Zurrie has written 13 reviews for films rated ★★★ .

  • Soul

    Soul

    ★★★

    This was far more by-the-numbers and lacking in emotion than it should have been. Did not find it funny for the most part and there wasn't enough substance given to the concept of the afterlife or even "following your dreams"; the characters are not well developed either. Definitely weaker than Coco, which I already have some problems with in terms of how it depicts the afterlife and the concept of family. One small detail here that oddly annoyed me a…

  • Over the Moon

    Over the Moon

    ★★★

    Quite a whacky movie in several regards. It doesn't all work (and the songs are especially underwhelming), but there's enough imagination to keep it semi-interesting, and it's good-hearted enough to make me think "yeah, I'd let kids watch this without worry about it polluting their brain", although the story is ultimately superficial. It's easily summed up as being a lesser version of Moana, actually slightly more ambitious in terms of poetic visuals, but not as effective overall.

  • Gandhi

    Gandhi

    ★★★

    So many reviews about this one are like "it's too tedious and simplistic, but Ben Kingsley's performance is great"...but on revisit his performance is extremely overrated. I was constantly aware of the acting, wasn't convinced of the supposed transformation, and got only surface level thought and emotion from him (aside from a single scene where he cries). There is a knowing grin throughout too much of Kingsley's performance that ruins the sense of realness, of danger, and of being the…

  • Southern Comfort

    Southern Comfort

    ★★★

    Fails as a Vietnam allegory because the characters are still in a place where they are allowed to be and where many locals speak English, and because they are the ones who created the problem to begin with (one soldier in particular). It turns out when you take someone's canoes and open fire on them for no reason, they might shoot back at you, who would have thought? Maybe the film can be looked at as a depiction of American…

  • Endless Love

    Endless Love

    ★★★

    Yeah a lot of the plotting is completely ridiculous and the acting isn't especially good. The main actors are gorgeous though, and have a softness in their eyes that does kind of relay the purity of their love, so this serves as good enough entry point to believe in and care about the relationship. While I don't find it believable that the main character would set fire to someone's house (what could it even accomplish?), and then temporarily be sent…

  • Umrao Jaan

    Umrao Jaan

    ★★★

    It's difficult to get into Bollywood films. They are always overlong and have aesthetic aspects that feel tacky, along with a type of performance quality that can tend to feel artificial. The music often does not resonate with me either, which at times could be a language barrier with song lyrics. I found this particular film to have some better music than usual, it seemed more soulful at times. The overall story was better than usual as well, and several…

  • The Aviator's Wife

    The Aviator's Wife

    ★★★

    A film that tries to say something about insecurity and the need for relationship, but is too dull in execution and superficial in conception. The central relationship is terribly bland, and boringly performed by those two actors (especially the nearly lifeless male), and the visual style is tedious and unenlightening in its grey minimalism and static movement. We know almost nothing about Francois and Anne before he begins his stalkerish impulses to find out if she is cheating, and the…

  • The Morning After

    The Morning After

    ★★★

    I was interested, for awhile, by the amount of tension in the film and the desperation surrounding the Fonda character. The premise creates a good entry into psychological and circumstantial terror, doubt, and isolation. Her character seems to keep making one bad decision after another, but she's somewhat justified in thinking herself innocent of a crime she didn't commit, and being scared of unfair punishment. Unfortunately this tension dissipates as the film goes on and the entire story collapses into…

  • 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…

  • 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).

  • Richard Jewell

    Richard Jewell

    ★★★

    Kernels of truth and sympathy, but delivered in a frustratingly mediocre fashion. Eastwood is too lazy to be taking on subjects like media hysteria and the damage caused to the souls of those who are labelled as pariahs. I'm not much of an Eastwood fan, but I am a defender of The Mule from last year, so there was hope of something with more of a perspective here.

    Unfortunately, Eastwood contributes virtually nothing but the totally obvious with his visual…

  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

    A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

    ★★★

    A well meaning movie that lacks the necessary depth to be moving or insightful. It instead comes off as cloying at times, in part because Marielle Heller overuses closeups. Tom Hanks is miscast as Mr Rogers; his heart is in the right place, but his presence feels too dominant and you can feel his effort in trying to be overly gentle and ministerial.

    We are asked to feel deeply about the main character's struggle with a troublesome father, when that…