Film critic with 130+ publications. English/writing tutor and online film teacher. FIRST LESSON FREE!!!
The Kid Stays in the Picture 2002
Great documentary about longtime Paramount film producer Robert Evans. Told entirely through scripted voice-over narration by Evans himself (likely culled from the text of his autobiography), set to eclectically edited footage from his life and films.
Co-directed by Brett Morgen; we can see a lot of the brilliant creativity and energy that would explode in his Bowie doc MOONAGE DAYDREAM 20 years later.
A Panicky Picnic 1909
Nice example of unhinged early silent films. Delightful special effects, gorgeous matte painted backdrops, bizarre switches between live action and animation.
The Northman 2022
A lot of cool ideas, but doesn’t deliver enough on most of them. Not enough was done with the religion angle, and once they settled into the Iceland plotline the visual style became more routine. Some of the scenes felt very muddled and unclear. A pretty decent movie, but a missed opportunity in my opinion.
As an aside, an interesting amount of similarities with The Witch: emphasis on accents, period piece, muddy rural life, pagan religions, and of course Anya.
Everything Everywhere All at Once 2022
I don’t think I have ever seen a movie with more perfect unity of form and content. Every single detail of the costume design, writing, acting, choreography, dialogue, et cetera perfectly drives home the message. As a result, this is one of the most emotionally overwhelming movies I can remember watching. I was bawling for the last 20-30 minutes, and seemingly mundane things (like Michelle Yeoh using her pizza sign twirling skills in a crucial fight) had me in tears. I almost never give 5 stars to anything, but I feel like 5 stars is not enough for this movie. It is truly extraordinary.