Zurrie has written 26 reviews for films rated ★★★½ .

  • Pieces of a Woman

    Pieces of a Woman

    ★★★½

    Snow, apples, and tragedy. It's a very respectable look at dealing with something so emotionally rending. Could have been more complex and cohesive, the relationships in the film aren't well enough developed, but I also appreciate that it was trying to locate a feeling more than a plot. Vanessa Kirby does great work, Ellen Burstyn gets a killer scene, and Molly Parker is very effective as someone who can straddle the lines between calm and tense, sympathetic and suspicious.

  • Hillbilly Elegy

    Hillbilly Elegy

    ★★★½

    A bright young woman, raised in a place of violence and stagnation, birthing a child a too young of age, and the discordant effect on her psyche and how it ripples across to her child and family. It's a common cycle that humanity gets stuck in, society wants people to fend for themselves, instead of giving proper guidance and support. The film handles the material with a knowing sense of place and people, along with some typical Ron Howard touches…

  • Happiest Season

    Happiest Season

    ★★★½

    The cute, wholesome holiday movie we deserve! Life-affirming with enough bite to keep it from being maudlin, gently revolutionary with its welcome display of overcoming fear and societal misjudgment, a breezy example of how easy it could be for people to be more open-minded and understanding. The ensemble is charming and full of fun quirks, with particularly great displays of talent from Mackenzie Davis, Dan Levy, and Mary Steenburgen.

  • Fall Guy

    Fall Guy

    ★★★½

    Love that theme song. I'm just going to write the lyrics here as my review, because for some reason when I search online they don't appear anywhere. Also who wrote these song lyrics (and music)?

    Kamata, city of rainbows, harbor of light, the world of film
    Flowers and the smell of spring everywhere you look
    Even a short romance gets burned into the camera's eye
    Brimming with youth and full of life is the world of film

    Gripping the heart,…

  • Blow Out

    Blow Out

    ★★★½

    For a film centering on sound, De Palma doesn't use it as effectively as he could. The noise of crowds, footsteps, clothes rustling, breaths being drawn, a cigarette being lit, where are these details in the soundscape? There's a certain disregard paid to emotional, story, and logistic details throughout the whole film. De Palma is so obsessed with the visuals that other areas are not given the attention they deserve.

    It's an engaging movie for sure, but could have said…

  • Man of Iron

    Man of Iron

    ★★★½

    This is such a good story, and the performances are good enough (and Krystyna Janda is great, with a confident defiance and layered heartbreak), but I was missing a more exciting and emotional cinematic treatment. Where is the expressive editing, cinematography, sound, music, and interesting visual juxtapositions and camera usage? It was too flat and lacking in pacing, turning something that could have been excellent, and clearly has much thought and conviction behind it, into just an okay movie.

  • Modern Romance

    Modern Romance

    ★★★½

    Well written insight into neurotic relationship pressures (with a particularly insecure character at the center), and using the idea of romance as a means of status and possession to think you can achieve happiness. The aspects concerning film editing were quite funny too. I think this needed to be acted better to sell the constant on-and-off relationship; it isn't quite believable because the performers are just playing the surface, instead of the entire reality of what this situation would be like.

  • Chie the Brat

    Chie the Brat

    ★★★½

    Interesting comedic work from Isao Takahata here, combined with a very young self-sufficient protagonist. Chie's ability to act grown up, in the face of having a troubled/absent parenting situation, is reminiscent of what's to come in Grave of the Fireflies. Characters being animated in an overemphasized way when showing anger seems like a modern stylistic trait of anime that could be traced back to this film. There was a motif about testicles here that I didn't care for, but overall a pretty unique and very underseen movie.

  • Distant Thunder

    Distant Thunder

    ★★★½

    Nice slice of life movie, and more sexual than I was expecting, which builds to a moving conclusion. The tomato greenhouse being a central location made for an appealingly earthy feeling. The musical score throughout is uniquely playful, before finally becoming reflective, and then transitioning into a stunning sequence of the characters singing. The climax is so good that I considered an 8/10 rating, but overall I did want more thematically, there are several tangents touched upon by the film that don't get developed.

  • The Truth About Alex

    The Truth About Alex

    ★★★½

    Surely an important little movie for its time. Seeing a straight guy support his gay friend, despite constant harassment about it from literally everyone else in his life, must have been an especially meaningful touchstone to have back then. It's especially stereotype-breaking considering it's an otherwise macho football quarterback who is taking this stand (and the gay friend is also on the football team), and the movie makes some other moves to establish the ability for someone masculine to be…

  • Palmetto

    Palmetto

    ★★★½

    Absolutely crazy and trashy. Somehow it kind of works. Good usage of liquids LOL - rain, ocean waves, and other...stuff. Woody Harrelson fits the role really well, Elizabeth Shue is having lots of fun, and Gina Gershon is always a strong presence.

  • Just Between Friends

    Just Between Friends

    ★★★½

    Such a soapy screenplay, but it's endearingly uplifting and the performances are very charming. Life is messy and people deserve to find happiness. Friendship is beautiful, and necessary. Christine Lahti and Mary Tyler Moore are an excellent pairing, having a magnetic appeal and imbuing these characters with a real sense of life lived, the specific slices of life being experienced here.