Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut as a feature director came in the form of the genre-bending vampire romance film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. The film, shot in supple black and white over a soundtrack of trance-inducing electronica and angsty punk, was a beautiful piece about maintaining relationships in an environment rife with isolation.
On paper, Amirpour’s second film The Bad Batch exists in a similar world. Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) is released from “Bad Batch” prison into the desert wilderness of the Texas-Mexico border.
A dystopian world in which cannibalism is a viable form of survivable (viable to the point of being morally questionable as opposed to morally intolerable), isolation is all Arlen has. Especially after she is captured by a family of cannibals and Continue reading The Bad Batch (2017) Movie Review
Colossal masquerades itself as a certain type of movie. It opens on the ominous, lingering image of a Kaiju-like monster. Then, sweeping shots of the New York skyline play out over a driving, Dark Knight trilogy-esque score. Then, Gloria (Anne Hathaway) enters, hungover and rambling thinly-veiled excuses to her boyfriend (Dan Stevens) about where she has been.
It doesn’t quite match the previously set tone, does it?
When her boyfriend leaves her due to her drinking problem, Gloria moves back to her hometown, where she falls in with an old friend named Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). An old friend who just so happens to own his father’s bar.
Remember that Kaiju that I mentioned earlier? Whelp…turns out it pantomimes the actions of Gloria when she sets foot on a playground she knew once as a child. It pantomimes everything, including Continue reading Colossal (2017) Movie Review
10 years after their senior year of college, Jess (Scarlett Johansson) is running for Senator. She is also getting married to an awkwardly twee guy named Peter (Paul W. Downs, who also co-wrote the film). To celebrate, her college friends bring her to Florida for a crazy bachelorette party weekend full of partying, drinking, and perhaps some illicit drugs.
Oh, and did I mention the dead stripper?
The first half hour of Rough Night plays like a female version of the Hangover films. Then, the break into the second act comes with its twist—the aforementioned dead stripper, of course—and the film becomes something more Continue reading Rough Night (2017) Movie Review
Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) isn’t the youthful race car he once was. In fact, Cars 3 makes it a point to reiterate again and again that McQueen is quite old. Given the age of sentient cars is an abstract, hard-to-track concept, I guess this is acceptable.
Technology has advanced (somehow…who builds these cars?) to the point where new rookie racers are optimized for high percentage wins (then again, if antagonist Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) is the next big thing, wouldn’t all the new cars optimize to the same level of racing, thus making all races even again? And if McQueen can be given those advancements as well, what exactly is stopping him from Continue reading Cars 3 (2017) Movie Review
Megan Leavey is your basic determination story. A short, scrawny U.S. Marine recruit (Kate Mara) struggles her way to a position as a bomb-sniffing dog handler. After she does that she has to train the most ornery Marine dog in the camp. After she does that she has to fight to bring that dog home.
While this narrative shows little signs of originality, it does provide Continue reading Megan Leavey (2017) Movie Review
First good DC cinematic universe film?! All female screenings?! Uproar over a movie based on children’s comic books?!
Diana “Prince” (Gal Gadot) is Princess of the Amazons on Themyscira. Trained at a young age as a warrior god, Diana becomes transfixed with the concept of vanquishing Ares, the god who defied Zeus and condemned the world of man to war.
When a Great War soldier, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), enters Themyscira through a portal, hurtling out of the sky in a crashing fighter plane, Diana rushes out to save him. The German army in hot pursuit of Trevor, the Amazons must fight them off, and Diana gets her first glimpse at the horrors of war.
From here, she sets out to Continue reading Wonder Woman (2017) Movie Review
Melanie (Sennia Nanua) is confined to a cell. She must strap herself in to a wheelchair at gunpoint before she can leave it. She is kept under close, militaristic watch. She is dangerous. And she is also a child.
In a secure compound, children like Melanie learn by rote during the day and are held in lockdown at night. They are test subjects for a Continue reading The Girl With All the Gifts (2016) Movie Review