Jojo Rabbit is a comedy-drama written and directed by Taika Waititi and is based on Christine Leunens’s book, Caging Skies. The title character, Jojo Rabbit, is a ten-year-old who lives in Nazi Germany nearing the end of WWII. Jojo has created an imaginary friend, who happens to be his version of Adolf Hitler. After the Academy Awards were announced, Jojo Rabbit was re-featured at many major theaters — I’m more than ecstatic for that decision. I’m just going to say, WOW!
Johannes “Jojo” Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) is a ten-year-old boy living in Nazi Germany during World War II with his mother, Rosie (Scarlett Johansson). His absent father is supposedly serving on the Italian Front but has lost all contact with his family. Jojo’s older sister Inge has recently died of influenza. The nationalistic Jojo often talks with his imaginary friend, a supportive but childish version of Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi). Jojo and his best friend Yorki (Archie Yates) attend a Deutsches Jungvolk Hitler Youth training camp, run by the one-eyed Wehrmacht Captain Klenzendorf (Sam Rockwell). When Jojo is ordered to kill a rabbit by one of the older Youth members, he tries to release it and runs off crying. After a pep talk from his imaginary friend, Jojo returns and throws a Stielhandgranate without permission. It bounces off a tree and explodes at his feet, leaving him with facial scars and a slight limp. After Jojo recovers, Rosie asks Klenzendorf, who was demoted after the incident, to make her son feel included despite his injuries. Jojo had been exempt from field training and placed in the back office where he performed small tasks such as spreading propaganda leaflets throughout the town, as well as collecting scrap metal for the war effort. Alone at home one day, Jojo discovers a teenage girl who was his late sister’s former classmate, Elsa Korr (Thomasin McKenzie), living upstairs.
I thought Jojo Rabbit was a children’s film and didn’t bother to see it. Not only is Jojo Rabbit not strictly a children’s flick, but it is also an anti-Hitler Satire, like none I’ve ever seen. There are so many surprises in this film, I’m reluctant to tell any parts of the story, as it may spoil it for you. Out of the eight other movies nominated for best picture Oscar, Jojo Rabbit is my pick. It’s really that good. Between Roman Griffin Davis, Taika Waiti, Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell, this film shows how brilliantly outstanding these actors are. The scenery allowed me to feel the effects of war-torn Germany. By no means, was Jojo Rabbit a comedy, assassinations of their citizens, the public hangings of bodies, bombs constantly exploding and routine inspections of neighborhood homes for hidden Jews are just some of what reminded the audience of the seriousness, sadness and horrific acts of the holocaust. As of January 20, 2020, Jojo Rabbit has grossed $23.9M, US and Canada, $20M internationally, for a worldwide total of $43.9M. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 80% based on 361 reviews, with an average rating of 7.52/10. The website’s critics consensus reads: “Jojo Rabbit’s blend of irreverent humor and serious ideas definitely won’t be to everyone’s taste—but either way, this anti-hate satire is audacious to a fault. Find out who is living upstairs and what happens to Jojo’s commitment to being a Nazi. I promise you will not like Jojo Rabbit in the beginning but by the end, you will love it. Brilliantly presented, you’ve not seen anything like this movie. Check It Out!
[JOJO RABBIT is Oscar-nominated for BEST: Picture, Supporting Actress, Costume Design, Film Editing, Production Design and Adapted Screenplay — TOTALLING 6 OSCAR NOMINATIONS]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged adolf hitler, alfie allen, Archie Yates, Captain Klenzendorf, Deertz, Elsa Korr, Finkel, Fräulein Rahm, Hitlerjugend, johannes "Jojo Rabbit" Betzler, JOJO RABBIT, Rebel Wilson, roman griffin davis, rosie Betzler, sam rockwell, scarlett johansson, stephen merchant, Taika Waititi, Thomasin McKenzie, Yorki
Isn’t It Romantic is a satirical romantic comedy directed by Todd Strauss-chulson and written by Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox, and Katie Silberman. Isn’t It Romantic follows a young woman who gets hit on the head and wakes up in a parallel world where everything around her plays out like a romantic comedy. The film has grossed over $47 million and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised Wilson’s performance.
Isn’t It Romantic opens in Australia, during the early 1990s, with a young Natalie (Rebel Wilson) watching the romantic comedy, Pretty Woman. Natalie’s mother (Jennifer Saunders) crushes her spirit and enthusiasm by telling her that women like them (heavy set and not drop dead gorgeous) don’t get happy endings in real life.
Fast forward twenty-five years; Natalie is working as an architect in New York City. She has low self-esteem and is treated as a pushover by her colleagues. To add insult to injury, at a key meeting where Natalie was to present her ideas to a new handsome, billionaire, client named Blake (Liam Hemsworth), he mistakes her for an assistant and askes her to get him a cup of coffee. Humiliated, she storms out of the meeting and catches her friend/assistant, Whitney (Betty Gilpin) watching “The Wedding Singer”. Natalie reprimands Whitney then starts spewing cynical rants about romantic comedies and their clichés. Hoping to boost Natalie’s spirit, Josh (Adam DeVine) invites her to a karaoke bar but she declines.
**** SOME SPOILERS BELOW ****
On her way home from the office, Natalie is accosted by a mugger on the subway. After a brief struggle in which she ultimately repels her attacker, she knocks herself unconscious by clumsily walking head-first into a steel girder. When Natalie wakes up, she finds herself in a hospital and is greeted by an attractive doctor, who immediately starts flirting with her. Unnerved and confused, Natalie leaves the hospital, walks outside and notices, New York now looks and smells much better than it usually does. Suddenly, she is almost hit by a limousine, which contains an apologetic, genial version of Blake, who is now speaking with an Australian accent. Blake drops her off at home, before leaving he writes his phone number on flower petals, which he then dumps haphazardly into her upturned hat. Still confused, Natalie enters her apartment, she finds it to be much larger and nicer than before. Her previously-unruly dog is now well-groomed and obedient, her closet is stocked with a dazzling array of clothes and shoes. So everything looks, smells, acts and appears better in a world that seems the same but is not.
Isn’t It Romantic is not a new concept but a very cute one with a message for those who are non-emphatic or bullies to others. This is a simple story and what I call a fill in when there’s nothing else available. The movie runs 1 hour 29 minutes and is really a teenage fantasy masquerading as an adult comedy. You probably can predict the rest of this story and be absolutely correct. I think it’s a decent comedy for a young person, however I don’t recommend you actually spend money to see it, unless you’re renting it from Amazon or Netflix. Isn’t It Romantic is not due to be released on DVD until May 21, 2019. Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged Adam DeVine, Betty Gilpin, blake, Brandon Scott Jones, Donny, Dr. Todd, gary, Isabella, Jay Oakerson, Jennifer Saunders, Josh, liam hemsworth, natalie, Priyanka Chopra, Rebel Wilson, Tom Ellis, Whitney