I said a lot of mean shit about A Wrinkle in Time (2018) and I meant every word. Especially the part about adapting a book to movie, tempering readers, studios, and viewers expectations. I still mean that with this book, but more with a shrug and an "attah movie, you tried hard." Perks of Being a Wallflower, adapted by the author, struggles to live up to the prose by giving it a voice it didn't need.Read More
Filming a book is hard. You have to live up to the reader's expectations (which is impossible), the expectations of the studio (they have a known thing people like so it should do well), and the general expectations of your average Joe who doesn't want to waste ten plus dollars. Of course, the best creative things tell the expectations to go to hell. The newest remake of A Wrinkle in Time is not one of the best creative things.Read More
Back in nineteen eighty something, a blonde lady on the screen made me smile so hard my face hurt. She was screaming about something with Kurt Russell or in a dumb movie with Chevy Chase or in the army or coaching a team… You know, Goldie Hawn was in a lot of places for a long time. And she was brilliant. You know what? She's still brilliant. Snatched does not let that show, though.Read More
People don't have exciting lives. Not most people. They gather, they laugh, they eat, they make little babies to gather, laugh and eat. We tell stories of extraordinary people to feel extraordinary and compete with each other in games so we can get the rush of living. Game Night is about those ordinary people getting to feel extraordinary over one crazy ass night with a postmodern nonsense senseibility.Read More
What is it about bored rich white girls that makes you want to see them murder the shit out of people? Or get murdered themselves? Or are just a thing to be reckoned with? Mean Girls, Heathers, Sorority Massacre IV… All these movies exist to show us that the rich and affluent have problems, too, y'all. Can I tell you a secret? I love the shit out of them and Thoroughbreds might be the best ever.Read More
What happens ten years down the line after the romance has faded, the kids are had, and the secret resentments toil and bubble? You can still make each other laugh, you can still work in concert, but that passion and spark is a warm glowing sameness. What's the thing about the frog in the pot? If you turn the water up over time you can boil the creature without a problem? Before Midnight is the conclusion to a romance at its boiling point.Read More
Old friends are rare. Those friends that you knew long ago and for some reason separated from, that you see again and boom, right back. Old friends never leave you. They stamp their mark on you whether you knew them for years or hours. Before Sunset tells the story of a rekindling, a romance rebuilt because nine years before two lost souls became old friends over night.Read More
What if I told you there was a movie about two people talking, just talking, that's probably one of the top romantic movies ever? No, I'm not talking about My Dinner with Andre. These people walk while they talk. And they're funny and smart and just damn likeable in a mid-90s stuck on a train in Europe kind of way. I hold up Before Sunrise as part of the best romantic movie of all time, the Before trilogy.Read More
We all know what romantic movies are supposed to be, right? Person meets person in a cute way, they initially are irritated, fate spills them into each other's arms, a force pries them apart, then they race back together for a finale marriage or at least reconciliation. There's some variety to be had, but for the most part this is it. Call Me By Your Name shows how real life is.Read More
One night after a hurricane I had fled to the mountains. Deep in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains, I lay down in an old cabin tent my dad gave me. It leaks a little, but it's clear tonight. A few campsites away, a baby cries. The mother soothes the baby with a low humming rendition of "What A Wonderful World." And then a thing ate it. That's the Blair Witch.Read More
Oh, there's so many ways to do a coming of age drama. The main three ways are through animals, death, or disability. Wonder focuses on the disability but really digs deep to bring the rest into play.Read More
When a movie sits you down and tells you, okay, today we're gonna tell you a story about one thing that means another thing, it's okay to get apprehensive. Most people that sit you down to tell you something without any type of presentation are full of shit. Too much the other way, too much presentation, and you can have the feeling you're being lied to. mother! straddles that line between jamming truth down your throat and lying as if it is out to fuck you and said you were just going to wrestle.Read More
Some movies belong in that fridge category. You watch them and then late at night your tummy is rumbly. You get up and while standing in front of the refrigerator a thought crosses your mind about the movie and you're like "oh, man that's what they meant by that?" Then if you are like me you eat a burrito and go to bed. Annihilation will make you think twice about the burrito.Read More
Secrets. We all got'em. We keep them in, we put them away, we let them die silent deaths one at a time. If they come back, we can attempt to hide them or we can do the right thing. Most movies are about the former, the machinations of characters struggling with themselves and outside forces. Locke is about the latter and all the fallout that happens.Read More
What does it take for violence to become acceptable? When mob mentality is not only the right thing to do but the necessary thing? When the disenfranchised and hurt can stand up and say, not today, asshole! Sometimes it just takes some loud noise and a few bad words.Read More
What do you do when a movie actively wants you to hate the main character? They cast a charming person then have him make a decidedly human yet wrong decision and then leave us to deal with it. I haven't been this conflicted since that Jude Law remake of Alfie. Damn you, Chris Pratt. You could have been a good villain.Read More
All of us felt a little awkward growing up. Some more than others. That little inside voice said that something about us was wrong, broken, gross. When we talked to the dead, even our families were all "get a hobby, weirdo." What I'm saying is I finally found a movie I can connect with in ParaNorman.Read More
What if we had little people running around in our heads directing the action? Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear all pushing buttons. Forcing issues. At least you'd then have someone to blame, right?
Inside a little girl named Riley are the personifications of the five base emotions. They've grown up with her, formed her personality, and helped her maintain her composure. First among them is Joy. Joy dominates to a degree far above the others, making the best of every situation to the detriment of Sadness.
Riley's family moves from wintery land (I forget where but there was hockey) to San Francisco. With all the changes, Joy begins to lose control. Forcing the issue, her and Sadness are cast into the mind out of the control room. They must fight their way to get back, finding old imaginary friends and riding trains of thought. The movie's real clever.
The central theme of the movie is embracing sadness. It sounds like a bad theme, but it works. Throughout the film, Joy forces the issue. Hides behind platitudes and tries to protect old happy memories from turning sad. But then we learn without the sadness, how do we know about the joy? We learn depression is not the absense of happiness or overwhelming sadness, but a shutdown of all emotions. That the most dangerous thing the human mind has to fear is itself.
Also, it made me care about a goddamn thing monster called Bing Bong. So it's got that going for it.
It's kinda breathtaking to realize that you are not smart enough to get something. Kinda takes the weight off. Just right off the bat, confronted with a title, I must admit defeat because I can't even spell Synecdoche, New York even though I just did.Read More
Why did I think this movie was directed by Robert Rodriguez? Did he have something to do with it and I'm blanking out. I seriously thought this was the missing piece of the Rodriguez oeuvre that would tie everything together for me. As it stands, it did not tie anything together.Read More