All posts by Alex Brannan

The Kitchen (2019) Movie Review

1978, Hell’s Kitchen. Three Irish gangsters (James Badge Dale, Brian d’Arcy James, and Jeremy Bobb) get arrested following a police sting and are sentenced to three years in prison. Their wives (Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy, and Elisabeth Moss) are effectively cut off from their source of income. Their mob ties start short-shrifting their cash kickback. Kathy Brennan (McCarthy) tries to get work, but she is turned away because she has young children.

The three women decide to take over their husbands’ business, spreading more lucrative support to local business and strong-arming the men that Continue reading The Kitchen (2019) Movie Review

Advertisements

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Movie Review

Look. I could begin this review by telling you that Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is a former low level criminal who left a life of crime to become a former government agent who left a life of government work to aid in a heist, thereby putting him back on a life of crime, until those criminals decide to mainly just save the world, thus putting Hobbs back into government work.

dwayne-johnson-jason-statham-vanessa-kirby-in-fast-and-furious-2019

I could tell you that Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is a lifelong criminal who killed a friend of the aforementioned criminal heisters and proceeded to Continue reading Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Movie Review

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019) Movie Review

If the late ’60s were a freewheeling time in America, and its Hollywood filled with lounging hippies and the dimly glinting stars of an ending Golden Age of film, then Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood is a complete tonal recreation of this period of time.

In February 1969, former television cowboy Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) has lost his luster in La La Land, resorting to Continue reading Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019) Movie Review

The Art of Self Defense (2019) Movie Review

Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) is a pushover. I guess. That or he’s just polite and socially awkward. Either way, he desires to be more of a “man.” When a motorcycle gang violently mugs him, he looks into protection. A gun? No. Too volatile and dangerous. Karate? That makes sense to Casey.

He is brought under the wing of “Sensei” (Alessandro Nivola), who leads an intense martial arts dojo. When Casey joins, he finds Continue reading The Art of Self Defense (2019) Movie Review

The Farewell (2019) Movie Review

Lulu Wang’s The Farewell could easily have drowned in its melodrama. It certainly hangs all of its narrative weight on its central conceit, in which a family hides their matriarch’s terminal cancer from her and use a staged wedding to give her a final family reunion. But there is something profound in the emotional power of Wang’s film.

When her parents (Diana Lin and Tzi Ma) inform Billi (Awkwafina) that her grandmother Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao) has just months to live, she Continue reading The Farewell (2019) Movie Review

The Lion King (2019) Movie Review

The throw-out umbrella term “live action” used to describe the slough of Disney “re-imaginations” is a misnomer. It has been since The Jungle Book recreation in 2016, which is live action only in its employment of Neel Sethi as Mowgli. Everything else in that film is comprised of computer generated visual effects.

With The Lion King, Jon Favreau returns after The Jungle Book to direct, and the film is Continue reading The Lion King (2019) Movie Review

High Life (2019) Movie Review

Leave it to Claire Denis to make the most original science fiction film of the year. But, in doing so, Denis is sure to polarize in her pursuit of something that spits in the face of generic convention. The first thing we see in High Life is jarring, in that it is not what you would normally focus on in a sci-fi film. It is a baby crying in the sterile, metallic environment of a space ship. Over radio communication, her father Monte (Robert Pattinson) tries to soothe her softly while he works on a panel outside of the ship.

juliette-binoche-in-high-life-2019

“We were scum,” Monte later says, in voiceover. “Trash. Refuse that didn’t fit into the system, until someone had the bright idea of recycling us.” He goes on to tell the story of Continue reading High Life (2019) Movie Review