REVIEW: The Eyes of Tammy Faye [2021]

God loves you. He really, really does. Director Michael Showalter‘s The Eyes of Tammy Faye is not about Tammy Faye Bakker. I wish it was. She’s quite the figure with a heart of gold only challenged in size by a wealth of naivete and trust. A televangelist alongside her husband Jim on a television network they built into the fourth most-watched channel in America, she seems to have truly wanted to shower every single soul put on this earth with her love. And success was her way to do it.…

Read More

REVIEW: ドライブ・マイ・カー [Doraibu mai kâ] [Drive My Car] [2021]

Those who survive keep thinking about the dead. The film starts with Yûsuke (Hidetoshi Nishijima) and Oto Kafuku (Reika Kirishima) naked in bed, him half asleep and her relaying the latest lightning struck plot bouncing around her subconscious. It’s about a teenage girl who’s so infatuated with her crush that she breaks into his house when no one is there, taking small tokens amongst his possessions and leaving some of her own in the hopes that the transfer would somehow indelibly bond them. The next morning sees the couple in…

Read More

REVIEW: Eternals [2021]

It’s almost time. With twenty-five films and a fully realized serial arc already released, I wonder how many viewers checked out of Chloé Zhao‘s singular Eternals before the preamble was even complete. Despite all that context and investment, we’re made to read about all-powerful beings called Celestials, God-like immortals who inspired the cultural epics and heroes we still teach our children today, and other-worldly malicious creatures known as Deviants who’ve threatened humanity’s salvation for millennia. It’s obviously a big ask. One that Kevin Feige and company couldn’t have even suggested…

Read More

REVIEW: King Richard [2021]

We need to make two more kids. You couldn’t watch tennis in the mid-90s without hearing an opinion about Richard Williams lurking behind his camera in the stands while his daughters Venus and Serena took the American program and the sport itself by storm. Every commentator had something to say to simultaneously champion his efforts putting them on the road to superstardom and vilify his off-court persona via his parenting technique, self-promotion, and hijinks. At times he became the bigger story and thus a big distraction to what the Williams…

Read More

REVIEW: Below the Fold [2021]

Nothing can be done. A sleepy Missouri newspaper is struggling to find stories besides puff pieces about local relations vying for the latest tractor pull championship. Having the ten-year anniversary of an unsolved disappearance case coming up shortly after the victim’s mother passed with a wish to keep her daughter’s memory alive is thus a blessing for the printed page since it means David Fremont (Davis DeRock) can knock on some doors and conduct some substantive interviews for once … even if he knows he probably won’t learn anything new.…

Read More

REVIEW: A Cure for Wellness [2017]

You won’t come back. Capitalism has become pathological to the point where your work and the industry you work in doesn’t need to benefit society if it keeps your wallet full. It’s why the white working class is prone to vote against itself at elections under the false sense that they’re just one lucky break away from being a millionaire and thus shouldn’t shoot themselves in the foot now simply because they haven’t gotten there yet. It’s why the willfully oppressed can look upon someone gaming the tax system that…

Read More

REVIEW: New York Ninja [2021]

This city owes me … justice. Taiwanese actor John Liu never made it to the big time in Hong Kong. Despite being known in the industry as having one of its “best kicks,” he would eventually create his own production company to write/direct/star in three actioners set in Paris and Mexico. While a fourth production entitled New York Ninja did finish principal photography, however, it was never completed before Liu retired from the business to begin teaching his own martial arts form known as Zen Kwan Do (which kept a…

Read More

REVIEW: Dishonored [1931]

To love and excitement. Marie Kolverer (Marlene Dietrich) never asked to be a spy. The widow was merely mentioning to a police officer standing guard at the latest death-by-gas-asphyxiation suicide that she wouldn’t be following in the victim’s footsteps like he remarks most women will. She tells him that she’s not afraid of life before clarifying that she’s not afraid of death either. The sentiments catch the ears of the Austrian Secret Service Chief (Gustav von Seyffertitz) as those of someone with a strong enough constitution to recruit for an…

Read More

REVIEW: The First Wave [2021]

You can never have a sigh of relief. I wonder when we’ll grow numb to movies about the COVID-19 crisis. Anyone saying they already have is either lying or living a life of privilege wherein the continued ebb and flow of hospitalization numbers has yet to personally impact them. They’re also the ones posing the biggest threat to those who’ve yet to take a breath because they’re the ones who care more about a “normal” that may never exist again than the health of a marginalized stranger who never experienced…

Read More

REVIEW: Zeros and Ones [2021]

Shoot it so they believe it. The opening credits had already begun before Ethan Hawke appeared to introduce himself and the film we’re about to see. He talks about always being a fan of Abel Ferrara and being excited that they were finally working together before describing Zeros and Ones as the writer/director’s interpretation of the world we’re currently living in due to COVID, terrorism, and the blurred line between good and evil. It’s an interesting maneuver that could either be a result of wanting to get audiences pumped by…

Read More

REVIEW: Belfast [2021]

What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is my own. There’s a version of Kenneth Branagh‘s personal coming-of-age story Belfast that probably could have been rated-G and the fact he refused to deliver it should be praised. That doesn’t necessarily mean sanitizing a violent and deadly conflict like the late-1960s start of “The Troubles” into a PG-13 is much better, though. If not for regular explosions and a superficial entrance into the politics (reduced to Protestants hating Catholics on a religious basis rather than the more integral nationalist one religion…

Read More