REVIEW: Olaf’s Frozen Adventure [2017]

“Tell us yours and we’ll tell you if it’s special enough” A short film like Olaf’s Frozen Adventure epitomizes the law of diminishing returns: for audiences, not Disney. The studio is surely making a ton of merchandise money with little work involved considering the characters are already at their disposal. We’re talking a couple directors, […]

REVIEW: The Shape of Water [2017]

“We’re all alone” Leave it to Guillermo del Toro to create an adult fantasy in the vein of Beauty and the Beast wherein there is no “beauty,” only the “other.” It’s one thing to read or watch a tale of overcoming the odds as a child with a specimen of perfection finding it in his/her […]

REVIEW: The Rape of Recy Taylor [2017]

“They thought the black woman’s body didn’t belong to her” You may not know the name Recy Taylor, but you’ve definitely heard her story. It’s one of rape, lies, and cover-ups. It’s one of irreparable physical and psychological damage that still affects her family more than seventy years later. And it’s also one about a […]

REVIEW: The Post [2017]

“Quality drives profitability” Let’s be real: every Steven Spielberg film is a must-see, hype-driving machine. He’s a cinematic giant who rarely chooses a project to direct without extreme enthusiasm and artistic purpose (whether the result proves timeless or not). But no one could be blamed for letting excitement crescendo higher than usual upon hearing about […]

REVIEW: Loving Vincent [2017]

“Life can even bring down the strong” The stats are incredible: 125 artists animating a feature-length film over seven years based on 800 personal letters with 65,000 individually-painted oil frames. You read those numbers and wonder if it was worth the trouble when a traditionally shot narrative featuring its faux “rotoscoped” actors would have been […]

REVIEW: Downsizing [2017]

“Lots of people are in pain, Ma. In all sorts of ways.” It’s an ingenious comedic premise. With Earth’s population untenable, a couple of Norwegian scientists discover a way to combat our impending doom: genetic shrinkage. With a syringe of blue formula and a microwave oven (the logistics are never explained beyond surface visuals), any […]

REVIEW: Thelma [2017]

“Jesus Satan” The moment you leave home for college is the moment your parents say, “Have fun, but don’t lose who you are in the process.” It’s a worthwhile sentiment that we often take for granted as an implicit notion that we are who we will remain despite embarking on a journey full of unknown […]

REVIEW: Psychopaths [2017]

“Evil’s a straight and simple ‘just because’” It’s hard to reject a film as having no substance when its narrator apologizes for that very fact. Was its hollowness therefore an intentional commentary on the empty nihilistic void that we call life or was the filmmaker throwing us for a “meta” loop with a tongue-in-cheek laugh […]

REVIEW: Mudbound [2017]

“They say it’s bad luck to watch somebody leave” People too often speak about America’s scars as though the damage was done, skin healed over, and remnants already mostly faded away. But this isn’t true. Ask any member of a group that has been marginalized from the moment Europeans landed on the Atlantic shore until […]

REVIEW: Mercy Christmas [2017]

“Fresh is best” Michael Briskett (Steven Hubbell) awakens in a dark room with plastic sheets covered in blood hung behind him. It’s imagery you’ve seen countless times in horror films—butcher accoutrement readied for torture porn carnage. But writer/director Ryan Nelson (alongside Beth Levy Nelson as co-writer) is only giving us a tease of what’s to […]

REVIEW: The Square [2017]

“Do you want to save a human life?” You always hear labels like “before its time” or “of its time,” but what about “beyond its time?” The latter is the phrase I would use to describe Ruben Östlund‘s Palme d’Or-winning (Cannes) The Square because everything it tries to say in a “pay attention before it’s […]