Movie Review – The Way Back (2020 film)

TL;DR – A film that feels more personal than I have seen in a while and at the very least a loot messier     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Way Back. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Review

There are many things that make reviewing The Way Back a difficult prospect. Part of that comes from intentional narrative devices that help the film in some ways and hinder it in others. Also, this is just a really raw film at times looking at a subject material that is both important but also deeply relevant to the lead actor. Which gets us into the realm of how much of this is performance and how much of this is reality thrown up on the screen. All of these are difficult things, but they were because in many respects this is a difficult film.

So to set the scene, Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) spends his days alone, even when he is surrounded by people. He wakes up with a beer, he showers with a beer, he drinks on the way to work, he hides booze while he is working, and he drinks himself silly when he gets home. After Thanksgiving dinner with his sister Beth (Michaela Watkins) who is clearly concerned that he is not seeing anyone after his marriage with Angela (Janina Gavankar) fell apart he arrives home to find an odd message on his phone. His old school wants him to come back and be the new basketball coach.

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Movie Review – Booksmart

TL;DR – While it follows a lot of the plot beats of similar films, it stands out on its own by focusing on the characters that are the heart of the movie.      

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Booksmart. Image Credit: Annapurna Pictures.

Review

There are some scenarios that you see get plaid out in cinema over and over again. Indeed, one of the most popular scenarios is looking at that last few days before you graduate high school. I think it is so popular because it is something that nearly every person in the target audience has or will go through. So it becomes a nexus of past nostalgia and future promise. Either way, it is a scenario that I have seen put to film over and over again, especially in the R-rated comedy genre. However, in all the scenarios, I have never seen a film quite like this.

So to set the scene, high school is drawing to a close and class valedictorian Molly Davidson (Beanie Feldstein) and her best friend Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) are getting ready to survive the final day of classes. Molly is going to Yale and spent all her time at school making that happen, and Amy is getting ready to spend a summer in Botswana as an aid worker. However, Molly’s certainty about her past is shaken when she discovers that all the kids that partied throughout high school also got into top universities. Well, there is only one night left before graduation and Molly know just what to do, she needs to go to Nick’s (Mason Gooding) party so she can have the full high school experience and she is dragging Amy along with her.

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