As we are now two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, it only stands to reason that the entertainment industries are beginning to react to it with films and television which occur, diegetically, during the pandemic. Kimi is not the first, of course. Rob Savage’s Host, the Zoom-call horror movie, received quite a bit of attention on its release for its ultra-low-budget pandemic conditions. A fine, if not thin, riff on the found footage setup.
I bring up that Kimi features an in-fiction COVID pandemic only because its existence has impacted the agoraphobic protagonist, Angela Childs (Zoe Kravitz), at a fundamental level. While most people around her have moved on with their lives, returning to office life, riding public transit, most not wearing masks, the thought of leaving her flat sends Angela into a panic attack.
Luckily, Angela works as a tech troubleshooter for the Kimi AI, an Alexa clone whose success is leading its company to Continue reading Kimi (2022) Movie Review
Somewhere in my preteen years, when I was taking in film so voraciously that I may have grown allergic to the sun, I stumbled upon Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. I was hooked. It was probably my favorite movie for years, until some other hyper-masculine auteur thing took its spot. And, while it makes me feel like a dorm-room film nerd to admit it, I still love Reservoir Dogs (I can at least say I never had a Pulp Fiction poster hung up in my dorm room).
Reservoir Dogs belongs to a specific type of modern crime film. These films have a sizable ensemble cast, flashy dialogue, a winding narrative chock full of backstabbing and secrets, and the outcome generally goes badly for every character involved. Stakes matter, because the script is not beholden to the safety of the principal cast of characters. Death is treated as superfluous, a mere hazard of the profession. Cynicism reigns as supreme as in the bleakest of film noir, yet the generic elements of the film hew closer to baseline exploitation cinema.
Nothing in this equation sounds bad to me. On the contrary, I am drawn to it. Which isn’t to say Continue reading No Sudden Move (2021) Movie Review
Diamonds in the Rough (DitR, /dɪ’tər/) takes some of the most derided, divisive, controversial, financially catastrophic, and meme-worthy movies and tries to find the silver lining. Bad movies don’t always start as bad ideas, and flops aren’t always flop-worthy. DitR seeks to find the good within the bad, because the world could use some positivity. And when all else fails, making fun of bad movies is oh-so satisfying.
In this installment, we look at the 2018 Steven Soderbergh-produced, Flying Lotus-produced science fiction film from Eddie Alcazar, Perfect. [Caution: Spoilers Ahead].
- Rotten Tomatoes: 17% (12 critics)
- Metacritic: 36 (7 critics)
- IMDb: 5.5/10 (1,496 ratings)
- Letterboxd: 3.6/5 (369 ratings)
I should be transparent from the outset: I found Perfect to be insufferable. This is Diamonds in the Rough, though, thus I am here to mine these films for their positives. However, this one was Continue reading Is the Steven Soderbergh-Produced Movie Perfect (2018) a Hidden Gem? — Diamonds in the Rough
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.
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
Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy) moves from Boston to get away from her stalker (Joshua Leonard). In doing so, she gets a new job—as we see briefly in one scene where she glibly takes down a customer on the phone—and starts hooking up with people on Tinder—as we see briefly in one scene where she glibly tells a guy that all she wants is a one night stand.
When this one night stand ends in Sawyer seeing the face of her stalker in the man she has taken home, she goes to a psychiatric hospital to see a professional. During this meeting, she off-handedly mentions her previous thoughts of suicide. When the appointment concludes, she goes to leave, only to find that Continue reading Unsane (2018) Movie Review
Steven Soderbergh marks his return to feature filmmaking after his reported retirement with Logan Lucky, a heist film in the same stylistic vein as his Oceans films. Instead of the lavish cityscape and bright lights of Las Vegas, however, in Logan Lucky we are treated with rural North Carolina. The high security casino: replaced by a low security NASCAR race track.
The lead figure in this heist is Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), who sees a crack in the system of pressure tubes that carry money from the race track to a nearby bank vault and decides to Continue reading Logan Lucky (2017) Movie Review
One man. Millions of movies.