Quick Reviews: “I, Tonya,” “Shape of Water,” “The Disaster Artist,” “Downsizing,” “Jumanji 2”

By | December 31, 2017

Lightning quick reviews of some great movies (mostly) before I have to throw up my end-of-the-year list of reviews…

I, Tonya…Not since Charlize Theron in “Monster” has an A-list sex symbol so thoroughly transformed herself in a role, but Margot Robbie mostly portrays Tonya Harding without the use of prosthetics. I also loved the breaking of the fourth wall, and addressing the different sides of this story. Grade: A

The Shape of Water…Romantic, beautiful, and arguably Guillermo Del Toro’s most fully realized dreamscape. Grade: A- (borderline A)

The Disaster Artist…Fantastic, and a career-best performance for James Franco. Grade: A

Downsizing…Even if the trailer looks like a broad comedy, Alexander Payne’s biggest-budget film keeps throwing you curveballs. A minor-masterpiece (no pun intended) that at first seems to be overdosing on Payne’s low-key Midwesterness (which “Nebraska” did completely) before the introduction of Christoph Waltz and Hong Chau’s characters, who broaden the world into a work of deep, wide open humanism. Grade: A-

Jumanji 2…Kevin Hart annoys spectacularly as an asshole jock trapped in a shorter body, but there’s some decent sequences, a cool jungle setting, and the mighty efforts of Karen Gillam and Jack Black, trapped in bodies that make them insecure. Grade: C+

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