KNIVES OUT takes a brisk pace with its cinematic legerdemain as its cast expertly calibrate their performances so that arch never strays into the certain disaster of becoming artificial. The result is a giddily entertaining, emotionally engaging film that sets a new standard for its genre, and, if there is any justice, will launch the Benoit Blanc franchise.
Based on the novel by Maria Semple, WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE is a tale of artistic vision quashed by its run-ins with the crasser elements of reality, and the consequences of living the resulting inauthentic life with Cate Blanchett perfection as Bernadette, the eccentric anti-social wife of a Seattle Microsoft bigwig. Her skirmishes with her… Read More »
The 9th film from Quentin Tarantino, aka ONCE UPON A TIME . . . IN HOLLYWOOD, takes us back to 1969, and a land of fragile dreams, transactional relationships, and the manifestation of the dark side of it all in the form of Charles Manson (Damon Herriman). Manson himself has but a cameo in the… Read More »
We learn many things in SPIDERMAN FAR FROM HOME. We learn that not only are the Dutch polyglots, but also that they are the nicest people on earth, even when a private jet is making hash of their iconic tulip fields. We learn that saving the planet is just as important as getting that first… Read More »
Ben (Jack Quaid) and Alice (Maya Erskine) have reached that awkward age. Nearing thirty and still single, their lives have become a mad whirl of watching their friends and family pair up for the long haul with wedding vows, corny toasts, and too much champagne. Unable to further bear the stigma of being seated at… Read More »
The live-action version of ALADDIN does many things, including blurring the line between animation and live-action, not unlike the once and future AVATAR. It is more animation than live action and perhaps at some point there should be specific designation for cinematic efforts of this kind. But I digress. Most of what makes the film… Read More »
There is a wondrously cheesy sincerity to SHAZAM! that makes its weak spots irrelevant. It is, in many ways, as pure of heart as its champion, and just as giddy about discovering that magic is real. Plus, there’s that flaming Santa running for his life during the climactic final face-off between good and evil.
Ah, the timeless tale of a boy and his dragon. As recounted in HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON I and II, it was magical. Even more magical is that the final part of the trilogy, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD is the equal of the first two without being a repeat of either installment.
Palme d’Or winner SHOPLIFTERS is a radical deconstruction of family values in a world of dubious ethics. Set amid the throwaways of society, in this case Japan, it finds warmth and togetherness where we would least expect it, and from a family that is not so much scamming the system as they are a family… Read More »
It is with great relief that I report on an American remake of a fine French film that doesn’t drain me of the will to live. After DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS and FATHER’S DAY, the travesties of which haunt me to this very day, Neil Burger’s THE UPSIDE captures most of the essence of what made… Read More »