October and November prove to be bland for filmgoers everywhere
By Jimmy Fortuna-Peak
This murder mystery adaptation of the popular Norwegian novel, The Snowman, starts off with an intriguing and suspenseful first act, but fails to keep its excitement and credibility throughout the runtime of the film. The Snowman follows Oslo Police homicide detective, Harry Hole, and his investigations into the mysterious murders and disappearances plaguing the city. The film, overall, has decent pacing, and there are great scenes of suspense that will keep you at the edge of your seat. However, the movie confuses the audience on what it wanted its tone to be. The film’s tone is a mix between a modern day crime thriller and a neo-noir, but it never fully commits to one side. The acting is very bland, and Michael Fassbender, who is usually one of the better actors in the business, gives a rare honed in performance as Harry Hole. There are many plotlines that don’t seem relevant to the overall story arch, and the ending is unsatisfying and, quite honestly, uncomfortable. The Snowman is an extremely disappointing adaptation that fails to give a fluid and coherent story.
The effects of war on the human spirit are portrayed honestly in this adaptation of a true story. Thank You for Your Service follows three Iraqi war veterans and their struggles with PTSD as they adjust back to their lives away from the war. This is not your typical war film. There are only a few battle scenes, and even those are only glossed over. The film is a very personal story that focuses on dialogue rather than flashy imagery, making Thank You for Your Service feel unique and a breath of fresh air in the war film genre. The acting is average at best, but doesn’t take away from the brutal effects that war has on the characters. Since the film mainly consist of dialogue, there are a few slower paced scenes that can be a little hard to get through. Overall, Thank You for Your Service gives insight to an overlooked social issue facing the many veterans of America today.
The seventeenth entry into the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) provides a great adventure and finale to the Thor trilogy. Thor: Ragnarok follows Thor and his quest to save Asgard from the goddess of death, Hela. Taika Waititi’s directing style can truly be shown as the film is filled with improved and witty humor. There are some fantastic battle scenes involving Thor, and the visual effects are great, as always. Jeff Goldblum gives a lovable performance as the Grandmaster, and is one of the rare good villains in the MCU. The film falters, like most MCU movies, in that the main villain, Hela, is very weak and forgettable. Some character disappearances and deaths that occur are only glossed over and leave the audience without any closure to their storylines. There are so many ties to other MCU films that Ragnarok feels more as if it is a preview for what is to come, rather than a stand-alone movie. While Thor: Ragnarok is the weakest of the Thor films, it still provides a compelling and comedic story that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the credits roll.
This raunchy sequel brings the laughs, but fails to provide a compelling story. A Bad Moms Christmas is a sequel to the 2016 sleeper hit, Bad Moms, and continues on with their story. The film follows the three moms and the struggles they face while trying to create the perfect Christmas for their families while dealing with their own moms who have come to visit. Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, and Kristen Bell all give comedic performances as the three main leads. The supporting cast does a decent job in their roles, but nothing that stands out. The film’s tone is very sloppy, in that it tries to be a family christmas film in some scenes, and in others, tries to be replicate the gaudy humor of the first film. The switch between tones made A Bad Moms Christmas feel incoherent and confusing. It provides some enjoyment for all, but the girls are the ones who will most likely have fun with the experience.