Movie Review: Women Talking

A well-known fundamental rule of screenwriting. Show, do not tell. A huge exception to this rule is one of the 2022 Academy Award-nominated movies for best picture, “Women Talking”. This movie is almost entirely about dialogue, women talking about the same thing in a group or with each other. Within an Amish community, some women are being abused by men in their group. This entire story is about the women planning to leave this community and go somewhere else. Exactly where they plan to go, is not fully defined, but the phenomenon of this film is how little it is about and yet the screenwriter found a way to drag this on for a full two hours. The other phenomenon that a movie this boring and about almost nothing is one of the 10 Academy Award-nominated films for 2022.

The acting is solid throughout, with some very relevant women actors including Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Frances McDormand and Judith Ivey. All of them were able to read the script, then stay awake, and then decided to make this movie. This movie might just have more dialogue than any film ever made. Yes this is a new idea, a different perspective for movie making but for an audience, this can be difficult to sit through.

The Rotten Tomatoes rating of 90% is understandable for the effective acting, but for the overall movie-going experience, I give this one a 70% and recommend this one only for the most die-hard fans of the actors involved, not for the overly long and too boring story.

Movie Review: Knock at the Cabin

If any aspiring screenwriter, no matter how desperate to break into the movie industry (even if they were connected to some agency) were to submit the script for “Knock at the Cabin”, the reason for the rejections would be the same. “This idea is just too off the wall, too crazy, and does not make sense”.

There is a family of two gay men and one very cute Chinese girl, named Wen, played by Kristen Cui who is about 6 years old. Four people break into their cabin and insist that there is a series of events that are going to end all life on planet earth – unless one of the 3 people in this family agrees to sacrifice themselves to save the world. As this idea drags on, each one of the 4 people who invade the cabin agrees to have themselves killed with an ax after they put a white hood over their heads. What? Why is this necessary that these people who break into the house also must kill themselves? How does having one of the 3 people in the cabin agree to die going to prevent the apocalypse? Can this story give more detail, be more specific? Make some sense?

Apparently, the 4 people who break into the cabin have seen visions of earthquakes, tsunamis, and even airplanes falling out of the sky and now all of this is happening in real-time. But no explanation is given as to how or why human sacrifice is going to prevent the end of the world. How can a glaring hole this big exist in an M. Night Shyamalan movie? There are a series of televised news stories that are shown to the 3 people in the cabin, to prove to them that the end of the world is coming. But why not also explain to them, how exactly might their human sacrifice save the world? What did their premonitions tell them about this most important part of the story?

This movie stars mostly unknown actors with the main character, former pro wrestler Dave Bautista, playing the leader of the group that break into the cabin. I thought the acting was mostly very good by everyone, but the story is so absurd they all must have had a hard time not laughing during their scenes.

Once again M. Night Shyamalan is trying to break new ground, create something different, and achieve that high note he did with “The Sixth Sense”, released in 1999. The Sixth Sense is not only one of the greatest movies of all time but also one of the all-time most perfect endings of any movie ever released. Like the previous Shyamalan film “Old”, released in 2021 – this will be considered another not-so-good film, with Rotten Tomatoes ratings at a below-average 67%, that this time around, I do agree with.

Movie Review: 80 For Brady

In the history of organized team sports in this country, it is impossible to find any athlete who has had more good fortune, great coach, great owner, and downright stunning coaching gifts of 2 super bowl wins (against Seattle and Atlanta) than New England and Tom Brady. For the Seattle and Atlanta wins, New England should have lost both of those games, they won only because of the horrendous coaching of the opposing teams. Brady also won 3 Super Bowls by 3 points each and could have lost any of those games. Brady’s only outright dominant win in Super Bowl #55 was against Kansas City, where the Tampa Bay defense and offensive line injuries made the Kansas City offense impossible to run. Patrick Mahomes was running for his life in almost every play. In this history of the NFL, and 32 teams and many years, no other NFL team has 7 Super Bowl wins like Tom Brady has as a player.

The other day, after changing his mind last year, Tom Brady finally decided to retire from the NFL. One has to wonder about the timing and potential marketing involved for the new movie “80 For Brady”, which not only stars Tom Brady, but at the end of this film, has him talking about his retirement, and considering returning to the NFL yet again. None of this is a coincidence.

80 For Brady is a true story about women in their 80’s who are big fans of Tom Brady and one year (for the New England and Atlanta) super bowl, find a way to get extremely expensive Super Bowl tickets. The problem with this story is that there is not nearly enough story to create a movie about, and because of this, there is too much time to fill. The filling of all of this excess time through jokes, some pratfalls, and too many side stories, makes for a mostly boring movie. This film probably could have been much better but any screenwriter would be hard-pressed to come up with enough new ideas to fill these two hours.

80 For Brady stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field, and Rita Moreno. Their performances and acting were more or less equal to the light concept of this film with the remarkable caveat of Jane Fonda looking more like she is 50 than 85 due to all of that makeup.

Unfortunately, the Rotten Tomatoes critics are right this time around, with a low 62% rating. This is not really a movie, but a travelogue for going to a Super Bowl.