Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022) Movie Review

In Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, the new re-imagining of the ’90s cartoon IP, the eponymous rangers are washed up celebrities, has-beens of an earlier time only faintly remembered by the few fans who wax nostalgic. Mostly, though, no one has any clue who they are. Chip (John Mulaney) has retired from the spotlight and has made a good go of it as an insurance salesman. Dale (Andy Samberg), meanwhile, still clamors for the high of fame at fan conventions at a booth in “Retro Alley.”

Like most characters in the film, I have only vague recollections of Chip ‘n Dale — if anything, I have more of a memory for Continue reading Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022) Movie Review

Men (2022) Movie Review

I have a distinct feeling that Alex Garland planted things in Men, the writer-director’s new film starring Jessie Buckley and a bevy of Rory Kinnears, which I have not entirely picked up on. Namely, allusions to religion and mythology which fly outside my knowledge structures. Yet what I did understand about Men, what was left after those allusions are stripped away and narrative and theme remain, was altogether so blunt and superficial that I in moments thought I was watching a parody of a specific breed of arthouse film. A parody of the exact film Men is.

This is not a case of I didn’t understand the film, therefore I don’t like it. On the contrary, Continue reading Men (2022) Movie Review

George Carlin’s American Dream (2022) Movie Review

Every once in a while, you might see something online about how the late comedian George Carlin was ahead of his time. That if he was still around he would eviscerate America in its current state. That he in some ways already did eviscerate modern America by criticizing topics decades ago that are still relevant today. These sorts of comments speak to the staying power of a singular comic figure. Similarly influential and boundary pushing comics — Lenny Bruce, for instance — don’t seem to get the same retrospective appreciation. What did Carlin do, exactly, to allow his comedy to seemingly transcend time?

The new documentary from Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio, George Carlin’s American Dream, seeks to tap into this question as it examines Continue reading George Carlin’s American Dream (2022) Movie Review

Happening (2022) Movie Review

Audrey Diwan’s Happening, which won last year’s Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, finds itself with a U.S. release date incidentally coinciding with legislative changes which make it all the more timely. It is a frank film about unwanted pregnancy and rigid abortion laws in 1960s France. Viewing it with American eyes, I imagine one’s appreciation for the content in the film may rest on individual politics. That, or one’s patience for quiet drama and arthouse chic.

Anne Duchesne (Anamaria Vartolomei), after discovering she is a few weeks pregnant, seeks out the possible channels for an abortion. Doctors steer her Continue reading Happening (2022) Movie Review

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) Movie Review

In my review for Spider-Man: No Way Home, I didn’t call it superhero fatigue that fueled my lack of enthusiasm for Marvel. It was ambivalence. No greater evidence do I need for this ambivalence than meeting the trailer for a movie directed by Sam Raimi, one of my favorite directors, called Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with a resolute shrug of the shoulders.

The very premise of this movie should boggle the mind. A superhero sorcerer from Marvel comics with a sentient cape and a young woman trying to control her power to jump between universes are tasked with stopping Continue reading Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) Movie Review

The Northman (2022) Movie Review

I think Robert Eggers is one of the most fascinating American filmmakers working today. The Witch is my favorite horror movie of the 2010s. It was an accomplished debut. Instead of going down the road of the “horror auteur,” though, Eggers turned to something more experimental in The Lighthouse, a film which sits unsteadily on the boundaries of multiple genres (I would call it a psychological horror fantasy dramedy sea shanty fever dream, maybe).

Now, with The Northman, Eggers forays into a Viking action adventure film which mixes revenge drama with Continue reading The Northman (2022) Movie Review

X (2022) Movie Review

An idealistic group of pornographers are looking to find stardom and profits in the late-1970s, just as the home video market is knocking on the door. But this is not Boogie Nights. The group of (mostly) young couples land at a remote homestead in rural Texas to run-and-gun this film, where the threat of violence seems to be just outside the frame. But this is not The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, either.

In 1979, six Houston natives rent a guest house from an elderly couple in rural Texas. The homeowners are wary of the young folks — they certainly wouldn’t take too kindly to them shooting an amateur adult film on their property.

Nevertheless, producer Wayne (Martin Henderson) assures Continue reading X (2022) Movie Review

2022 Academy Awards — Best Picture Nominee Power Rankings

Earlier this week, I put out some admittedly half-hearted Oscar predictions. I have not had my ear to the ground this awards season, but I did want to address the Best Picture race once more. (Mainly, I wanted to give some credit where it was due to CODA for being this year’s awards season darling. But more on that later). I think there are more shades to uncover than my original prediction took into account.

As such, I want to briefly rank the Best Picture nominees, from least likely to most likely to win.

 

10. Don’t Look Up

Netflix and Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up doesn’t have strong legs to stand on. Released to decidedly mixed reception from fans and critics alike, and still looking for Continue reading 2022 Academy Awards — Best Picture Nominee Power Rankings

Deep Water (2022) Movie Review

Deep Water, following a rocky release schedule hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic, finally landed on Hulu this weekend. It is a less-than steamy erotic thriller from Adrian Lyne, a director known for his work in the genre (most notably the 1987 film Fatal Attraction). The film is Lyne’s first crack at directing in 20 years, and it stars former couple Ana de Armas and Ben Affleck as spouses whose marriage is on the rocks.

Vic (Affleck), a retired microchip engineer, has tolerated a tacit agreement with Melinda (de Armas) in which she escapes their passionless marriage by making “friends” with a few local bachelors. Her flirtations and flings are Continue reading Deep Water (2022) Movie Review

2022 Academy Awards Predictions

Never before have I been less tuned-in to the Academy Awards. For many years, I have written in-depth coverage of the Oscars, including predictions for nominees and winners in every category. This year, I have been more invested in what teams will make the NCAA March Madness Tournament than what movies will be nominated for Oscars.

With that in mind, I do have some thoughts about the movies involved in this year’s contest. I have thoughts about who is in the races, I have some opinions on who didn’t make the cut, and I even have some (half-researched) predictions.

Here are my picks as of today (which may or may not end up on my final ballot come Oscar Sunday).

Best Picture

  • Belfast
  • CODA
  • Don’t Look Up
  • Drive My Car
  • Dune
  • King Richard
  • Licorice Pizza
  • Nightmare Pizza
  • The Power of the Dog
  • West Side Story

We have a full slate of Best Picture nominees this year (most of which are pretty solid flicks). The Power of the Dog is the Continue reading 2022 Academy Awards Predictions

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