Malcolm and Marie (2021) Review

RATING: 3/5

A boyfriend and girlfriend have relationship issues regarding the release of a movie.

Fireworks shoot out in a matter of a couple hours, but they don’t leave too much of an impact.

John David Washington played the character of Malcolm pretty well. He delivered the most fun, energetic, and lifeful performance in the movie. I mean that rant he went on due to a good review was, for the most part, a nice summation of the character.

Zendaya as Marie was good. But it seemed like Washington’s performance, at a couple points, was running circles over her. Not to say Washington was perfect. Both he and Zendaya were cheesy and over-the-top in some areas, but as I said, he delivered the most star power I feel like.

Learning about the characters and their relationship through the conversations about Malcolm’s movie was nicely done. It was exposition heavy sure, but I felt like it was needed for the situation displayed. Offering story bits of the film and detailing the behind-the-scenes side, showcased the innerworkings of the two leads feelings for each other and how it would evolve over the course of the film. Though it can be lengthy in a couple scenes, the emotions that were released hit well. A great scene involved Malcolm’s response to being called “mediocre” by Marie. Marie’s emotional side truly blossomed in one of the final scenes begging for a thank you. A “genuine” thank you.

Now how Malcolm’s movie interplayed with the relationship was good exposition, but the ones involving the political side of filmmaking and movie critics as a whole, slashed the movie. The feature seemed to not know what type of story to follow. On the positive side, I found Malcolm’s rant to be humorous and I got to hand it out to him for remembering all of his lines to pull it off. I liked the little detail of Zendaya laughing in the foreground as I felt that wasn’t in the script. But again, that rant on critics and how the political side of filmmaking is perceived, should have been handled in a way that ran parallel with the movie’s plot and Malcolm and Marie’s strained relationship. Those expositions went on for quite of bit of time and the focus was lost to some extent. Like is it a simple romance drama or a romance drama with socio-political themes thrown into the mix at the last second?

The cinematography was great all around. It was really showcased in the scenes where the emotions and atmosphere were slow yet tense. The camera would pull off nice close-ups whenever they occurred. Scenes where a character was alone contemplating or wondering where the partner was, looked good in the wide shot format. Times where scenes were done in one shot were executed so well.

Music was pretty good. Artist Labrinth did nice work at composing jazz-influenced tunes. My favorite was the piece that played after the bathroom scene. Though at times the music was a bit on the nose, particularly when an old-timey song came on to explain the emotional language occurring in the scene. It came off as childish.

The style was something to take interest. With its cinematography, music, atmosphere, and the film grain, I could maybe see the film being made in the 70s. In addition with the poster, the feature felt like a blast from the past.

“Malcolm and Marie” suffered from identity crisis. Two plotlines seemed to coexist with one trying to match the more empowering one. The movie didn’t know what to focus on properly. But nonetheless, with good performances, great cinematography, nice music, and some finely delivered hard emotions, this was a romance drama that one should see. Albeit there were cheesy and corny vibes brought out, but it was pleasantly made at how and if a relationship can survive.

YouTube: Tk Theater Productions/LoneCentric Pictures

Instagram: tk_theater/lone_centric

42 (2013) Review

42

RATING: 3.5/5

The story about the early days of Jackie Robinson’s baseball career.

The movie that brought eyes onto actor Chadwick Boseman.

Many of the performances in the movie were good. Boseman and Harrison Ford were the best. Even though Ford’s role was a bit cliche with his rugged and growly voice and old mentor-like persona, he still was enjoyable to watch. These two were the ones that a viewer can stand behind as they carried the most heart and soul for the film.

Actor Alan Tudyk played the racist coach Ben Chapman. I bring him up because, despite his 10 minutes of screentime, he delivered in bringing forth some relatable feelings for Robinson. To which I’ll bring up later.

Now I’m not a big baseball or sports guy for that matter. I only knew Robinson as the first black major league baseball player, nothing more. I mean I figured in his early days that he did take verbal abuse from all sorts of people. Whether it was from the crowd or from his own teammates, I figured as such. But actually witnessing the movie and reading about what really went down afterward, it truly made me respect the man even more.

Robinson was a guy who, very easily, could have quit playing baseball amongst the white crowd. He could have quit and not take the on-the-field and out-of-field bullying that he endured over those first years. But he persisted through the hate. Robinson did his absolute best to block the harsh words and play what he loved playing. He wanted to show the world that black players can be capable of participating in the major leagues. He had his back, along with a few others as shown in the film.

Ford’s character, Branch Rickey, a few Dodger teammates, and Robinson’s wife, Rachel, wanted him to move forward to bring about his talents. It was nice to see the support bring brought onto Robinson. My favorite scene in the movie was when Rickey was comforting Robinson after being hearing slurs thrown at him by Chapman. Granted this was a scene that didn’t happen in real life, but I feel this was a good illustration of what Robinson’s mind was like. One can gravitate easily to him and you wanted to see him make it up there.

As far as the rest of the movie was concerned, it did play itself rather safe and predictable. Like it doesn’t take any extra steps in wanting to see more into the personal life of Robinson, outside of his early baseball days. The film tapped on it occasionally, but not enough. While it was interesting to see the teammates and various baseball officials not wanting to near Robinson or play in their cities, it be nice to view beyond that.

Even with the beat-for-beat plot, it was performed and played out well. There was enough heart to make one care about the difficulties that Robinson endured. One wanted to root for him; to succeed in the violent and hate-filled world that encompassed him. Definitely recommend it. At the time of writing this review, this was another good reminder of the current status that the nation was going through in the troubling year of 2020.

The life of Jackie Robinson runs parallel to the life of Chadwick Boseman. Both men had to struggle with something in order to fulfill the loving people and fans in their lives. The fact the two men kept fighting for what they loved, was something that many would define as, a hero.

RIP Jackie Robinson

RIP Chadwick Boseman

YouTube: Tk Theater Productions/LoneCentric Pictures

Instagram: tk_theater/lonecentricpic

 

Good Time (2017) Review

good time

RATING: 3/5

[SPOILERS]

A brother goes through the ride of his life to bail his brother out of jail.

From the directors that brought “Uncut Gems,” I took a view of the predecessor a few years back that has some of the same good qualities.

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