Tag Archives: Sundance

After Yang (2022) Movie Review

After Yang premiered as part of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Kogonada’s After Yang is a magic trick of a film. The title refers to a “techno-sapien” sibling (Justin H. Min), an android who serves as a caretaker and mentor for Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja), the adopted child of Jake (Colin Farrell) and Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith). While Jake and Kyra are too busy in their working lives, Mika has Yang, and she has grown very attached to him. The film takes place, largely, “after” Yang, in that he malfunctions early on and Jake spends most of the film attempting to get him repaired.

The magic trick comes to fruition roughly 45 minutes in, when Jake is able to watch a series of “memories” Yang stored in a small hard drive chip. They are all-too-brief snapshots of Continue reading After Yang (2022) Movie Review

2nd Chance (2022) Movie Review

2nd Chance premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival

Ramin Bahrani is a director known primarily for fiction filmmaking. He made the Fahrenheit 451 adaptation for HBO. Last year, his script for The White Tiger was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA. It perhaps does not come as a surprise then that Bahrani was initially approached by producers to make the story of Richard Davis, the Michigan man who developed the modern bulletproof vest, into a fiction film. And Davis’ tale could potentially make for an engaging fiction, given how outlandish aspects of it are.

This film could focus on Continue reading 2nd Chance (2022) Movie Review

Resurrection (2022) Movie Review

Resurrection premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Films which hinge on a central revelation are difficult to talk about. The experience of a film like this can be significantly altered if one already knows the revelation ahead of time. I won’t go into much detail about the plot of Andrew Semans’ Resurrection, for this reason. Just suffice it to say that your curiosity and subsequent shock at the revelation in Resurrection are required components to enjoying the film. And I think the film thoroughly fumbles its central conceit.

Which is not to say that the mystery surrounding the strange situation unfolding in front of us is not compelling, nor that the reveal itself is not Continue reading Resurrection (2022) Movie Review

Watcher (2022) Movie Review

Watcher premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and is competing in its U.S. Dramatic competition.

Chloe Okuno’s feature debut Watcher is a thriller in the Rear Window tradition. Americans Julia (Maika Monroe) and Francis (Karl Glusman) move to Bucharest after Francis receives a promotion. Julia does not have a job here and does not speak Romanian, two facts which isolate her in her new environment, leaving her on edge as she goes about her days largely alone. And it does not help that Continue reading Watcher (2022) Movie Review

Emergency (2022) Movie Review

Emergency premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and is competing in the festival’s U.S Dramatic competition.

Carey Williams’ 2018 film Emergency won Sundance’s Special Jury Prize for short-form filmmaking. He adapted this short, with KD Davila serving as screenwriter, into a feature film of the same name. The film is one part buddy comedy, one part coming-of-age movie, and one part drama reflecting on multiple tensions present in the American conscious. If this sounds like three things which do not go together, you aren’t wrong. The extent to which one buys into the tonal tightrope walk Emergency is attempting is crucial to the enjoyment of the film.

I bought in. Perhaps not hook, line, and sinker. But taking this film on its own terms, following it through its kinks and lumps, I was met with a Continue reading Emergency (2022) Movie Review

The Discovery (2017) Movie Review

What happens in a world where proof of an afterlife is definitive? Thus is the ethical dilemma of The Discovery, the new film from Charlie McDowell (The One I Love) and distributed via Netflix.

Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford), the man credited for what is dubbed “the discovery” grants unprecedented access with an interview; an interview that ends in a crew member’s on-air suicide.

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Elsewhere, Will (Jason Segel) and Isla (Rooney Mara) meet on an otherwise empty ferry. They naval-gaze for a time, discussing how people “grow into their names” or not, how suicide groups in the face of the discovery are disingenuous, and then finally the truth of Continue reading The Discovery (2017) Movie Review

Weiner (2016) Movie Review

Former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was a fiery Democrat in the house, pushing back against Republican legislation with gusto. Of course, this is likely not what you remember him for. Instead, he is often remembered for certain lewd photographs that caused a media frenzy and his resignation. Weiner follows the former politician during his 2013 run for mayor of New York City, a bid marked by his fervent and exhausting attempt to shed the demons of his past.

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The novelty of Weiner is its Continue reading Weiner (2016) Movie Review

Wiener-Dog (2016) Movie Review

Todd Solondz has made a career out of putting on display the awkwardness of normal existence and the oddities that threaten to make it less normal (or overbearingly so). But the real question is: Can he do the same thing with a dog as a protagonist? One sad, slow tracking shot over a trail of dog diarrhea later, and we have our answer.

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Wiener-Dog is told in an episodic fashion as the eponymous animal travels from Continue reading Wiener-Dog (2016) Movie Review