I never thought the day where I would walk out of a Tarantino movie completely indifferent from what I had just seen. Tarantino isn’t one of my favourite filmmakers but I can see the genius behind his work, he was always one prone to violence but I could always see how much of a great filmmaker he was. So going into Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood, I was excited. The premise was interesting, the idea of a what-if was more than appealing and the cast was out of this world. Imagine my disappointment when I walked away more disappointed than satisfied.
Movies are a strange thing sometimes. It’s odd when you walk out of a movie and it feels so absolutely personal, even though it’s not about me. But it’s also the idea that the movie is also very personal to the two people you’re sitting between – and everybody in the rest of the theatre feels it, and everybody who’s also seen the film so far. That’s some of the big hype for this film, is that it seems to be beloved by everyone, and it currently holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In my eyes, that number doesn’t mean anything, all that matters is the movie and how does it make you feel. And this film made me many, many things deeply.
Even as someone who tries to follow as many of the big film festivals, it’s hard to keep track of every film that comes out. Between the mainstream and all the indies, films slip through my fingertips. It wasn’t until a month ago or so that all the hype of The Art of Self Defense reached my Twitter feed. That was just in time for me to realize I can not miss out on this film, and I am truly glad I didn’t let it slip. I’m also glad I opted for a second viewing, this time with an audience. This deserves to be watched in a theatre, and not at home.
Comedies can be a hit or miss. Sometimes jokes will land while others just fall flat on their faces. But the thing about comedies is that it’s subjective to everyone. For me, dark and absurd comedies are one of the many facets of the genre that I just connect to so much. And then you add an aspect like toxic masculinity and misogyny and you have me. That is exactly what The Art of Self-Defense accomplishes.
Frankly, I have no idea where this review is going to go until I just dive right in, which to be fair, is exactly how everyone should go into Midsommar.
I can not be alone, but Ari Aster made a hell of a name for themselves last year with Hereditary. I gladly caught it in the theatres three times and have been anxiously anticipating for Midsommar (or a follow-up in general) ever since. He has a clear voice about these bonds that are astonishing to witness.
Sometimes a movie has a better premise then the final product. I went in for Yesterday, I had expectations. Not only was this a script from Richard Curtis but it was a Danny Boyle film. It was tailor-made for me. And yet, when everything was done, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. Yesterday isn’t a bad movie, it’s actually pretty good but with that premise and team, I was expecting to be blown away. And that just didn’t happen.
Sometimes you go into a movie expecting one thing and you walk out of the film having gotten that. And other times, you get the complete opposite. Child’s Play falls somewhere right in the middle of all that.
Sometimes comedies just hit the right spot. Some comedies are just tailor-made for you, while others not so much. Late Night is not only in my wheelhouse when it comes to humour but it just hits a home run when it comes to its subject and message. Filmed in 2017, Late Night is as timely as ever and maybe even more in the post #MeToo era that we live in. And yet, while it hammers down on its feminist message and diversity message, it’s never too much. It always does it just right.
With every year, there are always a handful of films that I try and champion. Films with little-to-no marketing. This is why I almost have a film end on my list of favourites at the end of the year that nobody has heard of before.
Knives and Skin is definitely one of those movies you’ll hear me rave about for the rest of the year. If you followed any outlets that have been at Tribeca, Overlook or even Fantasia later this year, I know you’re going to hear all about this film. And you very much should. You’re going to hear a lot of similarities to Twins Peaks – and rightfully so.
When I first heard about Adam I wasn’t so sure. It’s a controversial subject. A young man pretends to be trans so he can get a lesbian to fall in love with him. It’s a tricky subject that if handled by the wrong person, it could have been a real disaster. While some aspects of it didn’t sit with me well, it also didn’t do a mockery of everything. And that is a lot due to the fact that the film was directed by Rhys Ernst (Transparent) who himself is a trans man. Had the film been directed by a CIS person, the point of view would have been totally different. Ernst brings a vision and a truth that no one else but him could bring.