(Author’s note: Per usual, I have kept to my principal of having this review be as spoiler-free as possible. For the most part, if it isn’t in the trailer, I won’t talk about any specifics in the review.)
With the 11th film in The Fast & Furious franchise (ten stand-alone films plus Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw), it would be easy for director Louis Leterrier’s debut in this series to be very paint by numbers. All he would have to do is let Vin Diesel be the ultimate driving and fighting machine (and family man) that he is and let the other supporting players support him. But Leterrier, replacing Justin Lin (who left the film citing creative differences) shows us that he has a few tricks up his sleeve. His Fast X features four Oscar-winning actors, a ton of new characters (for better or worse), and the most fun and exciting new addition that Fast & Furious have given us since their best film (more on that later).
But perhaps the most impressive thing Leterrier has done was to realize that the last film, F9, was severely flawed. And you can see him making the effort in Fast X to fix those problems. Which is not to say that this film doesn’t have issues: it’s bloated (while, somehow, not giving most characters enough to do), too absurd, and has some moments that are laughable, and not in a good way.
It’s also a whole ton of fucking fun.
Continue reading “Fancy Boys Go To The Movies: Fast X” →
Of all the current filmmakers working today, I’m not sure that there is one with a more distinct style than Wes Anderson. Here’s what I mean by that: if there was some unearthed Anderson film the world had not seen, and you showed a scene of it, most people would be able to tell you who the director was. There’s something in the look, the dialogue, the score, the editing, and how it all blends together for a beautiful pastiche. I have often said that every frame of his 2012 masterpiece Moonrise Kingdom is so gorgeous that they could all go in an art museum. His failures (The Darjeeling Limited) are, at worst, “ambitious missteps” and his successes (The Royal Tannenbaums, Rushmore, The Grand Budapest Hotel and so on and so on and so on) are some of the best films of their years.
That is not to say that Anderson is not without his critics: people who think he is too cutesy or twee or quirky, sometimes at the sake of substance. I’m not dismissing all of those critics out of hand (though they all are wrong… and stupid… and probably ugly), but for those who do not like what Anderson has given, allow me to offer some advice about his latest film, The French Dispatch:
This film is not for you.
Continue reading “Fancy Boys Go To The Movies: The French Dispatch” →
When David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was released in 2016, it was considered by almost everyone as an enormous failure, which is crazy for a movie that grossed almost three-quarters of a BILLION dollars at the domestic box office and got the Detective Comics Entertainment Universe (DCEU from here on out) their first Academy Award. Critics hated it (the film has a paltry 23% Rotten Tomatoes approval rating), fans seemed to aggressively be annoyed by it, and literally everyone seemed to dislike Jared Leto (who played The Joker) because of it. In my review for an alternate site, I was exceedingly annoyed that the film have us a character named Captain Boomerang, but none of the boomerangs the dude threw ever came back to him. THEN WHY DO YOU EVEN HAVE BOOMERANGS?!?!?
And yet, with all of the hatred from the haters (who, as the saying goes, are gonna hate), DC had prepared to make a sequel with Ayer at the helm. When Ayer left the project, the world rejoiced as James Gunn was announced as the new man sailing the Suicide Squad ship. Here was a man who knew how to make well-received and profitable comic book films, having directed the two Guardian Of The Galaxy films for Marvel. And, for the nerds, the news kept getting better. Margot Robbie and Viola Davis, the undisputed wonderful things about the 2016 film, would be reprising their roles as Harley Quinn (psychopath) and Viola Davis (government psychopath). Gunn wanted to make the film R-rated. Idris Elba joined the cast.
Expectations were sky high for The Suicide Squad, which was released in theaters and on HBO Max last weekend. People were ready for Gunn’s vision, called “horribly beautiful” in the trailers. Surely, this film would be better than the Suicide Squad which came before it. And here is where I will drop my (slightly) hot take:
Yes, Gunn’s film is better than Ayer’s. But there are a fair amount of things from the 2016 film that I like better than this current incarnation.
Let’s get into it.
Continue reading “Fancy Boys Go To The Movies: The Suicide Squad” →
Ok, so F9 was a nice way to get back into the theater, but the way we all know that the world is healing enough is that Marvel has decided to release a film. Granted, you can also watch the film on the Disney+ for an additional fee, but the Marvel/Disney corporate overlords would not have released Black Widow unless they knew enough people were comfortable going out. And the numbers seem to be panning out for the newest installment of the MCU: the film has already made $146 million at the domestic box office, and will no doubt double it’s $200 million budget when things are all said and done. And that’s not even including the $60 million it made for Disney+ on it’s opening weekend.
