Premise: Two young British soldiers during the First World War are given an impossible mission: deliver a message deep in enemy territory that will stop 1,600 men, and one of the soldiers’ brothers, from walking straight into a deadly trap.
Sam Mendes’ 1917 is an impressive faux single shot movie set during WWI with an immersive ticking clock plot. The tagline of “time is the enemy” couldn’t be more accurate as the movie follows two men tasked with delivering a message that will save up to 1,600 soldiers walking into a trap. Although it may appear at first glance to lack certain plot and character elements, 1917 offers a powerful message of duty, perseverance, and honor in an intentionally inglorious way. Continue reading →
Merry Christmas! In this episode, Kyrsten and I review Tom Hooper’s abysmal adaptation of Cats in a non-spoiler review. Then we cover Bong Joon-ho’s incredible Parasite in a full review. We also discuss Mike Birbiglia’s 2016 film Don’t Think Twice and have our usual nonsense.
In this week’s episode, Evan Dossey from MidwestFilmJournal.com and the IFJA joins me to talk about the Indiana Film Journalists Association award winners for 2019. We also touch on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, my disconnect with the franchise, and its connection to The Last Jedi.
Premise: A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.
When the trailer for Cats was released earlier this year, it became ensnared in a viral bloodbath of ridicule on social media. Of course, it’s a film adaptation of an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about cats holding a talent show to gain entry into cat heaven in a seemingly deserted city. It stands to reason that any version of it would look bizarre and invite ridicule. However, being a cat owner myself, I felt obligated to give Cats a whirl.
Earlier this year I was accepted into the Indiana Film Journalists Association. It has given me an opportunity to see more movies, take part in lively discussions within the group, and inspired me to stretch my film criticism more than usual. Most notably, I’ve been writing more reviews for the website this year than usual.
At the end of each year, the IFJA meets to hash out the award winners in various categories. We met Saturday and spent several hours discussing films and selecting winners. It was my first year as a voting member of the group and I am very pleased with what we awarded and the films and talented individuals we recognized.
Below you’ll find the press release with all the winners and runner-ups. This has been a strong year for movies and I am already looking forward to next year with the IFJA. Continue reading →
In this week’s episode, we welcome back our friend and OV contributor Ben Sears to help Tiny and I with double Adam Driver review of Amazon Studios’ The Report and Netflix’s Marriage Story. We also lightly touch on the Golden Globe nominations and the trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Then, in Potpourri, we talk about Little Women, Netflix’s Unbelievable, Dickinson, Servant, and Truth Be Told.
Premise: A rebellious stoner named Moondog lives life by his own rules.
The Beach Bum is my second outing with a Harmony Korine film after watching Spring Breakers on a whim back in January. Even though I didn’t like Spring Breakers, I enjoyed the abstract editing and overall strange and indistinct tone of that movie. It was as though Korine was making a statement about debauchery and youth in revolt flirting with crime. Continue reading →
Happy Thanksgiving (to those of you in the US)! In this special double parking lot special episode, Kyrsten and I have a laid-back non-spoiler review of Knives Out and then Tiny and I go into a spoiler review of the film! Then, to close out the episode, we have the remaining Red Carpet recordings from last month’s Heartland International Film Festival!
Premise: A late night talk show host suspects that she may soon lose her long-running show.
Writer/star Mindy Kaling and director Nisha Ganatra’s “boss from hell” movie about an underdog in late night TV is plagued by underutilized supporting characters, underdeveloped subplots, and a borderline unlikable co-lead character. Late Night‘s saving grace is a strong performance by Emma Thompson who, despite her character being nearly irredeemably obnoxious, is served well enough by a script that misuses most of the other characters and subplots. Continue reading →
This week, I fly solo for the 300th (holy crap!) episode of the podcast! In this special episode, I share my spoiler-free thoughts on the Disney Plus exclusive Lady and the Tramp remake. I also share my thoughts on several Disney Plus exclusive shows launching with the service on Nov 12th. Series reviewed include: Encore!, Forky Asks a Question, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Marvel’s Hero Project, The Imagineering Story, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and Spark Shorts.
Premise: A mob hitman recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.
The Irishman is Martin Scorsese’s examination of time, regret, and aging through the lens of the gangster epic. It’s a perfectly fine film whose biggest strength is in the powerful performances of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. Unfortunately, aside from those performances, the movie didn’t really hook me and ended up feeling like too dry and aimless a rumination on its themes. Continue reading →
This week, I welcome back our contributor Ben Sears to the podcast to review Robert Eggers’ incredible film, The Lighthouse. We also discuss some news regarding David Benioff and DB Weiss, the Game of Thrones prequel announcement, and more. For Potpourri, Ben shares his thoughts on AppleTV+ original series See, Dickinson, For All Mankind, The Morning Show, and the service itself. Then I share my thoughts on the Special Presentation screenings I attended at HIFF2019.
Premise: “In A New York Minute” follows three strangers connected by a single pregnancy test. Amy is haunted by a past breakup that has manifested into an eating disorder. Angel is caught between a loveless marriage to an American businessman and a passionate affair with a Chinese writer. Nina moonlights as an escort in order to support herself.
Premise: A lonely 14-year-old, Eun-hee moves through life like a hummingbird searching for a taste of sweetness. Deprived of attention from her family, she spends her time finding meaning in the love and friendships of her peers. When Young-ji, a new teacher, arrives, she becomes the first adult Eun-hee feels really understands her.
Everything about this movie feels phoned in. Sinbad is fun but it really feels like large swathes of the script is just "have Sinbad improv exasperation" instead of trying anything interesting. Every narrative beat is painfully obvious, even for a kid-friendly Disney movie.
Freaks owes a big debt to Firestarter but it's at least more original outside of its homage than Stranger Things was/is (and I like Stranger Things a lot).Very wise to deliver the world building through the perspective of Chloe. Good storytelling and impressive effects work.
Very cool low budget atmosphere piece. It's all tone and mood and it's done to good effect. Set design, cinematography, locations, makeup and costuming all work together to make some really striking visuals.
Thorough documentary that shares the African American perspective on the horror genre and charts the involvement of African Americans in the genre itself. Excellent panel for the talking heads. The documentary covers its subject from a place of love and handles it with the necessary care and importance.Enjoyed it.
Blown away by Jim Cummings' performance. The nuances to the character and the raw grief and emotional crisis of the story is so well-realized that I'm nearly at a loss for words. This is a movie that lives in a state of chaotic empathy and brings you into its world in such an immersive way that it's almost overwhelming.Spectacular movie.