Beirut (2018) Movie Review

Mason Skiles (Jon Hamm) is a negotiator. In 1972, he works for the U.S. government in Beirut. At a dinner party, he sums up the situation in Lebanon by calling the country a “boarding house without a landlord” that was thrown into confusion when the Palestinians “moved in.”

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He continues talking in this politically-savvy way, as if he understands that the country is headed toward civil war. When he is brought back to Beirut 10 years later, however, he seems surprised at what he sees when he touches down.

In 1972, at the aforementioned dinner party, a person close to him is killed in the crossfire of a shootout. In 1982, Skiles is tasked with Continue reading Beirut (2018) Movie Review

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Revenge (2018) Movie Review

The rape-revenge genre is certainly not the most approachable one. It is one of the more controversial, to be certain. A squeamish one, for sure. Rarely can a film in this genre be called “fun.”

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At its most primal, Coralie Fargeat’s debut feature Revenge is a bloody good time. In the tradition of its New French Extremity predecessors, the film goes full throttle into a place best described with words like Continue reading Revenge (2018) Movie Review

Isle of Dogs (2018) Movie Review

Many choice words have been used in describing Wes Anderson and his body of work. One of the more apt descriptors is “meticulous.” With Isle of Dogs, the director’s second foray into the realm of stop motion animation, meticulous is perhaps an understatement.

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There is an exacting precision to every shot and animated piece of mise en scene on display in the film, which tells the story of the aftermath of Continue reading Isle of Dogs (2018) Movie Review

Chappaquiddick (2018) Movie Review

The main conversation surrounding Chappaquiddick, the drama from John Curran detailing the events following the drunk driving accident perpetrated by Ted Kennedy that cost Robert Kennedy campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne her life, is a political one. A political film breeding political conversation; the equation makes sense.

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Apparently the liberal creatives behind the film are frustrated with the lack of liberal media attention for the film, and the conservative audience is the one championing the film for not sugar-coating the incident—although, to play devil’s advocate to the IndieWire piece, a good number of liberal-minded critics have given the film positive reviews.

All the same, most moviegoers are Continue reading Chappaquiddick (2018) Movie Review

Blockers (2018) Movie Review

Prom night. It is movie shorthand for virginal teenagers vying to no longer be virginal. A cliche that has worn a comfy groove for itself with a number of teenage rom coms, raunchy comedies, and the like.

Prom night is the setting of Blockers, the directorial debut of Pitch Perfect screenwriter Kay Cannon. And, surprisingly, the film finesses its way around the pitfalls of such a cliched locale quite well.

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The film centers on three parents (Leslie Mann, John Cena, and Ike Barinholtz) who discover that their daughters (Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Gideon Adlon) have made a pact to have sex for the first time on prom night. How the parents decide to react to this knowledge is Continue reading Blockers (2018) Movie Review

Acrimony (2018) Movie Review

In 2013, Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor told the soap operatic story about a woman whose life falls apart due to a reckless and ill-advised romantic relationship. With 2018’s Acrimony, Perry weaves a story with the exact same premise, frame narrative and all.

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Temptation was a tone-deaf, overly dramatic tragic romance that failed on almost every level. Acrimony…well Acrimony at least has Taraji P. Henson. Continue reading Acrimony (2018) Movie Review

Ready Player One (2018) Movie Review

Ernest Cline’s science fiction novel Ready Player One is not just laced in nostalgia; it is fully marinated in it. The story takes place in 2045, where most people in the world are deeply entrenched in an MMO-style VR video game dubbed The Oasis. With the death of the video game’s creator, James Halliday (Mark Rylance, in the film adaptation), a massive game-wide hunt is afoot for an Easter Egg that will give its finder control over The Oasis.

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In essence, it is a story about Easter Eggs created by a person with a strong fondness for Easter Eggs that itself is littered with Easter Eggs. It is a nostalgia vehicle. This is not inherently a bad thing.

And yet, because of its affinity for nostalgia, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One feels like Continue reading Ready Player One (2018) Movie Review

One man. Millions of movies.