With many iterations of DC Comic’s caped crusader littering the last 40 years of blockbuster cinema, Matt Reeves’ The Batman may seem at first blush simply another go around the same old song and dance. It is certainly not without its comparisons. Most clear among them is this film’s affinity with Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, which DC has taken noticeable steps to visually and tonally distance itself from in recent years. Perhaps that is why this critic—more a fan of Nolan’s Batman than Zack Snyder’s—was immediately more engaged by Reeves’ take on the character.
But The Batman is no carbon copy of The Dark Knight. It comes with its own style. Nolan’s sleek and wide vision of Gotham City is replaced here with a decidedly more Continue reading The Batman (2022) Movie Review
It may be cliched to refer to beautiful-looking films with the phrase “every frame is a painting,” but in the case of Robert Eggers’ latest, The Lighthouse, many of the shots are picturesque. The introduction of our two characters, lighthouse keepers Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) and Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe), looks like a stoic portrait. The reverse shot that follows, depicting the lighthouse on the black ocean, looks like a Gothic landscape piece.
The shot compositions in The Lighthouse are the icing on the cake that is this film about the mental disintegration of the two men, who find themselves Continue reading The Lighthouse (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.
“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
Good Time opens on a brutal scene in which the mentally handicapped Nick (Benny Safdie, who also co-directs) free associates with a psychiatrist. It is a scene told entirely in tight closeups. Nick stares on at the therapist, at first emptily as he struggles to answer the questions in abstract ways. Then, his still blank face breaks into tears. It is a truly engaging scene that effectively draws you into the film.
In this scene, it is not immediately clear where Nick is or why he is there. All we have is the claustrophobic moment of Continue reading Good Time (2017) Movie Review
The Rover is a film from Australian director David Michod (Animal Kingdom, writer: Hesher). Ten years after a worldwide collapse of civilization, the Australian outback is a dystopian landscape dominated by crime and poverty. Following a botched robbery, three thieves (Scoot McNairy, David Field, and Tawanda Manyimo) crash their car Continue reading The Rover (2014) Movie Review
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