Sure, it provides some summer work for talented people—director F. Gary Gray, stars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth—but beyond that, there’s no real justification for why the movie has to be here. And yet here it is, playing like a long trailer for a fuller movie that never arrives.
The film, directed by Zara Hayes and co-written by Hayes and Shane Atkinson, is an abject mess, a movie so poorly built it feels like every other scene is missing—as if after production was wrapped and the movie was in the can, some PA found boxes marked "character" and "plot" in a storage room and realized they forgot to use them during production.
By its muddled and probably intentionally frustrating conclusion, I’d lost the thread of Jarmusch’s argument (or arguments). The movie ends with the sting of unrealized potential, Jarmusch flippantly kicking at fertile terrain and then shuffling off.
This curious fairy tale may not be the truth, and it may prattle on too long. But when its stars align, and they let loose with their unmistakable shine, Hollywood movies do seem truly special again. And, sure, maybe TV does too.
If you’re uninitiated like me, Detective Pikachu isn’t an actively unpleasant experience; Letterman gives us lots of nice and interesting things to look at, plus Bill Nighy shows up. But it’s maybe a little boring. There’s not quite enough texture for the non-followers to grab onto.
I’m a pretty easy scare, but I sat through this Pet Sematary mostly unbothered. Which is certainly not the takeaway one should have from an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, let alone the one that King has said frightens him more than anything else he’s written. In this new film, you almost can’t see what he was so afraid of.
It pains me to say this. I spent a good deal of Us straining to like it, to get on its slightly preening wavelength, to be nourished by its heady stew of tropes. I couldn’t get there, though. As loaded up on stuff as Us is, there’s not enough to grab onto; it’s an alienating idea piece that lumbers away just as it’s about to reveal its true nature.
What materializes isn’t a fresh way of understanding this event, but rather a new set of images for telling the same story. This is obviously the wiser choice, commercially; artistically, it proves frustrating, even as this method has its revelations.
Captain Marvel feels as substantial as any of the other standalone Marvel Cinematic Universe films, even if it does things at a more relaxed pitch. The movie’s pioneer status is gestured toward some in the film, but mostly Boden and Fleck are focused on competently telling a tale that fits into the larger machine. It does, just fine.
Huppert and Jordan are certainly capable of turning up the volume, but for whatever reason they pull back in Greta, getting stuck somewhere between shlockly art and arty schlock. That’s not a good place to be, even if it is a Greta one.