“Confident and cleanly-told, “Happy Death Day” is exactly the “Groundhog Day” meets “Friday the 13th” mash-up that the trailers promise. There’s nothing more to it than that though,” writes Drew McWeeny.
Browsing: Drew McWeeny
“I know this is a movie, and that Moonee and Halley aren’t real, but in creating them, Sean Baker has captured something deeply true, and these images are spilling over with life, unruly and hard to categorize from one moment to the next,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“This is exploitation fare served strong, and while it is the humanity of Vaughn’s performance that grounds the film and makes it something more than “just” exploitation, you still may need a shower afterwards,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“Blade Runner 2049 is such a good sequel that it makes the case that, between these two films, no other example of the genre has ever made these ideas so vivid, so wrenching, so immediate and raw,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“The film is often devastating, and it offers up one of the least sentimental portraits of parenthood that I can remember. It’s also wise enough to suggest that art comes at a cost, and the creation of even the most beautiful things can sometimes leave scars,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“Director Doug Liman takes such profound liberties with the life of Barry Seal that it’s fair to treat the film as fiction, but it’s also a terrific showcase for one sequence after another of Tom Cruise getting the smug smacked out of him,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“If even one person sees this film and takes strength from Billie Jean’s personal journey, strength they use to live their life honestly, then that’s even better than winning an Oscar, and this story certainly has the power to do that,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“This is how I like my movie sequels, determined not just to give us more of the same but keenly aware that ‘the same’ is exactly why people buy tickets to sequels. It’s a tricky balancing act, but it feels like Vaughn and his ongoing gang of collaborators enjoy that challenge,” writes Drew McWeeny.
Dylan O’Brien’s new film isn’t particularly good, but it had Drew McWeeny on the edge of his seat the whole time.
“It feels like the most successful effort yet from an artist who understands that we’re going to have to face some ugly truths if we ever hope to get better from here,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“Early marketing for the film has made it feel like a Rosemary’s Baby-style thriller, but that’s a huge misdirect, and even calling the film a “horror” film feels dishonest. It is an intensely personal experience, with everything rooted in the perspective of the nameless character played by Jennifer Lawrence,” writes Drew McWeeny.
There are certain rules that you’ll hear people assert about storytelling on film, and one of those rules is that you should not rely heavily on voice-over, and when you want to show an example of how to shatter that rule completely, Brad’s Status would be a great one.
“Ultimately, Andy Muschietti is the star of the film. He’s the one making the call about how to approach bringing the horror of Derry to life, and the film is filled with striking imagery pulled right from the nightmare life of the kids … For the first time in a long time, the promise of a sequel feels like a promise, not a corporate threat,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“For a long time, Slap Shot was the gold standard for hockey movies, and while neither of the Goon films quite supplants it on their own, I’d say taken as a one-two punch, the Goon franchise has earned its spot in the trophy case,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“There is a huge gap between what Marvel does in their movies and what Marvel does on TV, and the difference isn’t just about budget or scale,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“This is the most fluid and decisive visual storytelling of director Adam Wingard’s career so far, but it’s hard to give a sh*t when there are no limits to the rules and when the stakes are as confusing as they are here,” writes Drew McWeeny.
By now, Steven Soderbergh has to be considered heist film royalty, and it’s clear from the moment this film starts that he is one of the very best filmmakers at this particular type of thing,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“You can feel the labor behind every single scene, and you can see how hard everyone’s working, but honestly, it feels a little desperate, like they’re sweating behind those smiles,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“The first Annabelle was a cheap knock-off of The Conjuring, built around fake tension and lame, slow-burn non-scares. This time, there’s plenty of payoff, and once the film hits its third act, it’s fairly relentless in terms of pace and tone,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“This is a small film, but it’s a strong film, and it finally showcases this writer in a way that makes clear what his strengths can be,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“It’s like watching a movie about the making of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and realizing that Pee-Wee built his private world in order to work through some pretty severe trauma. It makes the world that he’s built even more poignant, because you see why it’s important to him,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“I don’t want to beat up on a young actor. They are at the mercy of the director. But Tom Taylor is the wrong person to carry this film, plain and simple. Whatever charisma the kid has is not served by this role, and vice versa,” writes a clearly disappointed Drew McWeeny
“The film tries to throw narrative twists at you, but the narrative is so matter-of-fact that they never really connect as twists. And as far as franchise-building goes, there’s no real narrative hook that makes me want to see this particular character again,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“There’s no special reason that one thing finally pushed people too far back in July of 1967. That was just the moment where everything got to be too much to stomach, and when pushed, a community pushed back,” writes Drew McWeeny of the latest film from Kathyn Bigelow and Mark Boal.
“It’s easy to lose the parents in a film like this, but both John Turturro and Edie Falco have their moments, and Landline allows both of them prove just how nimble they are at character-building,” writes Drew McWeeny.
Not every actor is right for every kind of film, and I’m pretty well convinced at this point that “heroic lead” is not in Dane DeHaan’s wheelhouse. Cara Delevingne might be better than him, but I’m not sure because she’s curiously underwritten here.
“Dunkirk is not an easy experience. It is not a spoonfed version of history, designed for easy nostalgia. It is a vital and demanding film from an artist who is determined to use the big commercial stage to ask more of the audience,” writes Drew McWeeny.