Film Round-Up: The Goldfinch, Abominable, Judy and Bad Boys For Life

It’s time for some reviews in 2020!

The Goldfinch

A young boy grows up without his mother after she was killed in a terrorist attack. He, however, stole a famous painting during the attack which changes his life in ways he couldn’t imagine. This is a classic case of why you have to change books to make them into good films. I haven’t read The Goldfinch but it is meant to be a very good book and done right, it could have been an Oscar contender this year. However, it turned out to be a disaster because as I’ve read in my research, they followed the book too closely and didn’t get that you need to treat a film differently. This is completely unfocused and never finds a concrete theme to draw us through the movie. I feel like it is trying to be like Boyhood in that the whimsy of life is meant to be that pull through but the life of Theo is so unrelatable it fails at that. Anytime the film gets close to something interesting, such as the guilt Theo feels for his mother dying as he was the reason they were there, it pulls away with such speed that you think there is a fear from the director that someone somewhere might actually be interested. The only good thing about The Goldfinch is that WatchMojo gets another addition for it’s Top 10 Worst Book Additions list.

Abominable

Yi goes on a quest to take the yeti she found on her roof back to his home at Mount Everest. I have hated Dreamworks recently. Other than How To Train Your Dragon, they have been dreadful recently. Thinking about the completely average Trolls and the dreck that was Home compared to Shrek 1 and 2 honestly hurts the heart. So it’s nice to see that they have returned to some form with Abominable. This is a sweet movie that may not be that original or even have that Dreamworks flair which made them so famous at the start of the 2000s, it is very Disney lite, but it does what it intends to do. It is mildly funny, it has some wonderful music and the fact the plot revolves around exemplary violin playing is rather nice. I could see some kids taking up the violin because of this movie which is a good thing. It’s very pretty as well and I hope Dreamworks can build on this.

Judy

Judy Garland goes on tour in the UK in order to get enough money to buy a home so she can get the custody of her children back. This is a very good film though it doesn’t really click in places. It is very obviously inspired by Stan and Ollie in that it is an ageing Hollywood legend having to go on tour in order to get some cash in the coffers for some reason, for them it was for a film and for Judy it is for her kids. But just like that film, Judy is more about something else and that is the effect of fame. There are flashbacks to when she was first starting and the incredible control the studios had over her before returning to the current day where she always seems just a few minutes away from completely collapsing under the strain of her life and the limelight. Renee Zellweger absolutely kills it in the role, where has she been the last few years anyway, and without her this film would be pretty bland to be honest. It isn’t the most original thing in the world and it is slow, but it is definitely worth watching for Renee.

Bad Boys For Life

The long-awaited sequel to the Bad Boys franchise where Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are forced to team up despite the latter’s retirement when an unknown assailant is trying to kill Smith. For the first half of the film, Smith and Lawrence are mostly separate because of the retirement plot strand and while it has its funny moments and good action scenes, there is definitely something missing. When Smith and Lawrence are back together again, the film clicks it into place. It’s a shame that only happens halfway through because when it does, this film turns from decent to bloody great fun. This is nothing taxing on the brain and it won’t be cropping up on too many Top 10 Lists as many critics may find it a bit embarrassing how much they actually enjoyed this, but it is great fun. It’s typical buddy cop stuff with lots of one-liners, over the top action and quite cheesy in its emotional moments but it does do it very well. So yes right here in 2020, I can recommend a Bad Boys sequel. Who’d have thought it?

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A Guy Who Talks About Movies

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