My contribution to the wonderful world of online film discourse
Avatar: The Way of Water 2022
James Cameron spent 250 million dollars to film Whale Wars on Pandora and it absolutely rips. A religious experience, the kind that only Big Jim is capable of. No other blockbuster comes even close to the level of invention on display here. Just cool it on the frame-rate stuff next time?
Thor: Love and Thunder 2022
I fear that Taika may be a one-trick pony after all.
A tonally-confused mess, which wastes a really amazing villain performance from Christian Bale in service of… the first out-and-out MCU comedy? Not really what this story deserves. Also this movie looks really bad, like surprisingly so—not sure how that happened but it appears to be a new trend. Maybe consider paying your VFX teams more fairly, Mr. Feige.
Overall, another massive dud for Phase IV. Marvel is in a…
First Man 2018
A clinical study of the precision necessary for making history—but really it’s all about one emotionally-damaged man’s journey to touch the very face of God in order to understand what love is really all about. Chazelle may be cold, but he is actually a tremendously big softie at heart.
Master Gardener 2022
A self-described “southern fable”, Master Gardener is Schrader by way of Flannery O’Connor; his version of a southern gothic, in the tradition of seminal authors like Faulkner, Welty, and certainly the aforementioned O’Connor. As per Schrader’s own tradition, it’s a story of one man’s attempt at redemption for the sins of his past—and just as it did in previous films, it succeeds. It helps that the film is imbued with passionate performances; Joel Edgerton has a career-best turn, Quintessa Swindell…
Ford v Ferrari 2019
Can always count on Mangold making films designed to play in the coveted 3:30PM EST slot on FX.
Workmanlike, but still capable of creating those pure moments of passion—ironic, given the subject matter is essentially about guys finding those moments in spite of corporate overreach. Bale is so great here—a shame that Mann and Driver are gonna blow this movie out of the water in less than a year (knocks on wood).