The Korean film Parasite is about plenty of things. First off, it's a story about haves versus have-nots, the rich versus the poor. It's also a twisted tale of moral depravity, holding a mirror up to human nature's worst selfish impulses. And along those lines, it's an allegory of how one bad decision can lead to another, akin to stepping on a slippery slope that is both very slick and very steep such that a descent into the abyss is inevitable. So as you can imagine, it's a dark drama. It's not only that, though. There are bits of comedy here and there. The result is what this film's director, Bong Joon Ho, describes as a tragicomedy.
I shall say it right now. The war movie 1917, directed by Sam Mendes (who also directed the James Bond movie Skyfall), is easily among the best war movies ever made. Think of your personal list of greatest war movies. I imagine that it includes films like Apocalypse Now, Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, and The Bridge on the River Kwai. Whatever your top picks are, I guarantee you that 1917 will be added to your list, too. This is a great movie for a rather interesting reason: the ability to pull the audience into a war setting, seemingly in real time.
Well, it's come down to this. After the last two numerically-labeled episodic movies of the Star Wars saga, Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, we now have the last part of the sequel trilogy, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect. The previous two movies were good, but nowhere near the best Star Wars movies made. Much of it comes from the fact that I'm much older now than when I first discovered Star Wars. Back then, I was super excited about what those movies provided. Now I'm experiencing the feeling of "been there, done that." Then there's the early reviews of The Rise of Skywalker, many of which suggested that the movie is really bad or otherwise lackluster and dull. So on Saturday, December 21, 2019, during the film's opening weekend, I went into the theater with my friend thinking that we'll just enjoy it as a mindless but fun action movie and nothing more. I figured that if this movie wasn't going to be all that great, at least the original Star Wars trilogy will always remain a classic to me.
Love it or hate it, Fox News is a major player in the world of cable news. The channel launched in 1996 as a new medium for the conservative voices of America, providing straight news as well as right-leaning political commentary. Its emergence was ground-shaking, by raising discussions about bias in the news media and providing real competition for traditional news media outlets. As successful as it was, there have also been controversies stemming from its reporting, as well as ongoing questions about whether Fox News has had a positive or negative impact on American media and society. Then there's the issue of sexual harassment that went on behind the scenes at the network, which is the subject of the 2019 drama film Bombshell.
It is easy to assume at first that Knives Out is a standard murder mystery because of the familiar plot premise. You have a rich old man who is found dead, and the multiple individuals who are close to the victim are potential murder suspects. Specifically, the victim is Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a wealthy author of mystery novels. His family includes the daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) with her husband Richard (Don Johnson), Walt Thrombey (Michael Shannon), Donna Thrombey (Riki Lindhome), Joni Thrombey (Toni Collette), grandson Jacob (Jaeden Martell), granddaughter Meg (Katherine Langford), and the black sheep of the family named Ransom (Chris Evans). There is also the servant Fran (Edi Patterson) and the nurse Marta (Ana de Armas). If you think about it, this cast is essentially a 21st-century version of characters in a murder mystery from the Victorian era.
Charlie's Angels was a TV series that ran from 1976 to 1981, centering on three female detectives working for an unseen man named Charlie. As of 2019, I never saw the show but I like the concept. Many years ago, I watched the 2000 movie remake of Charlie's Angels, which was an OK movie overall. Nineteen years later, another Charlie's Angels remake hit theaters. I also think it's an OK movie, but if I had to pick between the 2000 and 2019 versions of Charlie's Angels, I would pick the latter. It's better than the 2000 version, though only by a few steps, such that my 1-to-10 rating for this movie ends up being the same as that of the 2000 movie. That said, let me explain the main pros and cons that I observed.