Friday, September 20, 2019

Ad nauseam


AD ASTRA

Here's James Gray's masterclass on how to ruin a movie that was perfectly great until you got to it in post.

2019
Directed by James Gray
Written by Ethan Gross and James Gray

Spoiler alert: moderate

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Walt Disney, part XVIII: That's right! It's a measure of length!


20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA

So let's see what happens when you take the travelogue, the anti-imperial themes, and the breathless enthusiasm for made-up science out of Jules Verne's anti-imperialist science-fiction travelogue.  Is it still good?  Surprisingly, very slightly yes, but not much.

1954
Directed by Richard Fleischer
Written by Earl Felton (based on the novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Monday, September 16, 2019

Drone shot


DOMINO

It really hasn't been De Palma's best century.

2019
Directed by Brian De Palma
Written by Petter Skavlan

Spoiler alert: moderate

It follows


IT: CHAPTER TWO

Second verse, same as the first.  And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

2019
Directed by Andy Muschietti
Written by Gary Dauberman (based on the novel It by Stephen King)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Walt Disney, part XVII: A boy's best friend is his mother


PETER PAN

Essentially everything that could be wrong with a mid-century Disney film rolled into a single package, to die might actually have been a bigger adventure than it is (though given that is only 75 minutes, I quite manfully gutted it out).

1953
Directed by Clyde Geronomi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luske

Spoiler alert: he never grows up

Friday, August 30, 2019

Walt Disney, part XVI: Who cares for you? You're nothing but a pack of cards


ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Initially wearisome, but ultimately a fair bit of fun, Alice In Wonderland is still minor Walt Disney—as the man himself agreed.

1951
Directed by Clyde Geronomi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luske

Spoiler alert: wake up, Alice

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Frady cat


THE PARALLAX VIEW

The only conspiracy thriller so opaque you need to invent a conspiracy theory just to explain it to yourself.

1974
Directed by Alan J. Pakula
Written by David Giler, Lorenzo Semple Jr., and (allegedly) Robert Towne (based on the novel by Loren Singer)

Spoiler alert: high