Thanks to user @incrediblybleak (who has this uploaded in a place I won't necessarily post in my review but is easy to find if you look for it on the letterboxd page for this film), I got to watch this, and HOOOOOO boy I loved it. I'm a big fan of Branagh's work in general, but I also recently watched his 2015 Cinderella for the first time and have been riding pretty high on not only Sandy Powell's absolutely gob-smacking…
Upon revisiting tonight since the first time I saw it (on opening night): John Williams, you still got it, but the rest of this, though often pretty visually arresting and boasting a very talented cast (Max von Sydow is utterly wasted), is an uncanny valley of "remember this????" moments that ring so emotionally hollow as to bring about a certain despair. It's okay to make something new; in fact, it's essential. At least Rogue One tries to.
If there's a lingering, vague sense of disappointment regarding this film lurking somewhere in my soul, it's due to the fact that the first half of Muschietti's vision (yes, this is part one of two, dealing with the first time the Losers confront Pennywise while they're still kids--Part 2 will deal with what happens to them as adults) for one of King's most notorious novels comes so fucking close to being perfect, yet that five-star experience slipped through my fingers…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A preface to my review (please read this, thanks): at the beginning and the end of the screener I attended, my fellow critics and I were read a statement by Villenueve (at the beginning) and a list (at the end) of things he requested we not discuss in our reviews about the innerworkings of this film, namely, virtually every major plot point. If I recall correctly, his reasoning was he wished all moviegoers to see this organically, without knowing the…