12 Films of Christmas 2020 (Part 11)

Only one more of these left after today. THANK GOD. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing for you guys. But writing for 12 days straight is a bit draining. So when this is over I’m gonna take a few days off. But until then, let’s talk about the penultimate movie for this series.

So for today we’re talking about a brand new movie (oh my god). That movie is “Happiest Season”, a christmas dramedy about Harper (Mackenzie Davis), a young woman who is bringing her girlfriend (Kristen Stewart) along for christmas with the family… except they don’t know that Harper isn’t gay, so the pair have to keep it a bit of a secret until Harper feels ready to come out of the proverbial closest. Cue the sneaking around, misunderstandings, emotional baggage, and personal demons. While I wouldn’t say that “Happiest Season” is the best movie I’ve seen this year, I still think it’s really solid. It handles its subject matter with a fair bit of tact, giving us a pretty nuanced take on this premise. While the movie primarily acts as a comedy, it isn’t afraid to get a bit more serious, really letting us sit with the characters and their emotions for a bit. And while I do think it gets the balance of comedy and drama down quite well, it doesn’t always hold up perfectly in that regard. When you have serious contemplations about the nature of your relationship one minute and awkward slapstick the next, it can get slightly jarring. It’s not enough to ruin the movie, but it did take me out for a sec.
Also, I just have to go off on one thing for a second. Dan Levy. Dan god damn Levy. This guy is gutbustingly funny. Any time (bar one more serious part) he was on screen he made me absolutely lose it. The rest of the cast is great too, there’s not a weak link in that department… but Levy is definitely the MVP here.
So in conclusion, “Happiest Season” may not be perfect, but it’s still a really solid holiday dramedy that both made me laugh, and made me care about these characters. I’d happily watch it again next year.

On the eleventh day of christmas, I watched something gay
And hey guess what, it was truly quite good, yay

Movie Review: Sicario (2015)

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The war on drugs is one that I would dare call a neverending story. Take one distributor down, another will pick up the torch. And that is how it’s gonna go forever until the world gets swallowed by the sun. Although I have to admit, it is fun hearing about law enforcement actually succeeding in taking down big drug lords.

Ladies and gents… “Sicario”.

Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is an FBI agent who have been hired by the government to work with a special task force to try to find ways to take down some big Mexican drug cartels. And at the forfront of this task force we find it’s leader Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and the mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro). So now we get to see Kate work with these men to find a way to take down these cartels while also experiencing some intense shit. And I absolutely loved the plot of this movie. Sure, it’s quite a simple and not too original idea, but the execution of it is absolutely outstanding. The plot has a lot of suspense which makes for an interesting watch, but it also presents a few pretty great plot twists along the way that I didn’t see coming. I really loved every part of the plot of this movie.

The characters all have several layers to them and they’re all very interesting. Emily Blunt is absolutely fantastic in the movie. The longer her career goes on, the better she seems to get. There are so many little nuances to her performance that just make it all the more impressive. Josh Brolin plays what I would call the team leader of this task force and he’s excellent in the movie. What is so interesting too is that he brings a bit of levity to the movie without it feeling forced and terrible, his humor works in the movie. And then we have Benicio Del Toro…. Del Toro is fucking fantastic in this movie. Throughout the movie you don’t know much about him as a character, and that is what makes him so interesting. And Benicio’s performance just makes it so much better because of how great he is in this movie. We also get some really good supporting performances from actors like Victor Garber, Jeffrey Donovan, Jon Bernthal and Daniel Kaluuya. There is no such thing as a bad performance in this movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson and I would say that it’s pretty amazing. It’s heavy, intense and dark. A lot of times throughout the movie it helps to build tension and even make the scenes a bit disturbing because of the style of the score. But that’s jsut a great thing because it then evokes some kind of emotional response from the viewer.

The movie was directed by Denis Villneuve who also made the movies “Prisoners” and “Enemy”, two movies I really loved. So you can see how I had pretty high hopes for this movie in terms of directing. And my expectations were met because this is one of the most well directed movies of the year. And thank you so much, Mr. Vileneuve for bringing back Roger Deakins to do the cinematography because the movie looks absolutely amazing. A good example I can give that doesn’t spoil anything are the nighttime scenes which actually look like it’s nighttime. You know how in movies people’s faces are all lit up in an unnatural manner as if there were studio lights there? Well there is none of that bullshit here, this shit looks real. Remember that extreme tension I mentioned early on in the review? Yeah, that also translates into the action scenes in the movie and that makes the scenes as terrific as they are. And the gunshots all sound pretty real too, kind of like in a Michael Mann movie. I also have to mention that “Sicario” is a lot like “Se7en” in a few scenes. And what I mean by that is that you get to see some fucked up shit that will make you sick to your stomach if you’re a normal person. So yeah… don’t eat anything when watching this movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10.

“Sicario” is a drug bust movie with a great plot with some unexpected twists, interesting characters & fantastic acting, a fantastic score, excellent directing, gorgeous cinematography and some fantastic “edge of your seat” tension. TIme for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Sicario” is a 9,90/10. It most certainly gets the one and only “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Sicario” is now completed.

Well… I guess Benicio is cool again.