Advertisements
Archive | Film RSS feed for this section

Us Review

22 Mar

Certainly demonstrates (in case we didn’t already know) that Peele is an incredible directing talent with a unique vision and an irresistible energy. Technically, this film fires on all cylinders. The performances land a great mix of humor, intensity, and creepiness. The score is a stunner and ensures that even if the story has trouble resonating, the visceral experience remains steadfast. Many scenes are thoroughly effective at building tension, and there’s a chaotic energy to it that works.

Continue reading

Advertisements

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Review

3 Mar

It was always going to be a tough task to top the magical first installment, but this finale still manages to capture some of that wondrous, soaring energy that accompanies watching these dragons glide through the air. The best scenes in this film see Toothless and Light Fury engaging in a wordless dragon courtship, getting to know each other amidst the backdrop of Powell’s beautiful score and the dazzling visuals (once again, anything Deakins touches turns to gold). The ending is also really lovely. What stops this from being truly great is a one note villain and occasionally a lack of focus on the central relationships and characters. The Hidden World itself gets shortchanged in the process. Nevertheless, I have nothing but respect and admiration for this trilogy and the ways in which it stayed true to its characters and themes, carving out an unmistakable space for itself in a Pixar dominated world.

GRADE: B

The Top 25 Films of 2018

21 Jan

25. Cam

24. Vox Lux

23. The Miseducation of Cameron Post

22. Leave No Trace

21. Cold War

20. Skate Kitchen

Continue reading

The Top 15 Film Scenes of 2018

15 Jan

15. (tie) Thoroughbreds, “The Technique”, and Searching, “Opening”

14. You Were Never Really Here, “Surveillance Cameras”

13. Wildlife, “Ending”

12. Blindspotting, “The Garage”

11. The Favourite and Suspiria, “The Dance” (yes these scenes are very different but this was my way of including both)

Continue reading

On the Basis of Sex Review

13 Jan

It’s pretty basic and exactly what you’d expect going in, but it focuses on such a titan of history that it sometimes manages to overcome its repetitive blandness. Case in point is Leder’s work with the courtroom scenes toward the end, which are certainly cliche but still deliver their themes with cogency and emotion. I feel like we would’ve gotten a more interesting film had Ginsburg’s nephew not written this, but I do applaud him for only focusing on one period of time rather than losing the story while trying to cover her entire life. That’s a problem that many biopic screenwriters don’t avoid.

GRADE: B-

The Top Film Performances of 2018

9 Jan

15. (TIE) Julia Roberts, “Ben Is Back” & Joanna Kulig, “Cold War”

14. Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”

13. Melissa McCarthy & Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me”

12. Daveed Diggs, “Blindspotting”

11. Olivia Cooke, “Thoroughbreds”

Continue reading

Vice Review

3 Jan

Obnoxious, condescending, and extremely messy, yet under all of that it’s still somehow quite watchable. I’m not sure if it’s due more to the eminently compelling real life story or to the charm in watching McKay swing for the fences (and miss more often than not, but still). As a biopic, the film, like many others, attempts to cover way too much ground in too little time, and there’s a huge disconnect between McKay’s know it all smugness and the reductive conclusions he makes throughout. As a piece of entertainment, though, there’s still a wild, unsubtle satirical energy to some of the scenes that renders the whole thing an amusing time at the theater. From the reactions you’d think that The Big Short was some sort of magnum opus relative to this, but the two films really are not too far apart. McKay’s still best when he does Anchorman though.

Also, Amy Adams deserves an Oscar or two, but probably not for this.

GRADE: B-

%d bloggers like this: