jackkyser has written 67 reviews for films during 2020.

  • The Wheels

    The Wheels

    ★★★★★

    I’ve never completely understood this movie - why was there nobody else in the amusement park with Harry and his father? They must have caught Deno’s Wonder Wheel at a weird time - usually it’s packed! Five stars for the excellent gaffing by future Lake Michigan Monster break-out Ryland Tews.

    vimeo.com/38414624

  • Father of the Bride Part 3 (ish)

    Father of the Bride Part 3 (ish)

    ★★★

    Watched for a welcome Robert De Niro appearance. A very fun and breezy 25 minutes with some old friends.

  • Promising Young Woman

    Promising Young Woman

    ★★★★★

    Promising Young Woman is a scorcher of a movie - a haunting, wickedly funny, deceptively complex and relentlessly entertaining feature debut from Emerald Fennell. For my money, Carey Mulligan far and away deserves this year’s Best Actress Oscar. Her scene with Alfred Molina (in a welcome An Education reunion) contains some of the best acting I’ve seen this year.

  • Wonder Woman 1984

    Wonder Woman 1984

    ★★½

    I truly wanted to enjoy this, but every time I was about to get caught up in the film’s rhythm, the insanely stupid genie lamp device reared its ugly head and I had to hear the word “wish” repeated ad nauseam. Gadot and Pine flying through the fireworks display is quite beautiful, though.

    Viewed in a cinema!

  • Lovers Rock

    Lovers Rock

    ★★★★½

    Lovers Rock is easily the most joyous film Steve McQueen has ever made. A beautiful party!

  • Let Them All Talk

    Let Them All Talk

    ★★★★½

    Soderbergh’s latest is a delight! It’s almost as if he gathered these incredible actors on a cruise and just... let them all talk.

    Streep, Wiest, Bergen and Hedges make for a dynamic quartet!

    Viewed on the world’s “worst streaming service,” which would actually be a pretty great streaming service if it wasn’t overshadowed by the fact that AT&T and Warner Bros. have alienated all of their greatest filmmakers in an effort to get a few more subscriptions. I like to…

  • The Midnight Sky

    The Midnight Sky

    ★★★★

    This is George Clooney’s strongest work as a director since The Ides of March, and you essentially get two movies for the price of one - an arctic survivalist adventure with a rugged Clooney, and a leisurely space opera with an excellent Felicity Jones and Kyle Chandler. Viewed at Austin’s Lake Creek 7 cinema.

  • Jules and Jim

    Jules and Jim

    ★★★★★

    I could try to write a worthy review about this work of art, but instead I'll just leave a passage from Roger Ebert's unsurprisingly masterful piece on the film:

    "Their tragedy is that they shared a magical youth and that adulthood will not and cannot accommodate it. No practical arrangement of their lives can duplicate the freedom of their early days in Paris... Jules and Jim is one of those rare films that knows how fast audiences can think, and…

  • Die Hard

    Die Hard

    ★★★★★

    If I had to guess, I've probably seen Die Hard more than any other film (the other contenders would be Goodfellas, The Departed and Star Wars... but none of those titles was quite as worn as my original VHS copy of Die Hard). I've seen it in cinemas once, at Austin's Paramount Theatre in 35mm, and last night was a glorious opportunity to watch it on the big screen again.

    I should note that renting out an entire theater at…

  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

    Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

    ★★★★

    George C. Wolfe’s screen adaptation of August Wilson’s play is astonishingly good, not least because of its remarkably creative staging. It irks me when people dismiss a play adaptation as “stagy” simply because it only has a few locations - when in fact many of these films are helmed by directors who know how to block a scene and make dynamic use out of a small space (look no further than any play-to-film adaptation by Sidney Lumet or Mike Nichols).…

  • The Godfather: Part III

    The Godfather: Part III

    ★★★★★

    It’s been several years since I’ve seen The Godfather Part III, and so it’s difficult for me to recognize the major changes in Francis Ford Coppola’s newly restructured The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. I’ve always maintained that Part III is an excellent film that has somehow gained a less-than-stellar reputation for simply not being as masterful as Parts I and II, which are objectively two of the greatest films of all time. That’s a strange and unfair…

  • Mank

    Mank

    ★★★★★

    My favorite film of the year! Full review coming soon.