Film Round-Up: If Beale Street Could Talk, Pet Sematary, The Sisters Brothers and Holmes and Watson

Sometimes I don’t have enough to say about particular films. So over the past few months, I’ve just been watching, registering my rating in Letterboxd and then moving on.

But I probably should say something, even if it isn’t that much. So here is a round-up of some of the stuff I’ve seen recently.

If Beale Street Could Talk

Barry Jenkins’ follow-up to Moonlight and probably should have won the Academy Award like his previous work. Especially when you consider the rubbish that did win. But whatever, this stands out as another stunning piece of work which highlights the issue of race. This story of a young black woman trying to free her imprisoned fiancee who appears to be wrongly in jail, though it is a bit more grey than that, tugs on the heartstrings. KiKi Layne struggles with the weight of the role initially but soon grows into it and is amazing at the end. It’s fantastic and I’m looking forward to Barry Jenkins’ next film.

Pet Sematary

Another adaptation of the Stephen King classic and following in the footsteps of It back in 2017. Unfortunately this isn’t as good. It’s main flaw is its use of day to night, the effect which makes daytime filming look like the night. It’s a cost cutting measure and one which makes every night time scene look like crap and difficult to follow when there is any sort of motion. Considering this is a horror movie where so much happens at night, that’s a major problem. It’s a shame because otherwise, the film is good. It’s got a very creepy tone, the scares work and Church follows 2019’s trend of great cat actors. If only they coughed up the extra cash to shoot at night.

The Sisters Brothers

You don’t see many westerns these days and even the ones that are released aren’t normal! The Sisters Brothers sounds normal, it’s about two gunmen chasing someone across the West for a mysterious formula. Ok that last bit’s a bit different. This is a slow paced affair with John C Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix as brothers who have very different aims in life despite their partnership. Most of the film are focused on these characters with Reilly wanting to settle down into a more relaxed life while Phoenix is happy to keep on killing. It’s definitely an interesting movie and one that could easily engross you, but the slow pace and length of the movie will kill the enthusiasm of many, especially if you were looking for a root and toot shooter.

Holmes and Watson

John C Reilly’s 2019 has been great so far with superb performances in Stan and Ollie and The Sisters Brothers. All of this though is so he can make up for one of the worst comedy movies released in the last few years. Most of the comedies I’ve hated since reviewing have been because they have been outright offensive to the senses like Dirty Grandpa or Entourage. I hate this because it’s pathetic. The jokes would have felt dated in an early Adam Sandler movie, never mind something released at the 2018. Everyone involved in the film seems embarrassed to be involved, this even seems below Will Ferrell who is used to being in dreck but this is on another level. Would have been a contender for worst film of 2018 had I got to in time for sure.

Former Head of Movies for Screen Critics. Film Reviews now hosted on Medium.

Former Head of Movies for Screen Critics. Film Reviews now hosted on Medium.