Blinded by the Light (2019) Movie Review

“Talk about a dream, try to make it real” reads the epigraph that begins Blinded by the Light. It is a lyric from Bruce Springsteen’s “Badlands:” “I don’t give a damn for the same old played out scenes. I don’t give a damn for just the in-betweens. Honey I want the heart. I want the soul. I want control right now … Spend your life waiting for a moment that just don’t come. Well, don’t waste your time waiting.”

When me meet Javed (Viveik Kalra) in Gurinder Chadha’s Blinded by the Light, he has not yet heard these lyrics. But they describe the Continue reading Blinded by the Light (2019) Movie Review

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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.

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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

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.

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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

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

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