Posted on Saturday, December 31st, 2016 by David Chen
Children of Men is 10 years old, and yet it seems more relevant than ever. In this bonus episode, Devindra chats with Anthony Ha, senior editor at TechCrunch, and Dwayne De Freitas, co-host of The Drill Down podcast, about the film’s themes and lasting impact. And perhaps we’ll figure out how to find hope in a hopeless world along the way.
David, Devindra and Jeff discuss a good insane double feature in theaters right now, give a shout out to the new Sense8 Christmas Special, praise Natalie Portman’s performance in Jackie, aren’t too excited about Ben Affleck’s latest, and wonder how David could’ve not loved Hell or High Water.
This is a year where you had to work to see great films. Unlike last year, the vast majority of my favorite movies of 2016 weren’t movies that received wide releases, nor were they films that earned over $50 million at the box office. Instead, they were often quieter releases that I had to read up on in order to make sure I caught them during the 1-2 weeks they were playing in my city.
The good news is, if you did the work, you were richly rewarded. While the movie industry as a whole is not doing so hot, movies as a form of storytelling still feel as vital as ever. What follows are my top 10 movies of 2016. Read More »
David, Devindra and Jeff are joined by Peter Sciretta to spoil Rogue One extensively. They discuss the film’s ending, speculate on the film’s reshoots, and get taken aback by some of the film’s horrible (and wonderful) visual effects.
Posted on Friday, December 16th, 2016 by David Chen
When I saw the trailer for Collateral Beauty, I thought to myself, “Huh, that looks incredibly treacly and saccharine, but maybe I could be a sucker for that type of thing?” Then the extremely negative reviews started rolling in and I felt I oddly compelled check this film out to see how it could possibly be as terrible as critics were saying it was.
Suffice it to say, I was not let down. Collateral Beauty is morally reprehensible and a stunning miscalculation on almost every level. It has the dialogue and tone of a Christmas special or a sitcom, but its plot feels straight out of horror film or dark comedy. Add to that a trailer that feels genetically engineered to deceive people about not only the nature but the basic story of the film, and you have a film that is bound to shock and surprise people.
David, Devindra and Jeff do a double review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (without spoilers) and La La Land (with spoilers), discuss the new Fast and Furious title, the awful Criterion art for the Before series, and what to do on an airplane when you’re watching explicit material on your video screen. Be sure to read up on why watching things at 2x speed is evil, and why Miss Sloane is totally naive.
‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ Takes ‘Star Wars’ In Exciting New Directions [David Chen’s Video Review]
Posted on Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 by David Chen
Imagine a world where the Star Wars prequels never existed. If instead of Episodes I-III, we got Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, there would be a lot fewer adults disenchanted with the world of Star Wars today (not that the franchise is currently wanting for fans). Rogue One does so much right when it comes to filling in the gaps before Episode IV that it’s easy to overlook some of its flaws. It’s that rare prequel that actually makes the film that follows it more impactful and emotionally resonant. It is a thrilling, ambitious, and occasionally spectacular experience that takes the Star Wars franchise in exciting new directions.
That’s not to say the film doesn’t have its flaws though, which include a bit too much ambition when it comes to introducing side characters. But fans of Star Wars will find that this movie not only honors their memories of the original films, it also has enough memorable moments, characters, and ideas to make the journey worthwhile. Hit the jump to see my full video review of Rogue One and see the rest of our coverage here.
Read More »
Damien Chazelle’s La La Land dazzled me when I first saw it. Its deftly choreographed musical numbers had me pining for the film musicals of yesteryear. And the deeply felt performances by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (who play aspiring artists Sebastian and Mia) helped me find a deeper level of respect for those who give everything in pursuit of their creative dreams.
The soundtrack for La La Land was recently released, and I’ve spent a great deal of time over the past few days listening to it. But the more I listen, the more bothered I am by the film’s ending and how it seems to betray a lot of what came before it. Let’s talk about the ending of La La Land. Note that this article will contain SPOILERS for the film.
Read More »
Devindra chats with Angie Han about Barry Jenkins’ moving film, Moonlight. Be sure to also check out The Next Picture Show discussion about the film.