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

Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) Movie Review

“Velvet Buzzsaw” refers to the former punk band of art manager Rhodora Haze (Rene Russo), a music group that became outmoded and slipped into what former street artist Damrish (Daveed Diggs) calls “self-parody.”

Velvet Buzzsaw, the latest from Dan Gilroy, has similar punk rock ambitions that bleed easily into self-parody. Or maybe it’s just parody.

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In its opening gambit, Buzzsaw sees a swirl of well-to-do art types at a Miami gallery exhibition. Manager Jon Dondon (Tom Sturridge) is trying to poach veteran artist Piers (John Malkovich) from Rhodora, while Rhodora courts Damrish. Critic Morf Vanderwalt (Jake Gyllenhaal) pauses from making passing critiques at pieces to stare agog at Continue reading Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) Movie Review

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Miss Bala (2019) Movie Review

Miss Bala is a story of an innocent bystander caught between two sides of a war. Unwittingly working for both the drug kingpin (Ismael Cruz Cordova) and the DEA, Gloria (Gina Rodriguez), must take her fate into her own hands to save herself and her friend.

And it’s a fairly bland experience.

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Gloria travels to Tijuana to see her friend, Suzu (Cristina Rodlo), who is about to compete in the Miss Baja California pageant. After a night club shooting, Suzu disappears and Gloria is Continue reading Miss Bala (2019) Movie Review

The Upside (2019) Movie Review

The Upside is a remake of the 2011 French film Intouchables, a facile yet hugely crowd-pleasing story about a white wealthy quadriplegic who hires a black ex-con to be his live-in caregiver. In the American iteration, the two roles are fulfilled by Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart, with the role of Philip Lacasse’s (Cranston) uptight executive Yvonne being played by Nicole Kidman.

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Neil Burger’s film is just as facile, and likely just as crowd-pleasing, as Intouchables.

Dell Scott (Hart) is on the hunt for a job—something he does not want, but something required to Continue reading The Upside (2019) Movie Review

On the Basis of Sex (2018) Movie Review

While On the Basis of Sex illustrates the obstacle-laden road Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) had becoming a lawyer, it pauses for a moment of attachment. A place where we understand the to-be U.S. Supreme Court Justice on a deeper level than we can by simply following her real-life legacy.

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In this scene, Martin Ginsburg (Armie Hammer) is diagnosed with testicular cancer. He cracks a wry joke at the doctor’s expense, but Continue reading On the Basis of Sex (2018) Movie Review

The Favourite (2018) Movie Review

Lady Sarah: Love has limits

Queen Anne: It should not

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Those unfamiliar with the work of Yorgos Lanthimos may be surprised to hear that The Favourite is the man’s most accessible film to date. A court drama about the shifting power dynamics between three women—Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), her long-time confidant Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), and new arrival Abigail (Emma Stone)—this feverish portrayal of high society at its lowest states of depravity is Continue reading The Favourite (2018) Movie Review

Screener Season 2018 Reviews – Burning, The Tale, Destroyer, The Sisters Brothers

It is the busiest time of year for the film world. With awards season on the horizon, studios are juicing voter ballots with For Your Consideration screeners. As I was recently granted membership into the Online Film Critics Society, this the first year where I myself have been given the honor of receiving these promotional screeners.

Unfortunately, this is also Continue reading Screener Season 2018 Reviews – Burning, The Tale, Destroyer, The Sisters Brothers

Vox Lux (2018) Movie Review

Vox Lux appears to be a scathing commentary on the cynical pop music industry (and the cynical nature of fame in contemporary culture) while simultaneously being a sympathetic endorsement of the pop star as a burdening position of symbolic courage and confidence. These two narrative aims clash throughout Brady Corbet’s film, causing both tension and befuddlement.

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The immediate callousness is the toughest pill to swallow, and it is a callousness that follows through the remainder of the film. If you can stomach the Continue reading Vox Lux (2018) Movie Review