Niels has written 6 reviews for films rated ★★★ .

  • The Personal History of David Copperfield

    The Personal History of David Copperfield

    ★★★

    Studios & director Armando Ianucci meet: 

    Studios: we look forward to fund your next project. We loved ”Death for Stalin”. 
    Ianucci: I want to do a novel adaptation of David Copperfield this time. 
    Studios: but you’ve never done that. Will it be funny? 
    Ianucci: it’ll be playfully funny. I plan to cast Dev Patel in a sort of reimagining of the story. 
    Studios: that sounds fun. However, we don’t think that book can be told in one single film. It’ll be…

  • Yes Day

    Yes Day

    ★★★

    Cute and watchable. I was expecting more shenanigans but the film ended up being a safe PG affair. Jennifer Garner and Edgar Ramirez as the parents to three adorable kids are the highlights of the film. The Venezuelan-born actor was particularly effective in a quirky role that I hadn’t seen him in before. 
    I wish the film had been a little less favorable to the parents as it made have made for a more exciting watch had it sided with the kids.

  • Rocketman

    Rocketman

    ★★★

    A musical extravaganza that exploits our collective nostalgia for the music of Elton John (beautifully played by Taron Egerton). 
    Rocketman follows the typical structure of a biopic, starting at the beginning, before Elton was Elton and his name was still Reginald Dwight. His childhood, interestingly, isn’t entirely dysfunctional. He gets love and support from grandma (or “nana”), and he gets attitude and resilience from his mother, even if their relationship was always difficult. 
    Because Rocketman dedicates so much running time…

  • Cold War

    Cold War

    ★★★

    A love story filled with the vicisitudes and tribulations of life in Europe during the Cold War.  
    The film’s cinematography is note-worthy, beautifully composed and shot in black and white. The acting is solid and the musical numbers are a highlight. 
    Unfortunately, I found the script to be underwritten, jumping forward in time with a kind of rapidity that skips over opportunities to make the lead characters whole.  
    My rating of the film is a recognition of its technical prowess.

  • Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

    Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

    ★★★

    Style over substance. What’s most interesting about Bandersnatch is, unsurprisingly, the novelty of interacting with the film and choosing, as it unfolds, the paths the lead character takes. 
    Beyond that, there is nothing remarkable about Bandersnatch. The characters are flat, the flashbacks add little of substance and the mystery at its center is only skin-deep, and not wholly original. There are better and shorter episodes of Black Mirror out there.

  • Airplane!

    Airplane!

    ★★★

    Unique in its brand of silly humor and a cultural touchstone because of that. Airplane! is the perfect film to watch after some drinks, with friends, sharing in the silliness and elevating a kind of humor that is clever in a 12-year old sort of way. 
    I commend the film for going for the unexpected and, at times, paying an homage to classic Hollywood. Sadly, I can’t bring myself to embrace it fully. A number of gags didn’t quite land…