Is it fair to say that Jordan Peele is this generation’s John Carpenter? With his sly grasp of the intersection of popcorn thrills and political allegory, it’s a reasonable comparison. After he provided an Oscar-worthy analysis of race relations in "Get Out," now America’s id is probed in Us.
Dragged Across Concrete is a nihilist's morality tale. In the end, Zahler suggests, there's the dead, the innocent, and those smart enough to know that running is the only path out; and even then, there's a lot of innocence on that pile of corpses.
Gloria Bell is its own thing. Lelio inflects the film with a believably Californian vibe, all washed-out easiness, and the faint feeling that so much easiness must take an awful lot of work. And Moore can so exquisitely convey two emotions at once, the actorly equivalent of patting a head and rubbing a stomach at the same time.
It’s a celebratory movie designed to rekindle awe and admiration for the accomplishments of the NASA astronauts and ground scientists, as well as a reminder of the endless realms of possibility that can be achievable when a country and its politicians work in unison toward a shared goal.
True, few of the cutup crew ever had the depth of knowledge or stylistic panache that Godard – one of the last remaining masters of the 20th century's most vibrant art forms – brings to the screen. But then, is The Image Book really a film? Godard himself has re-engineered it as an art installation, to be shown on a TV with speakers surrounding it, and that would probably be a better home.
You could fault A Madea Family Funeral for its many other shortcomings. It runs about 30 minutes too long; the tempo of the numerous dramatic scenes is on par with drying paint; characters lack consistency from scene to scene; the dialogue sounds like a first draft that needs major editing; its occasional technical sloppiness; and so forth.
The Hole in the Ground is filled with all the tropes of the "sinister child" subgenre, but first time feature director Cronin (best known in horror circles for his 2013 award-winning short "Ghost Train") deftly weds it with the same rural Gothic sensibilities that have made Irish horror such a vibrant and unsettling scene for the last few years.
The Wandering Earth is as much a love letter to disaster films as it is a worthy entry in the genre itself. That, combined with some truly eye-popping visuals, makes it a film that should be seen on the biggest screen possible.
Despite the buildup of these horror expectations, there is no predicting how deliciously enjoyable it is to witness the macabre dance performed by Moretz and Huppert, two of the best actresses working in today’s movies. They play their game of cat and mouse with claws out; by the end of the berserko film, their characters are practically swinging from the rafters. Everyone appears to be having a grand time in Greta, and it would be crass for us as viewers to not respond similarly.
The director is notorious for not having a working script, writing the day’s scenes the morning of, and improvising at any given moment. The internet tells me that this film was shot in two weeks, and while Hong’s off-the-cuff style seems restless at times, it coagulates like a small scab that never quite stops itching.