Category Archives: Genres

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.

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“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

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Crawl (2019) Movie Review

Crawl must have been a terror to shoot. Taking place in Florida during a hurricane, nearly every scene in the film is drenched. The actors are consistently wet and trudging through waist-high water. Rain is constantly falling. The water budget on this thing must have been massive.

And for what?

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Alexandre Aja has made a name for himself in the horror community, but when I look at his filmography I’m hard-pressed to understand how. I understand this may draw the ire of Continue reading Crawl (2019) Movie Review

Stuber (2019) Movie Review

There may not be much charm in the title Stuber—if you don’t have the pieces of the clumsy portmanteau pieced together from the trailer before going to the cinema, then it is a title likely to breed more confusion than chuckles. But there is some charm to the notion of an original buddy cop comedy within a Summer drought of failing franchise/reboot IP (Disney not included, at least not financially-speaking).

On paper, a comedy starring Kumail Nanjiani as a civilian trapped in the middle of a police investigation led by a tough-nosed Dave Bautista sounds like Continue reading Stuber (2019) Movie Review

Midsommar (2019) Movie Review

Ari Aster does not care if you’re comfortable. If his first two films are any indication, it appears that he prefers the opposite. With his debut, Hereditary, Aster approached grief with a macabre twist that winds up making the weight of grief seem feathery by comparison.

With Midsommar, Aster approaches grief with a macabre twist that winds up making the weight of grief seem…am I repeating myself?

Aster’s two films take staid, empty, and largely silent burdens and makes them bleed into

Continue reading Midsommar (2019) Movie Review

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Movie Review

Note: Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame

The Marvel Studios machine keeps turning. With Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, there was a satisfying conclusion to the three-phase arc that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far. This epic two-part film event provided caps on long-standing MCU characters without really hinting at anything beyond.

Yet MCU phase three, as it is currently outlined, concludes with Spider-Man: Far From Home.

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Far From Home shows a world which has moved on from the havoc wreaked by Thanos—the havoc was Continue reading Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Movie Review

Yesterday (2019) Movie Review

Yesterday is a perfect example of a film that makes for a great trailer. A trailer that hides everything but the premise, because nothing other than the premise would be enticing to put into a trailer.

This premise is this: a global blackout lasting 12 seconds causes failing musician Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) to be struck by a bus. After leaving the hospital, he is shocked to find that Continue reading Yesterday (2019) Movie Review

Toy Story 4 (2019) Movie Review

Note: I don’t spoil any major plot points in this review, but I hint at aspects of Toy Story 4 that could be construed as spoilers. So let’s just call this a spoiler review.

Walking into Pixar’s Toy Story 4, I thought the pertinent question would be: was a fourth installment necessary? Given how most Pixar sequels have not lived up to their predecessors (Toy Story 2 being the most notable exception) and how Toy Story 3 presents an adequate ending to the then trilogy, it made little sense for a fourth film to exist beyond the want for money.

Sitting through the first act of Josh Cooley’s film, however, this questioning starts to disappear. Toy Story 4 may not wind up being Continue reading Toy Story 4 (2019) Movie Review