Captain Marvel is a big bowl of mediocrity, a soup comprised of an underwhelming, lightweight lead saddled with poorly edited action scenes that’s set to a disastrously-on-the-nose soundtrack in service of a script that offers little in the way of deviation from the comic book movie mold, with a few winning bit performances that keep the thing from being a total waste of your time.
Greta is a film about a stranger who tries to comfort a lonely individual. This effort at human connection is repaid with terroristic stalking—endless efforts to reengage, escalating from cell phone notifications to in-person contact. When the authorities are confronted with information about the stalker’s misbehavior, the victim is told that there’s nothing to be done. The process of getting this cancer removed from her life could take months. She should just ignore it. The whole thing worsens until the victim rightfully fears for her life, worried she’ll wind up in a box.
The cinematic qualities of Fighting With My Family, a biopic about WWE Diva Paige’s rise to the top of the professional wrestling world, aren’t really what interests me about the picture: It’s funny and sweet and pretty basic, a standard underdog-triumphs-in-sports (entertainment) story along the lines of Rudy. Director Stephen Merchant, perhaps best known as Ricky Gervais’s better half …
Alita: Battle Angel may not be the best movie of the year. Heck, it may not even be director Robert Rodriguez’s best adaptation of a comic book. But it will almost certainly be the best big-budget comic book movie released in the first half of 2019 about a super-powered young woman who feels compelled to protect the innocent and is having trouble remembering her past.
Arctic seems at first to be the latest in a long line of films about one man, alone, attempting to survive in a pitiless environment. Unlike All is Lost (2013), which pitted Robert Redford against the ocean, or Cast Away (2000), which pitted Tom Hanks against a desert island, Arctic pits Mads Mikkelsen against the frozen wastes.
There’s something sublimely absurd about the world of modern art, something that leaves it open to brutal mockery. From the affected outfits sported by scenesters to the enormous fees the grotesquely wealthy pay for objects that make a mockery of the very idea of art, everything about the Art Basel set cries out for abuse.
At the request of Free Beaconhead honcho Michael Goldfarb, I recently checked out Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero. Though dismissive at first of the idea of reviewing an animated film about America’s most-decorated dog, I eventually came around. After all, as Mr. Goldfarb put it: “Every cartoon my kids watch is cramming social justice bullshit down their little throats and finally—a movie about killing the Hun!”
There’s something delightfully regressive about the first half or so of Polar, debuting on Netflix this Friday. Unrepentantly violent and unapologetically sexual (and sexy), Polar is happy to rely on cardboard cutouts prancing about in absurd costuming in lieu of characterization and seems charmingly unconcerned with just how distasteful the proceedings are. Unfortunately, director Jonas Akerlund and writer Jayson Rothwell ditch this madcap mode as the film reaches its climax, retreating to an oddly maudlin mood that feels slightly out of step with the rest of the movie.
Today’s Oscar nominations brought some surprises (Six nominations for BlacKkKlansman! Three for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which had mostly been shut out of the awards season buzz! Little love for If Beale Street Could Talk!) and confirmed some things we all knew (A Star Is Born racked up a ton of nominations! Roma is going to be Netflix’s first real chance at Oscar glory!). But one thing it really hammered home? I destroyed JVL and Vic in the Sub-Beacon Oscar Draft.