Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Happening (2021)

“Life’s greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved” — Victor Hugo Winner of the Golden Lion Award at the 2021 Venice Film Festival, Audrey Diwan’s (“Losing It”) harrowing abortion drama Happening takes place in rural France during the 1960s, a decade before abortion was legalized in France. Based on the memoir by Annie…

Movie Review: Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

What do you do when you’ve made multiple successful films in New Zealand, graduated to Hollywood blockbuster franchise installments while maintaining your idiosyncrasies and then won an Academy Award? In the case of Taika Waititi, the answer is to make another blockbuster where the idiosyncrasies are even more pronounced, to an extent that may amuse…

Movie Review: Playground (2021)

There was a popular book written in the late 1980s by Robert Fulghum named “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” It is filled with tried and true lessons about growing up: “Hold hands and stick together,” “play fair,” “look at yourself,” and other snippets of suggestions we learn about early in…

Movie Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

In 2002, the superhero genre achieved an ideal form in “Spider-Man,” which built upon aspects from the Superman and Batman franchises as well as 1998’s “Blade” and 2000’s “X-Men.” Over the subsequent two decades, the genre developed and expanded, but a consistent aspect throughout is the cinematic expression of the experience of superpowers. This was…

Movie Review: The Power of the Dog (2021)

“You see, evil always contains the seeds of its own destruction. It is ultimately negative, and therefore encompasses its downfall even at its moments of apparent triumph” — Neil Gaiman In the opening of the film, The Power of the Dog, Peter Gordon (Kodi Smit-McPhee, “Dark Phoenix”), a Montana cattle rancher’s future nephew, whispers in…

Movie Review: After Yang (2021)

“I wanna be just like a melody, just like a simple sound, like in harmony” — Glide from “All About Lily Chou-Chou” Projections of the future in cinema have mainly foreseen a world where war, disease, and pervasive alienation are the norm. Korean-born writer/director Kogonada’s vision of the future, however, is not a dystopian world…

Movie Review: The Batman (2022)

It begins with rapid titles. “WB,” “DC,” The Batman, all flash up on screen quickly, before an opening point-of-view shot through binoculars takes in a well-dressed man in an opulent mansion. Watching, observing, planning and judging, this extended shot is unsettling in its voyeurism, especially as the viewer shares the perspective of this watcher, who…

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