2020 MAY MOVIE RANKINGS:
Here we are. Eleven films, eleven ranked slots. A lot was accomplished, from a Mel Brooks marathon to some beautifully shot features to a dud starring Blake Lively. While the streets are filled with riots and the world is becoming more paranoid, it’s the best time to turn to cinema for relief, for a sense of escapism. While not all of these movies knocked it out of the park, it was a nice reprieve in seeing them. I can only pray that we go up from here.
#11- “The Rhythm Section”
40%= Burnt Popcorn
Pros: The performances are alright, with Blake Lively being one of few things keeping the film alive.
Cons: Slower than molasses in pacing, the story works the femme fatale angle in a flimsy fashion, and the characters are not interesting enough to keep my attention.
#10- “Take Me Somewhere Nice”
63%= Burnt Popcorn
Pros: Spectacular cinematography, interesting story (in terms of how it unfolds), and solid acting.
Cons: There are question marks raised with the story (why wouldn’t the cousin take our lead to see her father?), with the film culminating to a conclusion that left me wondering what I just witnessed.
#9- “Robin Hood: Men in Tights”
64%= Burnt Popcorn
Pros: Funny, entertaining, good musical moments, and comedic performances.
Cons: Mel Brooks recycles old jokes (for reasons I can only guess), the first act is sluggish, and the story wasn’t too special (especially when compared to some of Brooks’ other works).
65%= Burnt Popcorn
Pros: Great acting, intriguing central character, and an unpredictable story/character study.
Cons: Ben Stiller’s Greenberg is a frustrating character, leaving me to wonder if it was a good choice to make him the hero. He slightly arcs towards the end, but by the finale I was scratching my head as to what I took away from the experience. Also, Greta Gerwig’s character of Florence was a disappointing one (quite under-used if I might add).
68%= Burnt Popcorn
Pros: Has some memorable and funny moments, and is a standard for “Star Wars” parodies.
Cons: The characters are complete caricatures (especially the plot points that come off as checklist items), some parts are slow (while the rest can be entertaining), and overall the humor can fall flat.
#6- “History of the World: Part I”
75%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Fantastic Spanish Inquisition music number, funny, entertaining comedic observations on historic events, and freaking Orson Welles narrates.
Cons: Like most of Brooks’ later works, this one has its moments, but doesn’t always land with the jokes.
#5- “To Be or Not to Be” (1983)
77%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Fun performances, great chemistry between Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft (obviously), humorous, and a solid concept.
Cons: As far as comedies poking fun at the Nazis, this one isn’t the cream of the crop.
#4- “High Anxiety”
78%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Entertaining, has memorable moments and characters, good comedic performances, and a nice parody of Hitchock cinema.
Cons: The mystery/caper that this film circles around isn’t all that interesting, considering how the story built on its jokes.
#3- “Silent Movie”
87%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Hilarious, fun, great physical comedy, meta story, wonderful cameos, and masterful in how it brings back the silent movie era in modern day.
Cons: If anything, it doesn’t have much rewatchability value.
#2- “The Departed”
92%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Unique editing style, terrific performances, tense story, great cinematography, and punchy action/pacing.
Cons: Some of the editing choices (particularly when it came to music) came off unappealing.
#1- “The Man Who Wasn’t There”
93%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Beautiful cinematography, great acting, engaging story, and an all-around fantastic entry to the noir genre.
Cons: If you aren’t into depressing films, this isn’t for you. It’ll take a second watch, but I also couldn’t figure out what was the theme of the story.
There you have it! “The Man Who Wasn’t There” takes May, and will go up against “1917,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Parasite,” “Uncut Gems,” “Silence,” and the rest of the month winners to decide who will be the next Movie of the Year.