Zurrie has written 28 reviews for films during 2019.

  • Once Upon a Time in America

    Once Upon a Time in America

    ★★★

    Yikes, this was unnecessarily bloated and overly tedious. The young age sections didn't feel worthwhile and the overall scope of the narrative doesn't add up to more than the sum of its parts. The characters lack dimension, including De Niro's, which makes the journey seem too perfunctory. At the end we are supposed to feel the weight of his life and all his sins, but it just comes off as feeling like this has been done better before.

    I don't…

  • Fighting with My Family

    Fighting with My Family

    ★★★½

    I don't care about WWE at all, but this was a solid and endearing movie. It does a good job of showing the inner life of the main characters and the unexpected contours of their journey. Jack Lowden is an actor I liked a lot in the underrated Calibre, and his presence here was enjoyable too.

    Florence Pugh gives her best performance of the year in this film, rather than her extremely overrated turn in Little Women, or the strange and gruesome but "so what" Midsommar. I hope to see more layered character work like this from her in the future.

  • You Can Count on Me

    You Can Count on Me

    ★★★★½

    Even better than I remembered. More visually interesting than I thought all those years ago, many of the shots express the headspace of the characters so well with their beautifully composed simplicity. The color green is sublimely utilized; life is steadily flowing through and encompassing these "unremarkable" individuals. Lonergan's effortless patience and understanding elevates the narrative, providing a clear window into the souls of these characters and this place. There are a few rough edges in the filmmaking that probably…

  • Corn Island

    Corn Island

    ★★★½

    Very beautiful sound design; this story is told almost entirely through the landscape and environmental sounds. It's refreshing to see a film that works within such simple means while still being expansive, and is able to be slow paced without falling into tedium. It may lack complexity or a powerful emotional connection, but there's a charming uniqueness here. By using such a striking location and removing most dialogue, firmly entrenching the characters within nature and between the boundaries of nations,…

  • The Unforgettable Danny La Rue

    The Unforgettable Danny La Rue

    ★★★½

    Fun to see the story of a brilliant, pioneering comedian. It's not a documentary that goes especially deep, because it was created to fill a 1-hour slot of television and cater to wide audiences, but the subject is very fascinating anyway.

    Can be watched for free on Youtube, so check it out.

  • Promises to Keep

    Promises to Keep

    ★★★½

    Martin Sheen shows up and declares: [He asked me "how many pairs of shoes do you own?" Well, that's where you begin. I own too many things. And I have too big an image and...I don't have any courage. So, what can I tell you. I'm like a whole lot of other folks. I'm attached to material possessions. I think they're me.]

    This quote forms the thesis of the documentary, a sensitive look at how government (particularly right-wing) does not…

  • The Happening

    The Happening

    ★★★

    I enjoy watching trees blow in the wind. The movie is super messy and doesn't have a satisfying payoff, but there's still something here. Some kind of exploration of science or logic failing, in the face of things humans can not comprehend. It's just fairly entertaining on the whole, and James Newton Howard's score pops off - better work than what he got Oscar nominated for this same year (the bland Defiance).

  • Queen: Hungarian Rhapsody - Live In Budapest

    Queen: Hungarian Rhapsody - Live In Budapest

    ★★★★

    One of the best concert documentaries I've seen. It helps that the music is some of my favorite, but the presentation here also drew me into the performance, instead of feeling like it loses energy as compared to watching live, which is what I usually get from concert documentaries.

  • Rock Haven

    Rock Haven

    ★★★½

    Surprisingly sensitive and well handled. The actors are completely amateur, but the director's intent still shines through. It's a very knowing and honest look at the difficulties of discovering you are gay and coming out, under the duress of your family and religion telling you it's wrong. Despite the very low budget constraints, there are still some lovely landscape shots here and a nice musical score. The ending is hopeful without being overreaching or unrealistic. Good job.

  • Judy

    Judy

    ★★

    A horribly inept biopic, with Zellweger giving a superficial and ineffective performance. Everything she does here is SO obvious and cloying, with mannerisms that aren't inhabiting a real person but instead are only an actor being twee and trying to garner sympathy. I could not stand watching her, it was such a cheap caricature. AND THE SINGING MISSES THE MARK.

    You can not play Judy effing Garland and not be able to deliver vocally, if doing your own singing. The…

  • Motherless Brooklyn

    Motherless Brooklyn

    ★★★★

    I loved Ed Norton here, so sensitive and unpredictable; it's a performance worth studying. The tourettes aspect was very well handled and added a dynamic layer to the proceedings. The central thrust of the film is the struggle to discover the truth, and it's ironic how the main character can't help but to blurt out his own truth when under pressure. How much better the world would be if only we all were naturally so open.

    This is an unassuming…

  • Love, Antosha

    Love, Antosha

    ★★★★

    The absurdity and mystery of life, the need to discover, the breadth of desires within the human soul. Anton Yelchin was a fascinating, talented individual whose bizarre and unfortunate death ironically seems to mirror part of his own personality. The film connects those dots well, and it's especially very good for how it never shies away from revealing his "darker" peculiarities. He has a simple joyfulness but also a critical and philosophical mindset, he is a puppy dog but also raunchy, and he is outgoing but intrinsically vulnerable. The film is quite moving in the end, which ties this all together into a beautiful little package.