If there’s undeniable difficulty in Velvet Buzzsaw’s genre alchemy—its attempt to mix a caustic, half-comic portrait of the gallery set with a supernatural Tales From The Crypt scenario—it’s all in service of a moldy screed about the commodification of art. Is there anything safer than telling people something they’ve heard a thousand times before?
Though Serenity is blessed with a goofily enjoyable high concept, it doesn’t exploit it very effectively. You can make the viewers detectives themselves, allowing us to slowly unravel a mystery, or you can give up the charade early and just run with the premise you’ve opted not to conceal very carefully. There’s little sense in doing neither.
No wonder Green Book, which is like an inverted "Driving Miss Daisy" by way of "Rain Man’s" mismatched-buddy road trip, is already earning ovations: Intentionally or not, it flatters the delusion that racism, in its ugliest form, is more of a past-tense problem.
Harry Potter, for all his nice-kid incorruptibility, looks downright four-dimensional compared to Redmayne’s milquetoast Newt—an impossibly twee soul with few discernible flaws or even particularly interesting characteristics.
Pity that Metz exhibits so little interest in delineating the play styles of the players, in capturing what made them the best. Borg Vs. McEnroe all but tells us that we’re seeing the greatest tennis match of all time. But it doesn’t show us.
For as much as Van Groeningen may have pulled from both of his mirrored source materials, for as deep as Chalamet digs into his character’s skirmish with own urges, Beautiful Boy holds us outside of his struggle.
With 22 July, Greengrass pushes up against the boundaries of respectful representation, traipsing queasily close to outright exploitation with his reenactment of the 2011 Norway terrorist attacks, which claimed the lives of 77 people, many of them children.
They run a gamut of conventions, proving just how much landscape—geographic and narrative—the Western really covers. What they all convey, some more comically than others, is how short and pitiless life could be in this heavily mythologized era.