A ★ review of Women Talking (2022)20 “This is very, very boring.” This line, delivered by one of the few children in the film, perfectly encapsulates Women Talking. Because it is, it’s droll, bland, and one of the WORST looking films of the year. Then why? Why does something as drab and seemingly irrelevant as Sarah Polley’s middling adaptation of a novel that shines a light on the horrific crimes that religious organizations have covered up for decades, exist? The answer is simple: a platform. With the rise of the #MeToo movement finally exposing the decades long history of abuse, assault, and harassment, there is a
A ★★★★★ review of Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)100 I was not prepared for how fantastical this is, a fever dream of nostalgia and baseball stuffed into a frat movie, and then there’s the cast, Wyatt Russell, Tyler Hoechlin, and of course Glen Powell, who might’ve given the best supporting performance of 2016, it’s pitch perfect. Linklater’s spiritial sequel to one of my all time favorite movies is up there as being one of the greatest movies I’ve ever witnessed. I cannot wait to watch this again. Watched on Apple TV
A ★★★★½ review of The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)92 While vastly different from his previous work, McDonagh is firing on all cylinders here, Farrell and Gleeson are great on screen (as if “In Bruges” didn’t cement this). Also marveling at how sad this is. I’m not shocked at McDonagh’s foray into this theme, he’s dabbled in it before. But this is a cannonball into the genre with the abrasive nature of an Irish drunk but the charm and care of a irish Drunk. There are rays of hope, but it’s more of the reflection of the glistening beers that are prominent throughout the production design, than real hope.
A ★★★ review of Triangle of Sadness (2022)68 At this point where is the line that Ruben Östlund continually crosses. From the family dynamics that he (quite literally) puts on their hands in “Force Majeure”, to stripping the art world of everything in “The Square”, he now takes aim at the wealthy in a class-takedown in its most graphic form yet. “Triangle of Sadness” first begins with a relationship between Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (the late Charlbi Dean) and then morphs into the fully satirical sequences, nothing is real at the yacht. Then the third act comes and this is where a lot of what Östlund
A ★★★★½ review of Another Round (2020)98 With The Hunt, Thomas Vinterberg further established himself as a filmmaker to get excited for, if you see his name on a upcoming release poster, get excited, because he will show you something you have never seen before. Add in a collaboration with Mads Mikklesen and you have one of the best films of the 2010s, and now they are back with a new film. Another Round explores the dangers of one of the biggest diseases on the planet, and yet there is such a profound sense of joy throughout the film, even when reality slaps you in the
A ★★★★★ review of Drive My Car (2021)100 If you don't already know I don't like to give out perfect scores often, I believe it discredits my opinion if I use them too flippantly. For the course of 2021, I have now given 3, Zack Snyder's Justice League, C'mon C'mon, and now Ryusuke Hamaguchi's second film of 2021, Drive My Car (with the exception of Terence Davies Benediction). All of these are deserving of this score in their own ways, and here it's because of the adapting, riffing, and elevating of the adapted short story that Hamaguchi took inspiration from. The film is about actors, and its acting
A ★★★★ review of All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)82 The comparisons to Klimov's "Come and See" is warranted, filmed with Kubrickian style and choreography that rivals most action films. My editor compared this to "Mad Max: Fury Road" and I see why, expert long takes with thrilling choreography. Berger crafted something special, I hope it breaks through to the Academy, a tad long however, the peace talks somewhat slowed the film, but it was necessarily so, a break from the chaos is needed. Highly recommend. I guess we're at the time of year when everything seems great. I love it. Watched on Netflix
A ★★★½ review of Armageddon Time (2022)70 James Gray is one the great directors working today, any project he is involved in is one to watch. Which is why it pains me that Armageddon Time is not up to his usual standard. The pacing is the biggest letdown, the first hour is very choppy, but then in the latter half figures out it’s vision and plays wonderfully. One of Gray’s usual highlights are the performances that he gets out of his actors and here is no exception. Jeremy Strong, Anthony Hopkins, and Banks Repeta are the standouts, with Strong being my favorite of the bunch. His brutality
