by ECI Released : 2023-07-21
Barbie and Oppenheimer have captured the hearts of film fans across the country and are on pace for the largest opening weekend since 2021. In honor of the Barbenheimmer trend I’ll be reviewing both films in this review.
Barbie is directed by Greta Gerwig and stars Margot Robbie as Barbie, and Ryan Gosling as Ken, with an ensemble cast of actors playing additional Barbies and Kens. The film’s comedy is a highlight, especially when Gosling is on screen always making you want more of what he added to the film. Margot Robbie also shines in the starring role but the film is not without its flaws. Characters in the real world at Mattel, the company that created Barbie, act more cartoonish then those within the fictional barbieland. This creates tonal inconsistency and multiple plot points that don’t really go anywhere and distract from more scenes that Barbie or Ken could appear in. Overall the film is definitely more enjoyable for female audiences with a heavily feminist message but still worth a watch for production value, and performances alone.
Oppenheimer is directed by Christopher Nolan and stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppeneheimer the father of the atomic bomb who was the director of the Manhattan project during World War II. The film is fantastic, easily one of the best of the year, the entire ensemble cast gives brilliant performances with Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. giving near Oscar worthy ones. RDJ plays Lewis Strauss and the film's narrative structure jumps between Strauss’s hearing to be sworn in as a member of Eisenhower's cabinet, and a private meeting to renew Oppenheimer's security clearance which occurred before these events. Then through Oppenehimer's accounts we learn the story of his life, his complicated romantic and personal history all through the lens of Nolan’s brilliant direction.
Writing a review about everything this film did right would lead to a novel, picking out a few flaws may be even more difficult. The film with a three hour run time never feels the weight of pacing issues plagued by many films of similar length. The visual effects are all practical (even the trinity test of the nuclear bomb, recreated by Nolan using. a series of practical explosions) and are breathtaking to behold on the big screen. Oppenehiemer is a must see at a drive-in near you.