Some of us saw this coming, the review is finally here.
I try to see as many films by A24 as possible for many reasons. One, being they have a great track record of putting out some of my favourite films for the last three years, First Reformed, Good Time, and Moonlight. But also similarly to Blumhouse, something A24 seemingly does is that they try and push the director’s vision. They allow for that opportunity, and they lean into the bizarre. Some of the films that were released in their first year were James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now, but also released Harmony Korine’s epic Spring Breakers.
The first season of Killing Eve was one of the most entertaining television show of 2018, making its way to my first spot in my final list of television series of 2018. So to say that I was anticipating its return is just an understatement. I don’t think I have been this excited and scared for the return of a show. Because I loved the first season so much, I was just scared that it wouldn’t live up to what I had come to expect from this brilliant show. Not only that but Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), the showrunner for the first season, had left her post as the lead writer to go make the second season of her brilliant series Fleabag. Instead, Emerald Fennell (Call The Midwife) took the reign of the show.
Sometimes a movie just hits it out of the park. And for the DCEU it’s a much needed welcome. With Shazam, they find their near perfect movie. From the opening teaser to one of the best third act in a superhero movie, Shazam is just plain fun. This movie is everything Aquaman wanted to be but failed just a little short of being. And that is not to say that Aquaman isn’t good, it just means that Shazam is better. Yes, some of the CGI could have used a week or two so that it could have been perfect, but I am ready to excuse it just for how plain fun this film was. From the opening teaser, you are sucked in. Strong direction, writing and acting makes for one of those movies that, in a world where superhero movies are everywhere, just bring a breath of fresh air.
I still remember what it was like when I saw Get Out for the first time. I felt how the world was going to shift in its own ways as I shifted in my seat slowly throughout the run time. One thing was for sure, Jordan Peele wasn’t just a comedic genius, he was just a genius. And then we saw him win an Oscar and life was good.
From it’s opening to the end, there’s something very 90’s about Greta. It’s a feeling that never quite goes away and gives the film a little thing that feels a bit out of place in today’s world. That doesn’t mean that Greta is a bad film, hell, I found it really enjoyable even with its faults. It just makes the movie a little thing that seems to have come out a little late. Thrillers like this were the norm back in the ’90s. Today, well, not so much. Yes, we still see thrillers happen today, but they never get the same attention that they had before. Most of them fade really quickly or are not considered great cinema. And very rarely do they get two great actresses like Chloë Grace Moretz and Isabelle Huppert as their leads.
It’s been five years since Robert Rodriguez has put out a feature film (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) but it’s been a bit longer since he had a hit. His films have always been an interesting mixture of genres. He loves the campiness of “B films” (hence his Grindhouse film) and always adds to it which makes the film seem “cringey” but I always believed it was on purpose. On top of that, he has affixation to digital cinema. In the wonderful documentary Side by Side (a documentary regarding shooting on film versus digital) he speaks about how when George Lucas said that digital was the future, he figured why would he argue with a legend in the film making world.
High Flying Bird is the latest film by one of the hardest working filmmakers, Steven Soderbergh. Following his last experiment Unsane (which was great), he once again made a movie after shooting it on an iPhone 7. While most people freaked out, the fact is the camera is the only thing the phone was used for, not for audio. Also, professional lighting was also used. He’s always been at the forefront of digital cinema. He made Unsane and High Flying Bird as a statement that anybody could make a film, using our own phones is the easiest way to get there.
Well it didn’t take very long for 2019 to have a divisive film. Unsurprisingly it’s due to M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film Glass, the end of his realism Superhero film trilogy. He might change his mind, but we’ll never know until the end of a film as was the case with Split.