A Warm Hug from The Fabelmans

Steven Spielberg is the movie industry’s ultimate protagonist, an influencer of the coming-of-age narrative, and an auteur of visual storytelling. Born into the Spielbergian suburbs of the 80s, I was blessed to grow up with his imagination and knack for child-height thrills. Little did I know that Spielberg instilled a tiny moviegoer in me in... Continue Reading →

Banshees of Inisherin an Ode to Loneliness

Playwright Martin McDonagh writes with a knife to a rock, etching in truths that are hard for his characters to swallow. “I just don’t like you no more,” Colm Doherty tells his long-time friend and drinking buddy, Pádraic Súilleabháin. It is the stuff of absurd finality that one either laughs off as “only the Irish”... Continue Reading →

Tár Crescendos to the Top of the Year

"The narcissism of small differences leads to the most boring kind of conformity." Filmmaker Todd Field’s previous masterpieces in In the Bedroom (2001) and Little Children (2006) invite the viewer behind the closed doors of a darker American suburbia where secrets fester and unethical decisions are made. On the surface, we may be quick to... Continue Reading →

Upholding the Mystery in What Is David Bowie

I always thought David Bowie, the person, was more intriguing than David Bowie, the musician. Something about the mystique of his androgynous alter persona and heavily costumed stagecraft usurped the controls from anything musicological or biographically revelatory. I think the very private "Mr. Stardust" himself would have liked it that way. Director Brett Morgen's Moonage... Continue Reading →

Yup and Nope to “Nope”

Until its “ah-ha” moment at the end, Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017) was a unique blend of almost satire, almost horror, and almost socioracial statement. Staying at almost would have kept it above standard, but there’s no denying the ending was a predictable horror movie cliché.  Peele’s second round with Us (2019) also started strong... Continue Reading →

The Satisfactory Polarization of “Elvis”

Watching a Baz Luhrmann movie is like sitting in front of a gold confetti-blasting canon. It’s style over substance, obnoxious over subtle—a nightmare for minimalist cinephiles like me. For anyone with a smidgen of an attention span, conveying a groundbreaking musician’s artistry on film just takes hitting a record button. Ever see last year’s overlooked... Continue Reading →

The Batman Still Has Wings

An argument can be made that anything “Marvel Cinema Universe” is the same movie with 27 different titles. The formula never fails: Arrogant, grumpy, or emotionless hero + desensitizing CGI +/- obligatory love interest + forgettable villain who always possesses one less level of power = box office points. The DC Comics movies are no... Continue Reading →

“Worst Person” the Best Movie Out There

I remember seeing the trailer for this movie last year and thinking, “This looks like an ode to late-twenties selfishness. Puke.” But, then I thought: Isn’t that exactly the time when someone should be selfish, especially when it comes to relationships? Isn’t that exactly the time we are supposed to date in person (or online),... Continue Reading →

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