In this installment: Knives Out, Ready Or Not, and Black Christmas.
I mean, yeah: 2019 was definitely the year of Me Not Getting It. But "not getting it" seems like an awfully weird sentiment to voice about Rian Johnson's Knives Out, which is mercilessly obvious in the "it" it intends you to get, while simultaneously committing (hell, if you listen to critics, you'd think Johnson had signed a pledge or something) to being the proverbial fun time at the movies. It's not even not a fun time. It's more like 130 minutes is a long span to spend having its particular brand of a fun time, much of which is dedicated to the overfreighting of a theme (singular) that still winds up slightly-incoherently expressed, and to a structure that spends the first half hour unproductively faking you out regarding the movie you're here to enjoy. I mean, at bottom, it's basically an episode of Monk, right? One of the ones where you know the broad shape of the crime but are left in the dark as to the rest? What's so hard about that? Heck, that would be great, I love Monk, except Knives Out is more than three times as long, still with roughly the same amount of content, and the Poirotish super-detective it showcases (I like Poirot too) is almost entirely uninteresting, just in and of himself. It must be said: that this may start a franchise, and may have been intended to start a franchise—a franchise revolving around Benoit "CSI KFC" Blanc (Daniel Craig, and yes, these are the jokes, folks)—remains the most insoluble puzzle of the tale.