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The Devil All The Time – TCF Review

TCF Review: Appeased/Dark/Visceral but FAIL (see definitions)

The Devil All The Time (TDATT) (streaming on Netflix) is a new film based off of the novel of the same name written by Donald Ray Pollock and starring Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgard, Haley Bennett and Jason Clarke. Its stellar cast and visceral cinematography alone make the film worthy of watching but something didn’t quite work for me.

The Netflix description reads as “Sinister characters converge around a young man devoted to protecting those he loves in a postwar backwoods town teeming with corruption and brutality”.

The description implies that there is an overall plot or central theme rooted throughout but I failed to uncover it. Is it that man has a dark side that is deeply intertwined with faith? The movie is very dark and disturbing but there is little to no character attachment. It feels rushed. TDATT (should have) been a mini-series, or movie adaptation of the book in which they focus primarily on developing the complex and sinister characters rather than on their sinister deeds. I would guess the book establishes the character superbly. TDATT feels more like trying to take Stephen King’s novel, IT, and condensing it to a single two hour film. It just cannot be done well.

What is good? Beautifully made – cinematography is superb. If you like ‘dark’ then you’ll be satisfied. It could be a bit much for some viewers. The cast is top notch and puts on solid performances.

What is bad? The book likely delves deep down into the souls of these characters which is lacking in this movie. TDATT is tantalizing to watch but a true connection with any character was never established.

Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Movies

The Devil All The Time

My most anticipated movie of September, maybe even in this pandemic of a 2020, is being released on Netflix tomorrow (9/16). The film’s description states “Sinister characters converge around a young man devoted to protecting those he loves in a postwar backwoods town teeming with corruption and brutality.” TDATT was written and directed by Antonio Campos and has a stellar cast starring Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgard and Haley Bennett. Match that lineup with the ‘dark thriller’ trailer below and you have one @#%^%@#! potential of a movie!

TCF review coming soon…

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Movies

Tenet – TCF Review

TCF Review: Straight-Up Solid/Brainiac/Original-ish/Edge of Your Seat/Action Junkie (see definitions).

Once you’ve seen Tenet for the first time, then you can watch it a second time to actually follow along. Visionary writer and director, Christopher Nolan, uses the concept of entropy as the backdrop to this mind-bending secret agent thriller. The action occurs through ‘forward moving time’ and ‘time moving in reverse’ (otherwise known as ‘inversion’). The movie doesn’t provide the viewer with enough time to absorb what they are watching so multiple viewings should make the movie get BETTER each time. Is it possible that Nolan is creating films (Tenet, Inception, Memento) that need to be watched multiple times as part of a strategy to double or triple his movie sales…

What is good? Ingenious, fun to watch and visually stunning. The movie score has a haunting quality that keeps the viewer feeling impending doom throughout. Very unique.

What is bad? It is difficult to follow and appreciate the first time through.