Crime

Movie Review: The Silencing (2020)

Familiar elements can be clichéd but also useful. Emphasize a particular trope too much and it becomes tired and tedious. Use a trope carefully, especially when connected to other tropes within a wider framework, and the various pieces can add up to a satisfying whole. The key aspect here is judicious treatment, ensuring that the…

Movie Review: Wander (2020)

The opening supertext of Wander draws attention to “indigenous, black, and people of color,” refers to “government violences,” and “change,” and highlights that the film was shot on the homelands of indigenous peoples. Released in 2020 shortly after the presidential election, it is tempting to see this film in the light of progressive change and…

Movie Review: Echo Boomers (2020)

Lance (Patrick Schwarzenegger, “Daniel Isn’t Real”), an unemployed college graduate travels to Chicago at the behest of a cousin and the promise of a job only to be drawn into a tight-knit cadre of millennials who express their frustrations at a broken system by robbing rich people. The viewpoint of these criminal masterminds is that…

Movie Review: Uncut Gems (2019)

After viewing Uncut Gems, I found myself wondering, “Has any movie character ever so completely brought all their story’s conflict upon themselves as much as Howard Ratner does?” I guess that’s the nature of stories about addiction, that the addicts can’t help themselves and suffer horrible consequences as a result, but Howard really takes the…

Movie Review: The Jesus Rolls (2019)

If Joel and Ethan Coen’s “The Big Lebowski” is a stoner neo-noir comedy based on a misidentification, then John Turturro’s sort of spin-off The Jesus Rolls is a road movie based on a lack of destination. Not that any comparison between the two films is fair because they are very different. “The Big Lebowski” takes…

Movie Review: The Quarry (2020)

Author Victor Hugo was once quoted as saying, “There are no such things as bad plants or bad men. There are only bad cultivators.” The idea that unjust law and prejudice infect communities for generations only to create more monsters along the way is still prevalent today, especially in media. In his third directorial effort,…

Movie Review: The Host (2020)

The Host is an example of what happens if you put multiple films into the meat grinder, chop them up and compress the pieces together. Incorporating tropes across genres as well as referencing specific films, Andy Newbery’s film shows little originality or stylistic élan but does offer an enjoyable narrative and plenty of homages for…

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