Apparently the Directors Cut fills in a lot of the blanks I had while trying to follow this movie. Maybe I’ll watch that sometime when I have a spare three hours. As is, I thought Orlando Bloom was a weak lead and the pacing was pretty slow, but some of the battle scenes were cool. This isn’t my favorite type of movie, and I’ve seen many of its kind that are much better. So meh.
I enjoyed this. It's a bit busy, combining a homage to B-movie directors with a coming of age story during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Elements are certainly rushed, and a lot of the desired themes fell short for me. That said, it's also quite funny and there's a certain innocence about it that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. Plus John Goodman delivers, as always.
I thought this movie was pandering garbage. It's such an incredible and interesting story about black women doing excellent things amid extreme adversity. I feel the filmmakers cut out anything that could possibly be controversial or interesting and just made a movie for the sake of getting some awards love. There's barely any conflict in this movie. Every character arc felt like this to me:
Black Character: I want to be a (insert profession)!
White Character: No!
Black Character: Come…
My biggest gripe is general pretentiousness, and the script that thinks it’s way smarter than it is. I’ll give it credit for strong performances, particularly in the novel with the movie, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from audibly groaning at the symbolism that was being shoved down my throat. Also, the ultimate motivations for Gyllenhall’s character felt very high school. That’s all I can really say without spoilers.