derekromrell

derekromrell

A writer and wannabe cinephile.


Check out my latest project:
ToErrShortFilm.com

Favorite films

  • La La Land
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • Inception
  • Her

Recent activity

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  • The Polar Express

    ★★★

  • The Twilight Saga: New Moon

    ★★

  • Twilight

    ★★★

  • Encanto

    ★★★★

Recent reviews

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  • The Polar Express

    The Polar Express

    ★★★

    While many, including myself, agree the animation doesn’t age well, I can’t shake the occasional burst of magic that The Polar Express provides.

    Maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe it’s Alan Silvestri’s whimsical score. Maybe it’s the realization that all of the male figures are deliberately based after the physicality of the boy’s dad – which makes the meaning of this film deliciously ambiguous.

    Regardless, The Polar Express still has a pleasant ring to it for those who wish to believe.

  • The Twilight Saga: New Moon

    The Twilight Saga: New Moon

    ★★

    As soon as I saw all vampires wearing those stinking gold contacts, I knew they jumped the shark.

    This detail reflects the worst thing to happen to the Twilight franchise: a bigger budget.

    A new cinematographer with “better” lighting removes the cold, natural feeling of the first film. Inadequate special effects (thanks to the bigger budget) distract my immersion, rather than enhance it. The acting, and dialogue, went even HARDER on the nose. What could’ve been a more interesting narrative (with Edward’s departure and the introduction of werewolves) became a bit of a ham-fest.

    Here’s hoping for muddier, Seattle skies.

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  • Aliens

    Aliens

    ★★★★

    As with Terminator 2, James Cameron shows that sequels benefit from tonal shifts past their source material. 

    I.e., Terminator switched from romance to family film. Alien sidestepped raw horror in favor of thriller feels.

    And yet, Aliens still carries that eerie, looming tension that reeled me into its first iteration. Slap a few sympathetic characters into it, and this flick becomes a sequel worth seeing.

  • Cruella

    Cruella

    ★★★★

    Disney finally figured it out: creating an excellent reboot requires originality, not just nostalgia.

    Aside from an abrupt character shift at its midpoint, Cruella was fabulous. It looked fabulous, felt fabulous, acted fabulous, etc etc. I felt myself actively enjoying the film throughout. It was a treat.

    To those who think it stole from Joker’s thunder: you’re absolutely right, down to a cover of Smile playing at Cruella’s low point.

    But really, can you expect anything less from a starving artist? Let alone THE Cruella De Vil? The timeliness of its theft only aids the film’s narrative goals.

    And for that, I say steal away.