Wednesday, December 26, 2018

If Beale Street Could Talk - Review

Merely a few years removed from directing and writing a Best Picture winner, Barry Jenkins returns to grace audiences with another exquisite and emotional film. In many ways, If Beale Street Could Talk feels like a spiritual sibling to Moonlight, with Jenkins melding of aesthetically pleasing frames, precise use of color, and a mesmerizing integration of music to ensnare the audience into this world, and possibly put himself in line for another winner.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Bumblebee - Review

No one needed, or really wanted, a Bumblebee prequel when it was announced back in 2016. The Transformers series had long been the butt of the joke when it came to big budget Hollywood franchises, even if they continually made piles of money, and a sixth entry was appealing to very few. But as the development progressed and Paramount brought in talented people to write and direct their prequel, anticipation began to mount. The final product is not only worthy of existence, but it is actually good and remarkably exciting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Mary Queen of Scots - Review

Where one costume drama strives to be different and unique in The Favourite, another aims for the typical and well-traveled path of films that have come before. It isn’t that Mary Queen of Scots is bad by any means, just safe, utilizing the usual tropes and beats that similar films have come to follow. And yet its production design and costumes paired with some talented leading women make it hard to write off entirely.

Mary Poppins Returns - Review

The staying power of the original Mary Poppins is unquestionable, from the work of Julie Andrews, to the music, and to the visual artistry on display. It is a classic in every sense of the word, which only makes the prospects of a sequel all the more difficult nearly fifty-four years later. And while Mary Poppins Returns may not quite live up to its predecessor, its ability to stay within the parameters of the original’s themes make it worthwhile in some fashion.

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Favourite - Review

Somehow this film is the most normal film in Yorgos Lanthimos career. “Normal” is even a stretch for this wonderfully twisted film. Its oddities are only highlighted when a more traditional royal period piece is releasing within weeks of this (Mary Queen of Scots, more on that later this week). But the combination of brilliant dialogue, tremendously talented actresses, and a touch of cynicism make this a big time Oscar contender as the year winds to a close.

Aquaman - Review

Audiences everywhere are living in a golden age for superhero and comic book entertainment, largely due to two companies. However, while one company has seemingly taken over the world by turning their less popular characters into billion dollar franchises, the other struggles to successfully translate their icons into entertaining films. And even though Marvel continues to succeed time in and time out, Aquaman feels as though DC may have finally turned the corner.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Mortal Engines - Review

Never accuse the film industry of giving up on a concept before they try every available avenue. The dystopian young adult novel adaptations have come a mile a minute since the success of The Hunger Games, with each more similar to the last. Mortal Engines is no different, utilizing every cliché in existence for a film that cannot muster an ounce of anything interesting.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - Review

The world of animation shifted from the hand drawn 2-D animation of so long to computer animation around the mid-90s and never looked back. The occasional classic animated film will come about from time to time, but the creative potential of computers makes the 3-D style hard to resist. And yet the visual styles have never really changed since then outside of differences in designs or looks of individual films. But Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse feels different, it feels like the world of animation just shifted once more.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Roma - Review

Every single year in cinema produces films that qualify as great or remarkable for the craft, performances, or story contained within, and sometimes all three. However, very rarely does the term masterpiece emerge as the descriptor for a film this early into its life. What Alfonso Cuarón does with his newest film is all of those things and more, making a solid case for that elusive title of masterpiece.