The fantastic opening credits sequence to After Yang, which ingeniously introduces the film's main characters as they perform dance moves in a family-based, massive multiplayer version of Dance Dance Revolution, won't prepare you for the slow, meditative sci fi drama that follows: the second feature from Columbus writer/director/editor Kogonada. Adapting the short story Saying Goodbye to Yang, After Yang takes… read more!
Movies Released in 2022 (in alphabetical order)
Ever since Frank Miller revitalized the shopworn Batman character in 1986 with his four-issue comic book series The Dark Knight Returns, filmmakers of various stripes have tried to replicate its brooding, nihilistic tone. Tim Burton was first out of the gate but his 1989 Batman now seems as cartoonish as Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy, released a year later. Christopher Nolan's… read more!
I remember being underwhelmed by the first Doctor Strange movie, as well as by Oz the Great and Powerful, Sam Raimi's last feature as a director, which reeked of studio watering-down. So I was more cautious than optimistic when going in to watch what for the sake of brevity we'll call Dr. Strange 2. Happily, the film has undone the… read more!
The only intriguing thing about Downton Abbey: A New Era is its title. For at least a couple of reasons – without ruining any of the film's minor plot points – it should really be called The End of an Era, as there's nothing "new" about the setting or its characters. Yet already there's talk of a third big-screen installment… read more!
A blockbuster about Elvis Presley should be the be-all, end-all of rock biopics. And considering all the gaudy kitsch associated with the King of Rock and Roll – Graceland! the pink Cadillac! those jumpsuits! – Baz Luhrmann, with his flair for the over-the-top, seems the perfect choice to take the Elvis story to the big screen. So does it pay… read more!
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – the directing team often bills themselves as "Daniels" – released their first feature Swiss Army Man in 2016. Anyone who's seen Swiss Army Man, which featured Daniel Radcliffe as a talking and endlessly farting corpse, knew that the directors' followup would be clever, bizarre, and over the top. On this promise, Everything Everywhere All… read more!
Predictably twee feature-length adaptation of the popular stop-motion shorts in which the titular character (voiced by cowriter Jenny Slate) delights a human interviewer (director/cowriter Dean Fleischer-Camp) with adorable details of his minuscule, minimalistic life. (Sample: "Guess what I use to tie my skis to my car? A hair.") Expanding the runtime to a tolerable 89 minutes, Marcel the Shell with… read more!
During the opening moments of Men, a London woman named Harper (Jessie Buckley) watches in shock as a man (Paapa Essiedu) falls past her window to his death, making eye contact with her as he descends in slow motion. We soon learn, in flashbacks, that this man was Harper's emotionally manipulative husband, whom she was preparing to divorce. Was it… read more!
Three features in, Robert Eggers has proven himself a filmmaker with a varied visual style and an obsession with recreating remote, long-ago settings in which people are driven crazy by the elements and by each other. Story-wise and image-wise, The Northman doesn't have much to do with Eggers's previous films The Witch and The Lighthouse. Yet with its cracked, "this… read more!
This drily absurd Spanish comedy opens with 80-year-old industrialist Humberto Suárez (José Luis Gómez) deciding to sink a little of his fortune into producing an "important" movie. After securing the costly rights to a Nobel Prize-winning novel called Rivalry, he hires esteemed director Lola Cuevas (Penélope Cruz in a fright wig) to helm the project. She insists upon casting two… read more!
Although apparently some folks who loved the third chapter in the Thor movie franchise, Ragnarok, don't like its followup Love and Thunder, it's hard for me to see why. Both films are very much cut from the same cloth, thanks mostly to director/cowriter Taika Waititi and his signature blend of silliness, adventure, and pathos. Since Ragnarok dispensed of Thor's family,… read more!
Initially I had no interest in Top Gun: Maverick. I saw the first Top Gun in the theater back in 1986 and found it corny machismo and rah-rah pro-military junk. Did we really need a sequel after thirty-plus years? Given Maverick's long release delay – only partly attributed to the pandemic – I could have sworn this movie was a… read more!
Much has been written about how Turning Red, the latest Pixar offering doomed to stream on Disney+ instead of getting a proper theatrical release, touches on the subject of adolescent girls getting their first period – a typically taboo subject for family films. Indeed, the very title of the movie suggests a menstrual metaphor. But while feminine products are briefly… read more!
Although it could be categorized as "folk horror", You Won't Be Alone is maybe 10% horror movie – there's a little blood and violence, but no suspense or jump scares – and 90% Terrence Malick knockoff. I still liked it, though. Set in 19th century Macedonia, You Won't Be Alone opens with a farmer's widow begging a witch to spare… read more!