REVIEW: 2050 [2019]

“You are a dirty manipulation of natural elements” There’s something endearing about a company manufacturing impossibly realistic “e-mates” (robotic companions programmed to be subordinate to your every whim whether task-driven, intellectual, or sexual) having a lo-fi TV-spot with 90s internet graphics and over-the-top infomercial testimonials from people stopped on the street. They’ve spent so much […]

REVIEW: Arctic [2019]

“You’re not alone” All we have to guess the duration of time Overgård (Mads Mikkelsen) has been stranded alone in an icy wasteland nearby his crashed plane is the beard on his face. Even then we don’t know how long it was when he escaped the fuselage to pretend to have a starting point for […]

REVIEW: The Killing of a Chinese Bookie [1976]

“Got the world by the balls” It’s a wild beginning with Cosmo Vittelli (Ben Gazzara) paying off a guy (Al Ruban‘s Marty) we assume let him borrow money to create his now successful club. Fast-forward to him introducing his seedy establishment’s main act in Mr. Sophistication (Meade Roberts) and the naked girls the audience has […]

BERLINALE19 REVIEW: MS Slavic 7 [2019]

“You’ll have to use this pencil” Director Sofia Bohdanowicz found a series of letters written between 1957 and 1964 by her great-grandmother Zofia Bohdanowiczowa (a poet) to the Nobel Prize nominated author Józef Wittlin at Harvard’s Houghton Library. Both literary figures were forced to leave Poland during World War II with the former heading to […]

REVIEW: Serenity [2019]

“Go catch that fish, Dill” **Spoilers** I was rooting for Steven Knight‘s Serenity long before sitting down at the theater. Why wouldn’t I? The trailer had it looking like one of my favorite types of films—namely the sort wherein what we see and experience ultimately proves to be the inner-workings of a troubled, delusional mind. […]

REVIEW: Zama [2017]

“Europe is best remembered by those who were never there” A man speaks about a fish rejected by the water it needs to breathe, swimming back and forth to fight that current of repulsion and stay alive in the hopes of earning an opportunity to be desired, valued, and worthy of the life God has […]

REVIEW: Sombra City [2019]

“I said I don’t trust you, but—” It’s 2037 and the world looks similar to ours but for certain societal changes. The main alteration at the center of Elias Plagianos‘ Sombra City is the legality of murder if done with a bounty hunting purpose. Think a duel, but farmed out to trained assassins. As long […]

REVIEW: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs [2018]

“Well don’t let my white duds and pleasant demeanor fool ya” You know the whole enterprise will be a bit cheeky just by directors’ Joel and Ethan Coen‘s statement of intent. While explaining that their love for anthology movies stems from the format’s ability to unite multiple directors with a common theme, they admit their […]

BERLINALE19 REVIEW: Breve historia del planeta verde [Brief Story From the Green Planet] [2019]

“Don’t be scared of what you’re about to see” I have no idea what’s happening inside Santiago Loza‘s Breve historia del planeta verde [Brief Story from the Green Planet]. This quest on behalf of three outcast best friends since childhood to deliver an ailing alien to the place where one’s grandmother found it is disorienting […]

REVIEW: Lords of Chaos [2019]

“One shot to the head and it’s all over” Talk to “true” Norwegian black metal fans and they’ll tell you Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind‘s book about the scene’s origins and criminality is a bunch of baloney (but in much harsher words). It’s interesting because the facts behind a series of church burnings, the suicide […]

REVIEW: The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot [2019]

“I’ll thank you to look after the dog” A title like The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot is making very specific promises and writer/director Robert D. Krzykowski doesn’t disappoint. Calvin Barr (Aidan Turner in flashback) did kill Adolf Hitler and Calvin Barr (Sam Elliott in present day) will be recruited to hunt […]