John Woo returns to American cinema after twenty years with a revenge film that features no dialogue and a surprisingly emotional story. The action is solid, though unspectacular, but the film’s overall balance of melodrama and underdog ass-kicking combined with a fantastic score and sound design makes for a successful reunion between the director and fans.
A lower class Oxford student stumbles into the good graces of a wealthy classmate he adores and eventually spends a summer at his family’s opulent estate. Not all is as it seems, though. At times deliciously campy and twisted, and at others painfully simplistic and melodramatic, the story plays out much how you’ll expect, with provocation after provocation attempting to distract from the obvious lack of substance. Very much a love it or hate it affair by the end, but my goodness is it pretty to look at it regardless.
Disney’s delightful newest fairy tale pits a teenage girl and a friendly wishing star against the controlling ruler of a utopian kingdom. It’s not quite as magical as their best stories, though, and instead finds its biggest strength in valuable social commentary.
Joaquin Phoenix is outstanding, though he exaggerates Napoleon so much at times that the film feels like pure comedy, which can be somewhat tonal whiplash when compared to the brutality of the gorgeously shot large-scale battles. What is blatantly clear is that this is not the movie Ridley Scott intended, as it’s noticeably choppy; but hey, at least we’ll get the full 4-hour experience eventually thanks to Apple TV+.
For a franchise fan like me, it was a joy to spend time in Panem again. Tom Blyth shines in the central role of Coriolanus Snow, providing a simultaneously tragic and infuriating villain origin story. The strength of this prequel remains the amount of details and history about people and events from The Hunger Games series that it fills in and seeing them visualized was very satisfying.
Incredibly thought-provoking, heartbreaking, and at times awkwardly funny, the film takes a look at a taboo/illegal romantic relationship in a sometimes deadpan and campy way. It’s melodramatic like a soap opera and observes the family dynamics of those involved in this strange situation from the POV of an actress preparing for a role in a method, unhealthy style. It’s crazy, but very smart, too!
Not so sure about going higher and further, but at slightly over 90 minutes, at least THE MARVELS goes faster! Iman Vellani and Goose are the stars here, but an undercooked main plot and maybe the worst villain the MCU has had yet sink this thrown together mixed bag despite it being a refreshingly diverse female-led superhero flick.
Coppola’s exquisite filmmaking style and intimate approach to this rather uneasy and abusive romance shows us the non-tabloid side of the iconic pairing’s relationship. From the very start it feels like a romantic horror, such a unique and unsettling experience. Showing Priscilla’s all too relatable story from a female perspective can be very meaningful, even for those not in a relationship with a mega-famous wealthy superstar.
It’s made for the fans. If you’re one of them, you’ll probably enjoy the nostalgic experience of seeing a beloved franchise in film form, regardless of the tonal imbalance and general ridiculousness of it all. If you’re just coming for a good little slasher-style horror flick, you’re probably gonna be very annoyed that it’s not scary or bloody at all and leave sorely disappointed.