The narrative begins to unravel near the end, mainly because it’s so loosely-knit to begin with. But until then, Lapsis is chock-full of satiric commentary, mostly about conformity and greed. Quantum could just as easily be Amazon, Nestle, Apple or the phone service I have the privilege of paying 200 bucks a months for…companies whose monopolizing business practices not-only go unquestioned by John Q. Public, we’re ultimately unable to avoid them. For a grassroots piece of budget-conscious sci-fi, Lapsis ends up being surprisingly perceptive.
Judas and the Black Messiah is also massively entertaining. Not only does it shine a light on an important African-American revolutionary – and reminds us that not much has changed since then – the film features vivid, engaging characters, authentic dialogue & production design and a killer soundtrack (both the score and H.E.R.’s Oscar winning song, “Fight for You”). Easily one of 2020’s best.
Extraordinarily poignant without ever lapsing into heavy-handed sentimentality (though the temptation had to be strong), Nomadland has the viewer poised for an emotional crescendo that never actually comes. Instead, the story defies expectations by coming full circle without any kind of obvious resolution. But that’s only on the surface. Upon reflection, we realize we have been experiencing Fern’s character transformation and life-changing epiphanies the entire time.
While not quite the horror film one might have been hoping for, The Reckoning tells an interesting story, features a couple of despicable antagonists and comes to a satisfying conclusion. It may not have werewolves, cave-dwelling mutants or cannibal road warriors, but it’s certainly Neil Marshall’s best work since those days.
Most of us probably remember the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, but I doubt many were aware of how close the country came to being an uninhabitable wasteland. Fukushima 50 tells that story pretty well, and despite a lot of techno-jargon, in terms we can understand. Though not as shocking or incendiary as Chernobyl, the film offers another strong argument that maybe we’d be better off sticking up more windmills.
With so many movies logging 2½ – 3hrs standard these days, its easy to forget how good, simply, a movie at an hour half can be. Again, very straightforward, well executed story delivered with a minor twist, the inspiration for the film, The Archer is a great survival/revenge story well worth a view.