Spling reviews Our Friend, I Am All Girls and Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind as broadcast on Talking Movies, Fine Music Radio. Listen to podcast.
Good morning – welcome to Talking Movies, I’m Spling…
This week we’re talking about a coming-of-age dramedy, a mystery crime thriller and a biographical documentary.
Starting off with a film showing on Labia Home Screen…
After receiving life-altering news, a couple finds unexpected support from their best friend.
Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Stars: Jason Segel, Casey Affleck and Dakota Johnson
– Based on a true story, this heartfelt and unusual coming-of-age comedy drama captures the joy and sorrow of life through a series of tender snapshots.
– Centring on a married couple and their mutual friend, this drama serves as a testament to the rare power of an enduring, self-sacrificing and unconditional friendship.
– Bolstered by a strong trio of co-lead performances from its underrated name stars, Our Friend chronicles an exceptional friend who puts his own life on pause to help his married friends get through the rigours of a cancer diagnosis.
– Jumping back and forth in time we get snippets of information as the relationships evolve.
– Guided by earnest performances, sensitive writing and a story not often told, it’s a refreshing and touching ode to the comedy and tragedy of life through its many seasons.
– While running a little long at over two hours, fine performances keep you emotionally invested in the characters with the non-linear edit providing a seesawing and rippling effect.
– Capturing some tough life moments, dealing with grief, impending heartache and the daily challenges, Our Friend offers hope and inspiration in the midst of the most vulnerable and lonesome of days.
A solid 7 on the splingometer!
Moving on to a film on Netflix…
I AM ALL GIRLS
A special crimes investigator forms an unlikely bond with a serial killer to bring down a global child sex trafficking syndicate.
Director: Donovan Marsh
Stars: Erica Wessels, Hlubi Mboya and Deon Lotz
– Marsh’s latest effort is promising and provocative, yet seems like a misstep.
– A timely issues thriller, I Am All Girls has edge and flair and the filmmaker cultivates great mood in this smouldering mystery, allowing the heaviness of human trafficking to permeate.
– Moving at a good pace and leveraging prime locations from shipping container yards to an outlying farmhouse, I Am All Girls is a handsomely mounted local thriller.
– The smooth cinematography ties in with the dark mood, yet as promising and competent as it is, it’s ultimately undermined by a thin script.
– Able to focus on the look, feel and mood of I Am All Girls, the costly sacrifice is a real connection to the characters.
– Unable to mine characterisation through nuance or dialogue, this lack of character development and focus keeps us hanging onto the genre’s cliches and tenacious performances.
– Trying to essentially house two leads diminshes both of their characters and stories in the process.
– The limited dialogue gives you whiffs of character but isn’t enough to help you identify with or care for them.
– It’s this distance that compounds over time, aggravated by choices that dilute suspense and withdraw the viewer from being in the moment.
– I Am All Girls has impact value, deals with important issues, grapples with a promising concept, features a game ensemble and looks the part.
– Unfortunately, its half-baked script seems rushed, doing much with little, progressively loosening its grip as arrested development sets in.
A flat 5 on the splingometer!
And finally a documentary on Showwax…
ROBIN WILLIAMS: COME INSIDE MY MIND
An intimate look into the life and work of the revered master comedian and actor, Robin Williams.
Director: Marina Zenovich
– It’s hard to believe that it has already been seven years since Robin Williams’s untimely passing.
– Living on through his movies, considered performances and outrageous stand-up comedy genius, it’s difficult not to be reminded of his phenomenal legacy from time to time.
– A difficult-to-know a person, this documentary chronicles the star’s childhood, early inspiration, career ambitions and rise to stardom by unpacking his special, quickwitted runaway train brand of comedy.
– Filling in many gaps to what you think you know about the late comedian turned actor, this intimate foray blends hilarious interviews, stand-up performances, tabloid stories, interviews with friends and former lovers to create a rich tapestry in an attempt to capture the essence of Williams.
– Gleaning insights from close friends Eric Idle and Billy Crystal, the biographical celebrity documentary is thorough capturing never-before-seen footage, old photographs and Williams through the years.
– A force of nature, a world-renowned star, and inspirational comedian, Robin Williams: come inside my mind serves as a comprehensive overview, a heartfelt tribute and an important reminder of a great legacy from an irrepressible yet troubled genius.
– Moving at a great pace, absorbing in its attempt to capture his essence and wholeheartedly entertaining in relaying the dizzying highs and lows of his career, it’s a humble yet admirable and respectful encapsulation.
An excellent 8 on the splingometer!
So just to wrap up…
OUR FRIEND… while overlong, this unusual, tender and touching coming-of-age dramedy is elevated by earnest performances and sensitive writing… A solid 7!
I AM ALL GIRLS… this mystery crime thriller’s sharp cast, promising story, dark mood and timely issues are undermined by a thin and unfocussed script… A flat 5!
ROBIN WILLIAMS: COME INSIDE MY MIND… a comprehensive, entertaining, intimate and heartfelt biographical documentary tribute to the late great comedian and actor… An excellent 8!
For more movie reviews, previous Talking Movies podcasts and upcoming Bingeing with Spling watch parties visit splingmovies.com.
And remember, Don’t WING it, SPL!NG it!