Category Archives: Review

See You Down the Road: Nomadland (Review)

On the heels of its Golden Lion win at the Venice Film Festival and Golden Globes nominations, Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland has been released in theaters and Hulu.

Nomadland, directed by Zhao, is an eye-opening look at the lifestyle of nomads in the United States. The film stars Frances McDormand as Fern, a woman struggling with grief starting a life as a nomad figure across the United States, meeting fellow nomads on her journey. As with The Rider (2017), Zhao takes advantage of giving the film a realistic feel with various scenes feeling almost documentary-like in their execution. I have no doubt several lines were improvised between McDormand and the other actors because of how natural their delivery was. Continue reading See You Down the Road: Nomadland (Review)

News of the World: Tom Hanks – Frontier Arbiter of Sincerity (Review)

When divorced from the charged docudramas and caffeinated capers of a certain amnesiac assassin that have sculpted the career of director Paul Greengrass, his latest, News of the World, already passes muster: a lively, capably produced and oftentimes contemplative Western with two terrific performances and a message that cuts through the contemporary blues. Yet there is more to it than that. Add to News’s greater success a willingness to lift a page from Greengrass’s entries in the Bourne franchise (sans memory loss) and its lead in Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne, in its examination of regrettably scarred but emotionally intelligent men who open the eyes of those around them as they skirt the very circumstances that divide opinions. Continue reading News of the World: Tom Hanks – Frontier Arbiter of Sincerity (Review)

Malcolm & Marie: A Tired Product of COVID Era Cinema (Review)

Malcolm & Marie
is a black and white romantic drama starring John David Washington and Zendaya is directed by Sam Levinson, known for Assassination Nation and Euphoria, the latter of which Zendaya also stars in. Entirely written and produced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the single location movie follows the titular couple coming home from the premiere of a film Malcolm directed where he failed to thank Marie for being a key part of the process in the creation of said film. This offscreen inciting incident leads to a series of events that will push the limits of their relationship.

The first thing one notices in Malcolm & Marie is it’s gorgeous black and white cinematography. The shadows and lighting of the film are stunning, and there are a handful of long takes that capture the restlessness of the characters so well as the walk around the beautiful house the entire movie is set in. If the film was judged merely on these merits, there would be little to complain about. Unfortunately, it can’t be. Continue reading Malcolm & Marie: A Tired Product of COVID Era Cinema (Review)

Still Relevant: A “Cuties” Review

Still from film Cuties
If you thought the hubbub over Cuties  was over, think again. News has just dropped that Netflix now faces a grand jury indictment in Texas for promoting lewd visual material. Is Cuties irredeemably lurid? Does it criticize precisely what its critics find offensive about it?

Cuties (French: Mignonnes) is not an easy movie to talk about. A heated discourse developed around it since Netflix announced the film’s release on its platform with a marketing campaign that sparked outrage due to the sexually suggestive behavior of the pre-adolescent characters in promotional material. The controversy has continued to grow since the movie’s release on September 9th with rumors being spread about grooming and child pornography. What is fascinating about this phenomenon is that the film’s content clearly sides with its detractors. That being said it is not immune to criticism on how it presents its critique of the sexualization of young girls. Continue reading Still Relevant: A “Cuties” Review

“The Mafia doesn’t exist.” – The Traitor Review

Marco Bellocchio’s latest film, The Traitor, brings the story of mafioso turned informant Tommaso Buscetta (Pierfrancesco Favino) to the big screen in 2019’s best mafia movie (I’m looking at you The Irishman). In 2 hours and 15 minutes of intense dramatic scenes and thrilling montages, the 80-year-old director stitches together a mafia movie, courtroom drama, and biopic about the first person to confirm the existence of the mafia in Italy and to break Cosa Nostra’s oath of silence. Bellocchio refuses to shy away from any techniques that might enhance his story. The result is a sometimes messy but effective film that leaves you wanting to know more about this period in Italian history.

Continue reading “The Mafia doesn’t exist.” – The Traitor Review

‘Birds of Prey’: A Fun and Frenetic Action Film

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is a breath of fresh air in DC’s otherwise notorious lineup of superhero movies. Taking place after the events of Suicide Squad and a recent breakup with the Joker, the film follows Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) as she finds herself teamed up with do-gooders Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who unite to save a young girl from Gotham’s newest evil crime lord. Brilliant performances and a fantastic script result in an imperfect but delightfully irreverent look at supervillainy and more importantly, the bonds between women.

Continue reading ‘Birds of Prey’: A Fun and Frenetic Action Film

The Gentlemen – A Comedic Witty Action Film… That’s It

The opening of Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen feels like a Lincoln commercial, thanks in part to a suit-clad Matthew McConaughey droning on about a lion’s duties in the jungle. You can’t help but think that Ritchie will pan the camera over to the sleek glass curtain walls of a Lincoln dealership. Instead, the audience is met with a casual London pub, where protagonist Mickey orders himself a pint. Continue reading The Gentlemen – A Comedic Witty Action Film… That’s It