What a delight this turned out to be. Another case of going to see something I knew nothing about just because the timing of the screening was perfect, and I walked out having loved what I'd just seen.
The idea of an adult using a loophole to enter a children's national spelling bee is funny enough, especially when you go into it knowing it has an R rating.
This is a film that stands the test of time, with themes as relevant now as they will ever be.
The dialogue is raw and real, the struggles grounded and impactful, and the characters fleshed-out and believable. All around, I had a great time watching this.
This takes the "dumb young people vs hillbillies in the woods" trope and turns it completely on its ear, to wonderful results.
This is heralded by many as one of the greatest Westerns ever filmed, and since I grew up watching a lot of John Wayne movies, I had to finally cross this one off my list.
For me, while this has its moments, it doesn't come close to much of the other animated family movies that have come out this year.
When this made headlines a few years back, it must have read like the predecessor of the current "Florida Man" stories.
If ever there was a film made just for me to review, I found it today. And yes, full disclosure, it's because I'm one of THOSE people.
This was everything I wanted it to be, and, thanks to trailers that showed practically nothing, it managed to pack in a lot of surprises to boot. To use an old phrase, I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I applauded. It was a great time at the movies.
It's not interested in being the typical kind of war story, choosing instead to dive deep into deeper issues of human behavior, duty, honor, and the greater social order.
Ever see a movie and wonder how it got funded? For me, this is one of those.
Any way you look at this film, it is bold. The choices are striking and it will not be for everyone, but it will reward those with the patience and interest in a deep thinker that welcomes every chance to make them uncomfortable.
At only 85 minutes, it is a total breeze that doesn't outstay its welcome and produces genuine laughter the entire time.
To call it depressing for most of its 150 minutes is a fair assessment, but it makes the finale more rewarding. And, really, how uplifting can we expect a prison movie to be?