We know in our bones where the movie is going, and it’s a steady enjoyable ride, a touch prosaic at times, one that turns into a kind of minimalist chamber-room version of “Unforgiven,” with a surprisingly touching upshot.
Chastain and Garfield give performances that are brashly entertaining but also canny and layered, as the characters get caught up in something far bigger than themselves. The Bakkers were hucksters of a grand order, and the film uses their spectacular greedhead soap opera to tell the larger American story of how Christianity got turned into showbiz.
Halloween night may be Michael Myers’ masterpiece, but Halloween Kills is no masterpiece. It’s a mess — a slasher movie that‘s almost never scary, slathered with “topical” pablum and with too many parallel plot strands that don’t go anywhere.
All of this should build, slowly and inexorably, in force and emotion. But for a film that’s actually, at heart, rather tidy and old-fashioned in its triangular gamesmanship, “The Power of the Dog” needed to get to a more bruising catharsis. In its crucial last act, the film becomes too oblique.
The Hand of God has some good scenes, but it’s the kind of portrait-of-an-artist drama where you watch the insults, the clashes, the assaultive attitude of it all and you think: Is this what it was actually like for the young Sorrentino growing up in Naples? Or does he simply have an aversion to scenes that don’t hit you over the head
It’s a film of cascading twists and turns, of thickening complication, of high family drama. Hearing that, you might imagine that it’s a movie of high comedy as well — a giddy and ironic Almodóvarian stew of maternal diva melodrama. But Parallel Mothers, while it keeps us hooked on what’s happening with a showman’s finesse, is not a comedy. It’s not an over-the-top Pedro party.c
The new Candyman references the plot of the original as a sinister fanfare of shadow puppets, as if to say, “That was mythology. This is reality.” It’s less a “slasher film” than a drama with a slasher in the middle of it.
At one point, a character in a coma is referred to as having Locked-In Syndrome, which means that she’s still aware of her surroundings but is totally unable to move. By the end of Demonic, you’ll know just how she feels.
In the case of Don’t Breathe 2, one reason the movie, for all the operatic (and often absurd) grisliness of its second half, isn’t quite as good as the original is that the original didn’t have a trace of that franchise self-consciousness.
The Lost Leonardo is the first art-world documentary I’ve seen that captures what art becomes once it goes through the looking glass of greed: not just a commodity, but a way of transferring and manipulating power. It’s enough to make the Mona Lisa stop smiling.
You could call the film a slightly absurd corruption thriller, an action movie with not enough action, or a by-the-numbers father-son bonding movie. Yet here’s what’s weird about it. The Last Mercenary thinks it’s a comedy, but not because anything in it is actually funny.