film is a prime example of what good acting and competent directing can do with mediocre material. The lead performances here are outstanding and the directing is actually pretty damn good. But it all can only elevate such a mediocre script by so much. The dialogue feels very forced at times and the diatribes from our two protagonists, especially the Malcolm character, feels like the filmmaker going on some kind of self therapy rants. Not to mention I never feel like I’m rooting for these two to stay together, I honestly feel like they’re better off apart. Overall I think this was a decent film with good acting and directing, but it lacks re-watchability thanks to a mediocre script. B- for MALCOLM & MARIE.
- The Plot: A mind-bending love story following Greg who, after recently being divorced and then fired, meets the mysterious Isabel, a woman living on the streets and convinced that the polluted, broken world around them is just a computer simulation. Doubtful at first, Greg eventually discovers there may be some truth to Isabel’s wild conspiracy.
- The Review: While the concept of this film is interesting and the attempted twists and turns is commendable in terms of trying to keep the audience guessing, this film feels like a good idea that was just executed badly from top to bottom. For one while the acting isn’t horrible the cast does feel a bit misplaced and while the concept is interesting and worth exploring it never feels like it gives us enough concrete answers as to what the hell we just saw. I’m not sure if that’s intended to be open ended so we decide for ourselves what the climax of this film is supposed to be, but it didn’t work for me. I ultimately felt like this was where it belonged as an Amazon Prime streaming film to watch when you’re bored and thirsty for some simulation based genre storytelling, but its not a film that will stick with you past being frustrated with the terrible execution of an interesting concept. C- for BLISS.