Jacob has written 18 reviews for films during 2020.

  • Soul

    Soul

    ★★★½

    Definitely the most abstract of Pixar’s films. The cinematography alone was astounding. While it hit all of the typical high notes we’ve come to love from Pixar, it felt a little off balance. The randomness and spontaneous trajectory of the film at times felt a little too center stage - the animators reveling in their own abilities. But regardless of such a small complaint, it was a beautiful and excellently written film about life and finding meaning in the everyday. Another classic, Pixar - well done.

  • Happiest Season

    Happiest Season

    ★★★

    The film started off a bit weak and got better as it went on. Almost felt as if written by two different writers. Stewart did a great job, but Davis never quite fit into her own skin. And of course Daniel Levy knocked his roll out of the park in his little screen time. By the end the film amounted to a heartfelt and beautiful holiday movie - even if it was quite rocky getting there.

  • Possessor

    Possessor

    ★★★★

    A wild movie with an incredible script. The acting all around was astounding. The cinematography at times was a bit odd, but overall a great concept and great execution. I would’ve normally preferred something a bit more “normal” and “blockbuster-y” for this type of psychological spy thriller -  but regardless the film sucked me in and delivered in many ways.

  • Wonder Woman 1984

    Wonder Woman 1984

    ★★½

    Boy oh boy, this film was a bit of a mess. A good majority of it didn’t work or was clunky. Everyone was really trying, but sometimes you can’t bottle the lightning of the first film. Thematically it was great, the premise was intriguing and developed the main characters wonderfully. Big kudos to the writing and Patty Jenkins for the concept. I even enjoyed myself many times, when Wonder Woman would leap on screen and do her thing. But it…

  • The Queen's Gambit

    The Queen's Gambit

    ★★★★½

    Well done show with superb acting all around. Anya Taylor-Joy as always is a force to reckon with. It’s rare that a show covers this much ground in a variety of topics: alcoholism, drug abuse, women empowerment, family dynamics, politics, etc. and does so phenomenally. Highly recommend, Scott Frank has proven himself to be a great writer / director.

  • Nine Days

    Nine Days

    ★★★★½

    Less flashy, a bit more bare bones. But so full of heart and thrill and tenderness that it hurts to breath. A film so full of ideas and creativity that it reminds me of why I love cinema. For what it lacks in “cinema wonder” and scale, it makes up for in its passion. As of writing, my favorite film of the year. I can’t say it’s the best, or perfect - especially compared to monsters of cinema like Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Minari, etc.... but it has moved me in a way few works do. Watch it: and scream from the mountaintops.

  • Minari

    Minari

    ★★★★

    Stunning performances all around and such an intimate and personal story from director Lee Isaac Chung. Every moment felt incredibly refreshing - even though the step by step path of the story was predictable.

  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

    The Trial of the Chicago 7

    ★★★½

    A relatively simple film, with its fair number of odd pacing and weird moments. Sure signs that Aaron Sorkin is a better writer than he is director - and a new director at that. However, he is still unmatched in his writing. The performances from all were outstanding, and Sorkin’s flair with language was a perfect match for the subject. I’m not sure if Sorkin ever intended for his film to be met with so many modern day protests and riots. Nevertheless, they certainly elevate it to a relevant and powerful film in today’s climate — if not timeless.

  • The Way Back

    The Way Back

    ★★½

    The film wasn’t quite sure if it wanted to be a deep drama or an uplifting sports story, and floundered in the process. While it hit a few of the typical highs of an underdog sports story, most of the film was surprisingly average. For a basketball movie there wasn’t much basketball, and Affleck’s stoic and reserved Batman acting didn’t provoke any emotion or empathy. Good overall, but nothing special.

  • Tenet

    Tenet

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I love this movie, so much. But: this is a conflicted review. If it is ever changed by my future self, then I owe no apologies. What has happened, has happened..

    I will start out with a series of ratings:
    Soundtrack - 5/5. Oh. My. God. Ludwig.
    In Theater Experience: 5/5. Nothing quite like sitting in a theater experiencing a Nolan film. Wow.

    ... Character Development: 2.5/5. Give a woman a child, and an egomaniac a five minute backstory surrounding…

  • An American Pickle

    An American Pickle

    ★★½

    Honestly, I don’t remember much. Parts of it were good and Seth Rogen did a pretty good job. But I don’t remember the majority of the film - other than laughing at pretentious Brooklyn hipsters and organic pickles. Not a great sign for a film.

  • She Dies Tomorrow

    She Dies Tomorrow

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    There is something so cathartic about watching people confront the idea of death. The community, their isolation, what matters and what doesn’t. Definitely not a plot driven film - but a fascinating character study (and a hilarious one at that). We aren’t ever really ready for death, but when it comes I hope I can be lounging in a pool with my friends missing trees and the dirt.