A ★★★★ review of The Whale (2022)87 A behemoth of a film, Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale is aptly titled as it not only has huge thematic relations to Moby Dick, it also deals with obesity and eating disorders, and does so with the reverence needed to tackle such subjects. While my personal connection to The Whale is strong (and not just the Fraser comeback narrative), Aronofsky approaches this with respect, not pity, and it’s a refreshing look at obesity and eating disorders, and Fraser- oh Fraser, he knocked it out of the park. His performance is one of the finest of 2022, and he is elevated even
A ★½ review of Empire of Light (2022)38 What’s worse, to be bad, or boring? Sam Mendes does the brilliant job of sinking into both pots making his worst film to date in such a monotonous and dreary style that sucks the life out of every scene. Olivia Colman is trying, she really is, she’s trying to save the student film level script that Mendes turned in (and I read it, it’s even worse than the movie). Deakins is squandered by unnecessary editing by Lee Smith (which more seems like Mendes took over, bc Smith is a GREAT editor) and a fine score by Reznor and Ross.
A ★★★★½ review of Babylon (2022)92 Chazelle’s fever dream of 1920s Hollywood is not only demented, depraved, and deceiving, it’s down right one of the finest films of 2022 has offered thus far, and it all goes back to the true star of the show; Damien Chazelle. The Boy-Wonder of Hollywood finally turns his lens to condemn culture while celebrating ideas. He does this through mythological protagonists that could be straight out of a greek epic and it allows for the themes he wants to convey to explore each setting as a new interpretation of art and it’s future. A lot has been said about
A ★★★½ review of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)76 If you don’t know already- I love to be wrong about movies, there’s a certain joy to it. Admittedly I was hesitant to go into this, with the death of Chadwick Boseman hanging over Wakanda Forever, there was a lot to be worried, and none of the marketing excited me to see this, but after a rocky 15 minutes, and a horrible intro to the Dora Milaje, I was wrong. Despite Letitia Wright’s poor acting performances outside of the MCU, she gets Shuri perfectly, her leading the film worked in ways I never could have dreamed, and being supported
A ★★★★ review of The Equalizer (2014)80 A somewhat forgotten action flick that surprises in its stylistic qualities and with its depth of both protagonist and antagonist. And not just though blantant exposition, the saying “a person fights how they live” is clearly true here. Denzel’s McCall is restrained, he takes no pleasure in violence but he does it nonetheless, even apologizing after killing. Whereas Csokas’ Runsen enjoys watching the life drain out, for him this is sport, and he plays his lines as such, allowing for some darkly comedic moments when in reality you should be horrified. Fuqua’s latest entries in his filmography have been
A ★★½ review of Jurassic World Dominion (2022)52 Not terrible, certainly a step up from the monstrosity known as "Fallen Kingdom", but Trevorrow has become the thing that was done to him, retconning a lot of "Fallen Kingdom" much like Abrams did when he took "TROS" over from Trevorrow. The new characters Ramsey and Kayla are both fantastic, but the villain was one of the worst I've seen in a while, the visuals are nice, but the score is intrusive and bland, Bryce Dallas Howard is great, but at the cost of sidelining Chris Pratt, there is a handful of truly great sequences, but the filler is
A ★★★½ review of Amsterdam (2022)77 Try to be optimistic This line, spoken in the first half of the film, captures exactly what Russell is trying to convey- a first for the filmmaker, whose previous efforts include "The Fighter," "American Hustle," and "I Heart Huckabees"- are mostly downers, even the pervasive style of "Hustle" eventually turns into an all-too-real reality. A first for Russell, but his efforts do not fall on deaf ears- folks seem to be getting that this is the message, but then misunderstand everything else about "Amsterdam". Russell's latest has fallen ill to the recent trend of "review bombing" because of his