Another day, another Venice Film Festival preview. This time Deadline tries to tackle the upcoming festival, set to take place from August 28th to September 9th. And yet, most of the stuff they tackle is Hollywood-centric, no mention of Reichardt, Zhao, Zeitlin, Kore-eda or the Safdies. Hell, they don’t even want to mention Woody Allen’s “Rainy Day in New York,” even though I have it under good authority that it is definitely premiering on the Lido.Read More
I am itching to re-watch Ari Aster’s “Midsommar” next week. Mostly because the first time around I was expecting something in the same vein as “Hereditary” but ended up getting a horror-comedy ode to the end of a relationship. It turns into heady stuff, but I’m confident that I may like it a bit more the second time around (you can take a look at my B scoring review from last week). Then again, its blatant similarities to “Wicker Man” did irk me … the movie does have familiar narrative beats, which render it less original than it thinks it is. In other words, it’s not as singular-feeling as “Hereditary.” Regardless, the movie is splitting critics with a 74 Metacritic score.
There have been some rumblings that the “unanimous” Palme D’or victory for Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” was not so .. unanimous. Juror Yorgos Lanthimos was big on Marco Bellocchio’s gangster saga “The Traitor,” but it seemed to mostly be him, fellow juror/director Alice Rohrwacher and another unnamed compatriot. They were a three-person team going to bat for Bellochio, but, as we all know, the full jury ended up settling for Bong.Read More
It’d be a real sin if some of the still undistributed Cannes titles were not seen by American audiences, alas, such is the state of cinema right now, there is no market for deeply attuned works of art. It’s not like I liked all of these orphaned titles either, but they have prestige behind them, they were chosen for competition at the most important film festival on earth.Read More
In what has been deemed by many critics as a relatively weak year thus far at the movies, Jordan Peele’s “Us” has been named the best movie (so far) of 2019, at least according to a group of film critics, journalists, bloggers and entertainment reporters. Peele’s horror movie, which nabbed 40 votes, barely squeezed by its closest competitors, Olivia Wilde’s “Booksmart” (39) and Joanna Hogg’s “The Souvenir” (39).Read More
150 film critics.Read More
Young Lexi Rabe, all but 7 years of age, played Tony Stark's daughter in “Avengers: Endgame” — she’s in the scene where Stark puts her to bed and says: "I love you tonnes," to which she responds: "I love you 3,000."Read More
“Avengers: Endgame” has a worldwide box office total which currently stands at $2.75 billion. James Cameron’s “Avatar,” has a $2.788 billion gross. That means a difference of $40 million. Given Disney’s penchant for trying to take over the movie world, they have decided to huff and puff their way to the record by re-releasing ‘Endgame’ this coming Friday. The gimme for Marvel fans will be three special features added to the film: an intro from co-director Anthony Russo, an “unfinished” deleted scene and a special sneak peek at “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” I think I’ll pass.
“The Irishman” producer Irwin Winkler is now saying that Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated mob drama, starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Anna Paquin, will be released on Netflix this Thanksgiving.Read More
It doesn’t look like the Hollywood boycott of Georgia will have any effect on Clint Eastwood’s next movie.Read More
What director Josh Cooley has decided to do with this fourth ‘Toy Story’ installment is hit the reset button. Former toy owner Andy now gone and replaced by Bonnie, a young tyke who has inherited Andy’s collection, which includes Buzz Lightyear and Woody. This set-up results in the same kind of theatrics and plotting as the first three ‘Toy Story’ movies. There’s nothing new being told here, just business as usual.
In this fourth installment, our gang embark on a new adventure with a new toy, Forky — this Spork was created from scratch by Bonnie and has become her go-to-plaything. Problem is Forky doesn’t want to be a toy, he says he belongs in the trash, like all the other used sporks. Regardless, his runaway nature has Woody scrambling to keep him intact or else Bonnie will throw a hissy fit if he goes missing. It all leads to the usual chase sequences, which aren’t far removed from the first three movies. In other words, ex-Pixar honcho John Lasseter’s input is sorely missing in “Toy Story 4” — would he have even approved of the final result? The question begs to be asked.
By all measures, “Toy Story 4” is a watchable affair, something that families can all go to see this coming weekend at the multiplexes — especially when compared with every other mega-budget blockbuster playing at this very moment (I’m talking to you ‘Godzilla’). And yet, I felt a sense of disappointment watching the movie. If the first three installments felt breezy and effortless, Cooley’s movie feels forced and unimportant.
The sheer brilliance of “Toy Story 3” and the way its ending seemed to resonate so perfectly, so deeply, made it, by all senses of the term, a perfect trilogy capper. What I didn’t want “Toy Story 4” to do was injure the integrity of its predecessor, but it kind of does that. There is no sense of relevance in this latest adventure. The words “sellout” and “cash grab” will be uttered by detractors, but it pains me to want to firmly plant myself in that direction — mostly because the animation is staggeringly rendered, another triumph of visual wonders for the animation wizards over at Pixar. But, despite being a visual treat, the narrative rings hollow at almost every turn — each‘Toy Story’ movie built up on the momentum of the previous installment, but this is the first time in the franchise’s 24 year history where irrelevance has very much entered into the equation.
We all had our doubts when we first heard that Joel and Ethan Coen's masterpiece "Fargo" was going to be adapted for the small screen, courtesy of FX, but, after the first episode of creator Noah Hawley's adaptation aired, we were converted. The ambition and sheer scope of the series has been nothing short of groundbreaking and, although we still have a few unanswered questions about the last season, and the season before it, answers will likely never come since the beauty of the show, and Hawley's art, is as open-ended as the never-ending mysteries of life.Read More
The annual mid-year critics poll will be published tomorrow, but to complete it I need to submit my own list of five films (unranked). The submission rules stated that the chosen films had to be released theatrically in the U.S. between January 1st and June 30th.
I found 14 titles which could be considered:
“Dogman,” “Dragged Across Concrete,” “Us,” “Gloria Bell,” “Diamantino,” “Triple Frontier,” “High Life,” “Ash is Purest White,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Ask Dr. Ruth,” “Hail Satan,” “Climax,” “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” “Holiday,” “Booksmart.”
My final five will be revealed tomorrow.