What Snyder has contrived here feels less like a vital re-energization of the form than a ponderous guided tour through a museum’s worth of familiar superhero-movie tropes and conventions: Look at this, look at that, try not to look at your watch. Like the Flash himself, Snyder wants to slow time to a crawl, to deconstruct every gesture, to make his obsessions your own. He wants the movie to go on forever. Mission accomplished.
Boogie tries to appreciate its own contradictions, and also to complicate the audience’s expectations. It positions Boogie as an underdog of the underrepresented, a potential breakout star in an arena where the odds are stacked against him. But it also resists the temptation to turn him into an easy emblem of success, while neatly sidestepping the feel-good uplift and predictable, reconciliatory outcomes that tend to hold sway in the sports-movie genre.
Raya herself is an appealing amalgam of countless smart, unpretentious, down-to-earth action heroes before her — the kinds of characters that, as with this movie, you gravitate toward as much for their familiarity as for their novelty.
To say that not everything coheres in this swift, propulsive 93-minute film is to suggest that the filmmaker has done justice to the unruliness of his subject: In capturing and preserving a long-standing oral tradition, he has arrived at both a persuasive vision of the past and a hopeful glimpse of the future. Like all good storytellers, he leaves you wanting more.
Both actors know how to hit Macqueen’s more emphatic dialogue with a soft, glancing touch; they also know how to settle into the script’s familiar narrative grooves, its intimations of mortality and grief, in ways that will yield fresh, distinctive notes of humor, emotion and even surprise.
Konchalovsky has said that he meant to recapture the look of films from the ’60s, but these crisp, high-contrast images speak to another impulse as well: to look into a past shrouded in the fog of delusion and doublespeak, and to see through it with a clarity that burns and even heals
As reinforced by every capacious widescreen frame of Sean Bobbitt’s cinematography, the movie is both a portrait and a panorama, a story about Black self-determination as an individual and collective enterprise.
The Little Things has a couple of hair-raising scenes and a few nifty, low-key twists in store, though little about the overall experience of watching it can really be called surprising. I don’t mean that as a knock. The pleasures and comforts of crime fiction, even with the built-in expectations of suspense and revelation, are not always dependent on novelty.
Zendaya . . . has a way of rendering dialogue irrelevant. She holds a closeup here more skillfully and naturally than her co-star does, and her silence proves far more eloquent than his words. And those words turn out to be the undoing of Malcolm & Marie, not just because there are so many of them, but because they feel like the building blocks of a meta-movie parlor trick, an intellectual exercise that exists for no purpose other than its own justification.
The movie naturally pulses with life and energy, invigorated by its narrative sweep, its nimble camerawork and propulsive musical score composed by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans. But Bahrani scrupulously resists the temptation to turn India into a flashy, exoticizing spectacle, as more than a few critics accused “Slumdog Millionaire” of doing.
As its delightfully loquacious title suggests, Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time is both methodical and enigmatic. It’s a movie that sees no real contradiction between the rational and irrational, only degrees of difference. The instinctive intelligence and curiosity that Márta brings to her emotional investigation, tempered by the kind of humility that only comes with great knowledge, is what makes her such an involving protagonist — someone you naturally want to follow down any rabbit hole that may present itself.
In the bruising melodrama Pieces of a Woman, Vanessa Kirby does something remarkable and rare — or at least, she makes it seem rare. She brings sharp emotional definition to a character who, in the throes of a devastating loss, refuses to make her feelings easily readable, or consolable, for those around her.
The suspension of disbelief that any celebrity impersonation requires may be multiplied fourfold here, but One Night in Miami ... turns that excess into a kind of economy. It moves, with light-fingered assurance, through sequences that transform from soulful arias into sustained duets, built around performances that are collaborative rather than imitative in nature.
The grimly multitasking finale of Promising Young Woman feels both audacious and uncertain of itself, as Fennell tries to meld a cackle of delight and a blast of fury, with a lingering residue of anguish. It doesn’t all come together, though there’s an undeniable thrill in seeing it come apart.