I love the Saw Franchise. As I stated last year, I didn't see any of the sequels until last October since the first one had given me nightmares, but it was absolutely worth it to watch them all in close succession. Two main reasons I love these movies: the mystery/suspense and the psychological ick factor. I HAVE to know what the games are gonna look like and I HAVE to know what the players' sins are. That alone is enough to sustain me through one of these movies, I don't care how cheesy or silly they may be. I NEED this information. We know I'm mostly immune to gore (although each movie will have at least one moment that does skeeve me out on that level), but the psychological stuff is unbeatable here. Not a lot of movies can give me that visceral jittery feeling, and it's got me hooked like an addict.
I say all of that because I know this movie isn't get the best rap, and I know it doesn't work for everyone, but it works for me. I think I can skip over describing the plot, because at the base level it's the same that it always is. Same or not though, I very much enjoyed myself. It was particularly fun seeing the movie on the big screen, since I hadn't experienced one of these like that before.
Bottom line, if you're a Saw fan, you should be seeing this. If you're not, this movie ain't gonna convert you.
Jigsaw – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n
Every reaction to this movie that I saw on Stardust was emotional, mine included. Oh man, did this movie pack a punch right in the feels. It tells the story of a group of firefighters in Arizona who combat wildfires in the area. The film is a little lengthy, but for good reason. You follow their journey and get to know each of them, building very strong characters with some incredibly sincere performances. As you see them go into the fires (it's not just one big one at the end, but many throughout the movie), the stakes are so high and so real because you care so much about these men that you've spent the past two hours with.
For me, the standout performance was Josh Brolin. This is among his best ever. His role was the team supervisor and leader, and he also led the film so beautifully. This Goonie done good.
Don't know that there's a lot else to say about this other than it's a beautiful and deserving tribute that is worth a watch.
Only the Brave – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/
The Lobster was my favorite movie last year. Such a weird tone, and so unlike anything else out there. Now to hear that Yorgos Lanthimos was applying that to a psychological thriller? Yes please!!
Colin Farrell reteams with Yorgos as a doctor and family man, married to Nicole Kidman with two kids at home. He has a strange friendship with a boy his daughter's age (an incredible Barry Keoghan), that soon turns to disturbing territory. The boy has a hold over him that could potentially cost him everything. Cryptic, I know, but I'm trying to explain without spoiling the details.
This movie was so unsettling, exactly what I was hoping for! Yes, the Yorgos tone absolutely had a lot to do with it. But the other person responsible was Keoghan. As I described him on Stardust, he falls somewhere between Norman Bates and We Need to Talk About Kevin. I was srsly impressed and thoroughly creeped out by him, and he is the reason to watch this movie.
I will say that my one gripe is that the movie did seem to drag as it transitioned towards the end of the second act or so. The story was drawn out without really adding too much, and I feel as though it could have been a lot cleaner. Still, the rest of it was great enough that it wasn't a dealbreaker for me. It just didn't quite live up to the promise of The Lobster. Which is fine, because what other movie could ever possibly match up?
The Killing of a Sacred Deer – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n