Little Joe Review

Maybe it’s the success of TV’s Black Mirror, maybe it’s just the general state of the world, but it feels a bit like we need our high-concept science fiction delivered to us in purely dystopian form. Technological advances are inherently suspicious, the conventional wisdom seems to suggest. Our humanity alone might not be enough to save us. It’s oddly comforting, strange as it sounds, to come across a film like Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe, which takes the form of an Invasion of the Body Snatchers-style horror film but dares to suggest that perhaps the things we fear aren’t quite as ominous as they appear.

Read More »

The Walt Disney Company sure does love dogs. Some of its flagship animation studio’s most popular films are all about dogs, from Lady and the Tramp to 101 Dalmatians. And last month, when Disney+ went live, it did so with a live-action remake of the former title. (There’s a Cruella De Vil-focused live-action remake arriving soon in theaters.) Later this month, Disney+ will premiere a new reality show called Pick of the Litter, all about real-life doggos. Disney! They love dogs. Not that you need further proof, but you can also consider this month’s Disney+ Original film, Togo, a perfectly decent if unremarkable real-life drama all about man and his best friend. 

Read More »

The Aeronauts Review

The Aeronauts is designed to dazzle, both visually and in terms of its time-hopping storytelling structure, yet its impact is as wispy as the air that its hot-air balloons soar through. In what feels like the umpteenth true-story drama of the 2019 awards season, The Aeronauts is a moderately handsome production without actually being dramatically involving. As often as the film takes to the air, its earthbound scenes are dry and dull, giving off the vague whiff of dramatic leftovers.

Read More »

Richard Jewell Review

A long time has passed since Clint Eastwood directed a movie that wasn’t ostensibly about the quiet, undersung heroes of the American fabric. It’s been nearly a decade since he directed a film that wasn’t, in some way, inspired by true events. (That would be the forgettable 2010 supernatural drama Hereafter.) In the intervening years, Eastwood has directed films about war heroes, savior pilots, a trio of young men stopping a horrific attack from occurring overseas, and now another story of a common hero beleaguered by bureaucracy. Richard Jewell focuses on a man whose heroism was quickly flipped into villainy by a scornful government and media, yet it’s only the characters on the sideline who are of any dramatic interest.

Read More »

Nightcrawlers Review

This review contains minor spoilers for the documentary Nightcrawlers.

Making a documentary about addiction or mental illness without being exploitative of the subject can be a tall order. By and large, Stephen McCoy’s Nightcrawlers manages to pull it off. While that may be because McCoy quickly becomes the subject of his own documentary, it’s worth at least acknowledging the care that he shows to the strangers he films. 

Read More »

The Conductor Review

This review contains mild spoilers for The Conductor

Have you ever heard of Antonia Brico? Don’t be ashamed if the answer to that question is “no”. Many people, even those with degrees in musical fields, have no idea who she is. The short answer is that Brico is one of the most exceptional modern conductors of our time. She’s the first American to graduate from the Berlin State Academy of Music, and the first woman to conduct the New York Philharmonic. The Conductor is her story. 

Read More »

Saint Frances Review

This review contains mild spoilers for Saint Frances

Thirty-four-year-old Bridget (Kelly O’Sullivan) is figuring it out as she goes. She’s single, stuck in a dead-end job, and not quite sure what she wants to do with her life. After listening to a creep at a party blather on about all the things he’s achieved by the same age, Bridget decides to take life by the horns. But not before an awkward and incredibly relatable night with her now not-boyfriend, Jace (Max Lipchitz). 

A series of quick events will result in two facts in Bridget’s life: she’s facing an unwanted pregnancy because a lot of sex-ed still fails to teach us that pulling out isn’t a viable method of birth control, and she’s about to take a new job as a nanny for a lesbian couple. What unfolds throughout the rest of Saint Frances is an exploration in just how inherently lonely being a woman can be, and how using our words with one another can actively help combat that loneliness.

Read More »

Daniel Isn't Real Review

This review contains mild spoilers for Daniel Isn’t Real

Imaginary friends have a way of getting a little dicey in media. They start out sweet. They act as a companion and build up the confidence of their hosts. Then the next thing you know they’re telling you to put glue in your sister’s shampoo and hair on your mom’s toothbrush. But what would happen if that imaginary friend took things to a more sinister place? Daniel Isn’t Real is here to answer that question. 

Read More »

Butt Boy Review

One of the joys of attending several film festivals every year is finding and celebrating the wildest and most unique genre movies from around the world. This year, the crown for wildest discovery goes to Butt Boy, a film that has been making the festival rounds, but one that should be seen by everyone.

Meet Chip Gutchell (writer/director Tyler Cornack) a man who is miserable with his life. He has a soulless job he hates, a loveless marriage he is tired of, and even though he’s a new father, he feels unfulfilled in every way. Then he gets an appointment for his first prostate exam.

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

knives out review

The game’s afoot and everyone’s a suspect in Knives Out, Rian Johnson‘s deliriously funny whodunit. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have trying to solve a murder. Gathering together a killer cast of movie stars and character actors, Johnson has crafted a film that’s both a loving homage to locked room mysteries and a giddy, laugh-out-loud funny comedy that keeps pulling the rug out from under you just when you think you’ve found your footing. It’s a total blast.

Read More »