Category Archives: Drama

Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more

The Mustang (2019) Movie Review

My favorite film of 2018 was Chloe Zhao’s The Rider. It is, in my mind, a transcendent experience of intimacy and empathy whose connection to reality enhances its visceral, heartfelt case study of cowboyism.

While watching Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre’s The Mustang, I couldn’t shake the memory of watching The Rider for the first time. Both involve plot mechanics involving horse training and thematic notions of disillusioned masculinity. They both attempt to take a quiet, restrained look at one man’s emotional growth, as well.

When it comes to analysis, a comparison of the two films will Continue reading The Mustang (2019) Movie Review

Advertisements

Transit (2019) Movie Review

Christian Petzold’s Transit explores fleeting moments of humanity within intensely oppressive fascism. Then, it explores the tragedy of hanging any semblance of hope on such moments of humanity, as the moments are infinitesimally small against a backdrop that is increasingly bleak.

The film progresses like a prequel to 1984. Paris is under siege, and the fascist occupation is spreading rapidly. It happens so fast that Continue reading Transit (2019) Movie Review

Dumbo (2019) Movie Review

Tim Burton’s live action Dumbo film begins by tracing, whimsically, the path of traveling Medici Bros. Circus. Burton flourishes this ride, particularly as the train passes through a tunnel that morphs into the twirling red and white of a circus tent.

dumbo-movie-review-2019-tim-burton

As energetic as this opening trek is, the Medici Bros. (“Bros.,” it bears noting, is a misnomer. A single Medici (Danny Devito) serves both roles), the circus has Continue reading Dumbo (2019) Movie Review

Triple Frontier (2019) Movie Review

After a troubled development process, Triple Frontier, a military heist drama, has dropped on Netflix. Originally fronted by Paramount, Frontier was to be directed by Kathryn Bigelow (she retains producer credit) and starring Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp.

ben-affleck-oscar-isaac-triple-frontier-2019

In its final form, it is directed by J.C. Chandor and starring Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, and Charlie Hunnam. Bigelow left the picture, reportedly to Continue reading Triple Frontier (2019) Movie Review

Paddleton (2019) Movie Review

Michael (Mark Duplass) sits in a doctor’s office listening to his diagnosis. Andy (Ray Romano) stands at his side. They’re friends, of a sort, though their go-to descriptor for the relationship is “neighbor.” As Andy tries to wrap his head around Michael’s diagnosis—cancer, most likely of the terminal variety—he stammers. Flustered, he tries to get a straight answer out of the doctor, who has nothing to offer.

2019-paddleton-movie-review-ray-romano-mark-duplass

Then, Michael and Andy go about their regular day. They play a racquetball variation called “Paddleton.” They watch the same kung-fu movies on VHS. They do puzzles together. They say little and share a lot.

Paddleton takes the very serious subject of Continue reading Paddleton (2019) Movie Review

Greta (2019) Movie Review

There is something perversely compelling about Greta, the new film from Neil Jordan. At the same time, there is something far too familiar about the film, a terse obsession thriller.

2019-greta-movie-review-chloe-grace-moretz-isabelle-huppert

Perhaps the fascination begins and ends with the inimitable Isabelle Huppert, who literally pirouettes through her pathological, homicidal character. She is Continue reading Greta (2019) Movie Review

High Flying Bird (2019) Movie Review

Steven Soderbergh’s last film, Unsane, was shot entirely on an iPhone. And the discomfort that came from such an isolating, wide-angle experience made sense in the setting of that film. All the same, the narrative of Unsane left something to be desired.

2019-andre-holland-high-flying-bird-movie-review-steven-soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh’s second film to be shot on iPhone, High Flying Bird, interrogates the business side of professional basketball. Its discomforting lenses make Continue reading High Flying Bird (2019) Movie Review