Tagged 2010s

Murder Mystery (Newacheck, 2019)

I’ve gobbled up my fair share of mystery novels when I was growing up. I still do, on occasion. I even took a class on detective novels in university because I thought it’d be fun. So this latest Netflix original was kind of irresistible to me, since it promised to pay homage to a genre…

Rocketman (Fletcher, 2019)

I’ll give Rocketman this much: it is a more credible endeavour than its closest antecedent, Bohemian Rhapsody. On the aesthetic front, Rocketman is not as visually shoddy or bogged down by competing artistic visions. Dexter Fletcher had a clear concept in mind and ran with it, whereas with Bohemian Rhapsody he was forced to paste together a film from scraps left behind…

Aladdin (Ritchie, 2019)

It is quite the relief when a movie that has been beleaguered with terrible promotion turns out to be better than expected. And let me tell you, Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin instilled no confidence before its release date. When Will Smith’s buff and blue Genie was finally unveiled to a flurry of online backlash and mockery, I couldn’t…

Greta (Jordan, 2018)

Grande Dame Guignol lives on! Maybe not with the same panache as the films from the ‘60s, or the same level of insanity, but a film like Greta is worth it for the camp spectacle alone. Here it is provided to us by an extremely game Isabelle Huppert, playing a spidery widow who leaves expensive-looking purses lying…

Booksmart (Wilde, 2019)

Social media has been abuzz with debates about Olivia Wilde’s debut, from its marketing campaign to its struggle to make gains at the box office to questions about its diversity (or lack thereof). I want to review Booksmart on its own terms, so forgive me if what I write doesn’t substantially contribute to the current discourse. I’d…

Black Mother (Allah, 2018)

Black Mother is filmmaker and photographer Khalik Allah’s benediction to his homeland of Jamaica. In his polyphonic and contrapuntal vision, it is a place of many faces and attitudes, with eyes that see the road ahead with sagacity, noses that revel in the scent of the country’s foods and recreations (marijuana included) and mouths that sing…

Poms (Hayes, 2019)

Anyone who watches Poms will manage to crack a smile a few times, even if they recognize internally that they’re smiling at shtick that isn’t particularly intelligent. It’s humour that’s meant to be broad and instantly digestible, like one punchline early on that explains why a woman got second place at a talent contest in the ‘50s…

Hotel Mumbai (Maras, 2018)

I don’t want to write too much about Hotel Mumbai because I got my fill of it in the theatre and thinking about it after the fact is like a PTSD trigger. On one hand, one can commend Anthony Maras for trying to render the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks as authentically as he could, doing extensive research…

Guava Island (Murai, 2019)

Last year Janelle Monáe released a conceptual “emotion picture” to act as a thematic and visual supplement to her third studio album Dirty Computer. Now Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) is taking a similar approach with Guava Island, an hour-long film directed by frequent collaborator Hiro Murai that gives us a cogent tour of his musical career…

Giant Little Ones (Behrman, 2018)

Following on the heels of LGBTQ+ coming-of-age stories like Love, Simon from last year, Giant Little Ones is another film that highlights the struggles queer teenagers face in toxic environments like high school, where latent homophobia and bullying make coming out an almost Herculean task. And so some choose to hide in fear, pretending to be people they’re not…

Dumbo (Burton, 2019)

These Disney live-action remakes are threatening to create more cynics than converts, as we haven’t yet seen one that can stand on its own and make a case for itself. Worse yet, 2019 is going to be inundated with them, and there’s no telling if any will succeed in having artistic merit. Tim Burton’s take…

The Upside (Burger, 2017)

I have a dim recollection of The Intouchables, the original film on which The Upside is based. I remember liking it for being both heartwarming and funny, but after many years and several hundreds of films later, I would probably look at it more critically if I were to watch it again. Which I won’t, because The Upside is more…

Ready Player One (Spielberg, 2018)

Sorry Spielbergers. I’m not sure I’m the audience for this kind of stuff. I do admire the thoroughness of the VFX work and how wonderfully the different avatars are rendered, and the whole sequence inside The Shining was kind of mind-blowing in how accurately it was all reproduced. We’ve come so far technologically, and as long as…

Ralph Breaks the Internet (Moore & Johnston, 2018)

There is a lot going on in Ralph Breaks the Internet outside of its family-friendly messaging about learning to let go of your insecurities and, by extension, the people you’re close to when it’s time for them to move on. In and of itself, that messaging is astute and worth championing in a film like this. The fact that…

The 2019 Oscar-Nominated Shorts: Live Action (Various, 2017-2018)

Detainment (Lambe, 2018) Good Lord, how am I supposed to review this thing? Tasteless as it is aesthetically, it also seems callous to force people to relive a national tragedy as the Jamie Bulger killing all over again. I get there are still unanswered questions and all, but is that really enough reason to reenact…