And that’s a good thing, because Black Widow is an interesting film for the Marvel franchise. It’s not a film setting up sequels or taking us further. It, by all accounts, will be the last time Scarlett Johannsson plays Natasha Romanov. The movie’s director, Cate Shortland, is not one of the big, splashy names that Kevin Feige & Co. have brought in or are bringing in. The film is a weird (and occasionally disjointed) film that runs over two hours and does nothing to further the MCU legacy.
And, more often than not, it works really well.
Continue reading “Fancy Boys Go To The Movies: Black Widow” →
There is a telling scene that happens in the middle of F9, the latest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise that feels really telling to me. Not surprisingly, it involves racing.
Continue reading “Fancy Boys Go To The Movies: F9” →
When you love movies the way I love movies, there are just things that you know are true. Films shown in 70 MM will always be the preferred method of viewing. The 1970’s was the best decade, so far, of film. And the greatest movie of all time is Citizen Kane.
Orson Welles’ 1941 cinematic masterpiece is always the film that everyone speaks of when we’re talking about the greatest stories put onto cellulite. Here’s how great the film is: Last year’s Mank, about the life of Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, got two Oscars. A film about the greatest film got recognized last week, and Mank won more (and was nominated for more) Oscars than Citizen Kane itself. And Mank, as we discussed on this site last week, is only David Fincher’s ninth best film.
Hollywood is weird.
However, yesterday something happened to change everything you know about movies. It’s the most important story of the year in film and, I can only assume, what will be one of the most memorable stories of all time. Honestly, if Joe Biden doesn’t mention this tonight in his speech to the joint session of Congress, then democracy, as we know it, is dead. Paradigms have shifted and everything we once learned was proven wrong. According to one source, Citizen Kane is no longer the greatest film of all time. The critics have spoken and Rotten Tomatoes has listened and there is a new champion.
But what is this new masterpiece? What film have critics raised to the top of the pile? What piece of art is so fabulous that all others, including the masterful Citizen Kane, bow in deference?
Yeah, get ready… it’s finally time for a piece about Paddington 2.
Continue reading “When A Marmalade-Loving Bear Takes Down The King” →
For me, going to the movie theater on Christmas Day is just a tradition; it’s something I’ve come to expect. Even without the dangers and restrictions of COVID, I would have broken that tradition this year, thanks to my five-month old son. Thanks a lot, you adorable, wonderful baby! Ugh! However, two of 2020’s biggest and most anticipated releases were dropped to streaming services on December 25th, so I got to watch them from the comfort of my house. Let’s dive into the newest film in the Detective Comics franchise and the 23rd film from Pixar.
Continue reading “Fancy Boys Stay Home With The Movies: Wonder Woman 1984 & Soul” →
Even with theaters re-opening, there are still many options on where to stream movies at home. I caught up with the new film from Sophia Coppola.
In 2004, Bill Murray got robbed.
The comedian and actor was in the middle of one of the great second acts in all of film, and it felt like the apex of that was going to be his role as Bob Harris in Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation. Murray, who had started taking roles that allowed him to show more range since 1998’s Rushmore, delivered not just the best performance of his career, but- HANDS DOWN- the best performance of that year.
Of course, life isn’t fair. In a twist that could only happen to a Bill Murray character, he lost the Best Actor Oscar to Sean Penn, who was fine in the wildly forgettable Mystic River. I’ve watched Lost In Translation over thirty times since I first saw it in the theater, while I can’t even tell you which of the many rivers is supposed to be the mystic one that Penn is looking for, or whatever that stupid movie was about.
While Bill Murray has been good- and even great- in roles since Lost In Translation, I don’t know that he’s ever captured that same magic. There’s something about Sofia Coppola that brought out every facet of what he could do; from broad comedy to deep emotional anguish to self-loathing to doubt. Coppola knew how to use Murray perfectly in that film, and the two of them teamed up again for 2015’s A Very Murray Christmas, which was a delightful little Netflix special. But I wanted to see the two of them collaborate again like they had in 2003.
Continue reading “Fancy Boys Stays Home With The Movies: On The Rocks” →
Even with theaters re-opening, there are still many options on where to stream movies at home. I caught up with the new works from Aaron Sorkin.
For a dude with an Oscar, a couple of Golden Globes, a pair of WGA awards, and five Emmys to his name, Aaron Sorkin is a polarizing figure. For those who enjoy his work (like myself), he’s one of the more interesting writers working today, excelling at snappy dialogue and the ability to wrap scenes together seemlessly. For those who do not enjoy his work (like FBC co-producer Jack Baker), his works are pretentious slogs and have done more to damage American government that McCarthyism and lobbyists combined.
Continue reading “Fancy Boys Stay Home With The Movies: Aaron Sorkin MEGA-EDITION!” →
Even with theaters re-opening, there are still many options on where to stream movies at home. I caught up with the new film from Charlie Kaufman, available on Netflix.