Movie Reviews

The Little Things (2021)

the-little-things-movie-review-poster-2021Director: John Lee Hancock

Genre: Crime, Thriller

Runtime: 128 Minutes

Main Cast: Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto, Chris Bauer, Michael Hyatt, Terry Kinney, Natalie Morales, Isabel Arraiza, Joris Jarsky

Plot: Deke (Denzel Washington), a deputy sheriff finds himself back in LA where he used to be a detective. There he teams up with the uptight Baxter (Rami Malek) in order to solve a case that Deke feels is connected to the case that led to his downfall years ago.

My Thoughts: Well, well, well. I didn’t expect this movie to be blowing up all over Twitter a week after watching it. Never in a million years would I have labelled The Little Things as an awards movie. Don’t get me wrong -I really enjoyed it, but award worthy? Nope. The movie is essentially a gripping serial killer case and that’s it’s strongest element. The cast is great, the trio of Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto works really well but I didn’t care for their characters. They felt two-dimensional and so I just wasn’t that invested in them. I love a good mystery though so I was hooked for the case.

It takes a while to pick up the pace and to see how the cases are linked, and even longer until we’re introduced to Jared Leto’s character, Sparma, but that’s when the shit really hits the fan. We’re convinced Sparma is guilty, of what we aren’t sure, but he’s slimy and so easy to dislike. It’s been a while since I hated a fictional character so strongly. Which, I guess is why Leto’s been nominated for both a Golden Globe and a SAG. I don’t get it. I’m prejudiced I know because I think Leto is a creep in general so that role didn’t take much acting.

I realise I’m sounding like a Debbie Downer so let me reiterate, I really liked this movie! I think in a previous life I was a detective, I got so absorbed into the case and the little clues and what they might all mean. The ending to The Little Things will probably put a lot of people off but I loved it. Plus, Jared Leto’s nominations will mean that this movie gets a bigger audience which is always a bonus!

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Best Bit: There were two stand out moments for me. The first was when Deke was questioning Sparma at the station and he lost his cool – I felt a little bit scared myself! The ending though, ugh I’m a sucker. I won’t spoil it but my reaction was kind of like this “Oh man…okay then…what’s he…OH. WHAT!”

Worst Bit: Sparma’s smug reactions whilst flicking through those photos…I have never wanted to punch my TV so badly!

Fun Trivia: Writer/Director John Lee Hancock originally wrote the screenplay for the film almost 30 years ago (1993) after completing his work on the Clint Eastwood picture A Perfect World.

My Rating: 3 and a half red barrettes which I’m still screaming about.

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Movie Reviews

Review: Fences (2017)

When the Oscar nominations were released, I’d seen 4/9 of the Best Picture nominees. That sounds pretty bad, but it’s certainly a much better position than I’ve found myself in previous years. In fact, I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll have seen the full 9 by the time the big night rolls by. The difference this year is that I genuinely want to see all of them, none feel like they’re going to be a chore.

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If there was one movie I was slightly unsure of, perhaps ‘on the fence’ about (geddit?) it was Fences. Not because I didn’t think it looked very good, it just seemed like it was going to be more of an experience than an enjoyable watch, the kind of movie you had to really be in the right mood to see. That was definitely the case, but what a fantastic experience it was!

Set in the 1950’s Troy (Denzel Washington) is a family man living with his wife Rose (Viola Davis) and youngest son Cory (Jovan Adepo) in Pittsburgh, USA. Troy is bitter about a lot of things in his life, not being able to get credit, being overlooked for promotions at his job as a sanitation worker, and his long lost dreams of being a professional baseball player. His gripes are valid, but they have tainted Troy’s once cheerful outlook on life.

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We get glimpses of a happier Troy through conversations with his friend and work colleague Bono (Stephen Henderson), often over a bottle of gin drank in Troy’s back garden, where he’s promised to build a fence with the help of Corey. These moments are far too brief however, as something to make Troy snap is never far away, be it his older son Lyons (Russell Hornsby) asking to borrow $10, or Corey mentioning the upcoming visit of a college football recruiter.

Just…don’t mention the football recruiter. Seriously. I hope that in my lifetime I never made Denzel Washington mad at me. Dude is scary as hell. No, scrap that actually. I hope I never disappoint and upset Viola Davis. Denzel might have made me shrink in my seat, but Viola broke my heart. These are two of the greatest performances I think I’ve ever seen.

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This isn’t a movie for everyone. It’s dialogue heavy, and clocks in at over two hours, although I’d argue it doesn’t feel that long. Most of the movie is set in the back garden, which is understandable as it’s based on a play, but it’s not the kind of movie you would sit down and watch on a Saturday night with a takeaway and a few beers. I’m certainly glad I watched it though, and I’ll be gutted if Viola Davis doesn’t win that Oscar!

On my silly ratings scale, I’d give Fences 4/5 fence panels.

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