Movies & Films

Reviews of both new release and older movies & films.

The Favourite Is a Sharply Faceted Costume Drama

The Favourite, the newest film from Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos, tells you right up front what it’s about: it opens with a scene of Queen Anne, having just made a speech, being divested of her ermine-trimmed cloak and crown. In the next scene, in deliberate contrast, we meet Abigail Hall, who’s apparently down on hard times and shows up to Kensington Palace covered in mud. The mud, she informs us, stinks. A maid tells her it’s because people defecate...

Robin Hood’s Great Cast Can’t Save a Mess of a Movie

I admit was slightly annoyed when I heard another Robin Hood movie was being released. There are only so many times the same story can be told on the big screen, even if a hot British actor is cast in the role, and my expectations of this movie were at an all-time low. Given that, I was pleasantly surprised how immersed I became in the story. It’s a flawed movie, but the action was enough to keep me interested. In this version,...

Widows Breaks the Rules

For those not invested in the history of independent film, a film like Widows could be nearly inexplicable. It is, at its core, an action heist thriller that shares tone with ’90s indie crime films like The Usual Suspects, Reservoir Dogs, or One False Move. In a reversal of the usual career trajectory, this is the feature follow-up to director Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning drama masterpiece 12 Years a Slave (2013), which shares very little with Widows on a superficial level. The story...

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Takes a Topical Look into the Wizarding World

Fantastic Beasts is proving to be the grown-up sibling of the Harry Potter series. Both tales feature dastardly deeds done by dark wizards with similar wizard-supremacy belief structures, but where Voldemort’s evil was simplistic, Grindelwald brings the danger of a seductive and occasionally reasonable-sounding evil. In many ways, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald feels topical. It’s easy to wonder why any sane person would back Grindelwald, who preaches a message of wizard superiority over those who lack magic, but...

Ralph Breaks the Internet Is a Minor Upgrade

The return to the video-game world of Wreck-It Ralph certainly expands on the already imaginative playground of arcade game characters. While the first film certainly had an intelligent charm, I still felt there was untapped potential for an adventure that deserved more than an onslaught of puns. The sequel, on the other hand, takes a bold step out of the arcade and into the boundless limits of the Internet. But while Ralph Breaks the Internet still has that clever...

Overlord Reanimates a Dead Genre

If you told me a year ago that I would be walking through the rain to see a late-night screening of a World War II zombie movie, I would scoffed and gone back to researching New Zealand immigration laws. Things change, of course, and the great thing about movies is that all it takes is one or two totally solid ones to shift the landscape and kick off another trend. As easy as it is to disparage the entertainment...

Suspiria Spills Over with Stimulating Shocks

Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria is every bit as twisted, stylish, and violent as its 1977 counterpart. In the same way that David Gordon Green’s Halloween is a faithful throwback of the John Carpenter classic, Guadagnino adheres greatly to the creepy uneasiness that made Dario Argento’s original film such a nightmarish trip. And while the film is sure to be deeply polarizing for going insane with its panic, terror, and gore, the boldness of its insanity makes it all the more...

Venom Gets Sloppy with Antihero Hijinks

Venom is a film that involves more conflict with its tone than with its infected antihero. It’s a battle of humor, heroism, and horror, struggling with itself and unable to decide which route to take. All this thrashing in bringing the Spider-Man villain to the big screen with his first solo film brings about a mutant concoction that sways between creature-feature boredom and over-the-top buddy comedy. All I could think of while watching this faulty film was how much...

The Bleach Live-Action Film Is Goofy but Surprisingly Enjoyable

There’s just something about the anime series Bleach that triggers nostalgia for my time as an awkward, nerdy high schooler in a way nothing else does. Play me just a little bit of the soundtrack and I’ll be right back to my 17-year-old self, whiling away countless hours watching it with my brother on our parents’ desktop computer. Engaging with this series again always feels like opening a late-2000s time capsule and rediscovering all the reasons my love for anime...

Ethan Hawke’s Blaze Is a Sweet Southern Biopic

For this biopic on country legend Blaze Foley, director Ethan Hawke approaches the man with the same gentle and rambling wisdom as his songs. More than just a chronology of events, Blaze is a film that takes its time to slow down and appreciate the melodies of a musician who strolled through life in a manner equal parts kind and drunk. He was loving but depressed. He was fragile but could still go on the offensive when he felt...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!