Thursday, December 8th, 2022
THE FABELMANS is the new Steven Spielberg joint that we can safely call the most personal of his career. At first glance it may seem like just another fictional story about a Jewish kid who makes 8mm movies in Phoenix, Arizona in the ‘50s and moves to Saratoga, California and his mom buys a monkey and his parents split up and he moves to L.A. with his dad and goes to USC and tries to break into the film business, but in my opinion it is not a coincidence that this character “Sammy Fabelman” was born at the same time as Spielberg to a similar family and lived in the same towns and did the same things and had the same experiences. From what I’ve read this is not even a loosely autobiographical story, but a pretty direct one about his childhood and specifically about what he got from each of his parents and why their marriage didn’t work out.
It’s also about him becoming a filmmaker, but those things are related. Just like Batman’s origin story, Spielberg’s starts with a kid being taken to the movies. (Had it not been for that mugger, maybe Bruce Wayne would’ve directed READY PLAYER ONE.) Five-year-old Sammy (Mateo Zoryon Francis-Deford) is in line to see THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH at a theater in New Jersey. He’s never seen a movie before and doesn’t really understand what it is, but he’s scared because he heard something about the people being giant. We get a handy encapsulation of his parents Burt (Paul Dano, TAKING LIVES) and Mitzi (Michelle Williams, SPECIES) in the differing ways they try to comfort him. Burt, a computer engineer, tells him about the projector and the projectionist, the still photos moving really fast, the concept of persistence of vision. Mom, a talented pianist, says it’s like a dream that you don’t wake up from. As Sammy grows up he’ll apply Dad’s scientific brain to his obsessions with cameras, editing and effects technology, and his mom’s artistic soul to everything else. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Chloe East, Crystal the monkey, David Lynch, Gabriel LaBelle, Greg Grunberg, Janusz Kaminski, Judd Hirsch, Julia Butters, Keeley karsten, Lane Factor, Mateo Zoryon Francis-Deford, Michelle Williams, Oakes Fegley, Paul Dano, Robin Bartlett, Sam Rechner, Seth Rogen, Sophia Kopera, Steven Spielberg, Tony Kushner
Posted in Reviews, Drama | 10 Comments »
Wednesday, July 27th, 2022
THE GRAY MAN is the new Netflix movie that they put so much into they’re actually doing promotion for it. Showed it to critics a week early, had the directors do interviews and stuff, as if they want people to know it’s there and maybe watch it. Almost like they’re in the movie business. Crazy.
It stars Ryan Gosling (ONLY GOD FORGIVES) as “Six,” a guy who was doing time for murder until a spook named Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton, ON DEADLY GROUND) got him released in exchange for dedicating his life to being a secret government assassin, or “Sierra.” One day on a mission in Bangkok he takes out a target (Callan Mulvey, BEYOND SKYLINE) who, before dying, gives him an encrypted drive he says has the dirt on Carmichael (Regé-Jean Page, MORTAL ENGINES), his new boss at the CIA who pushed Fitzroy out. When Carmichael acts suspicious about it on the phone Six decides to mail the drive to a retired handler he trusts (Alfre Woodard, CROOKLYN) and go on the run. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Alfre Woodard, Ana de Armas, Anthony Russo, assassins, Billy Bob Thornton, Callan Mulvey, Chris Evans, Christopher Markus, Dhanush, Jessica Henwick, Joe Russo, Julia Butters, Mark Greaney, Netflix, Rege-Jean Page, Ryan Gosling, Spiro Razatos, Stephen McFeely, Wagner Moura
Posted in Action, Reviews | 33 Comments »
Wednesday, July 31st, 2019
THIS IS A FREE RANGE SPOILER REVIEW. THE SPOILERS ARE NOT KEPT IN CAGES. THEY JUST RUN ALL OVER THE PLACE, INCLUDING THE FIRST COUPLE SENTENCES. SEE THE MOVIE FIRST.
ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD is an odd and beautiful movie from… Quentin Tarantino. It’s undeniably one that only he could or would make – it’s even in his now-trademark ‘wish-fulfilling rewrite of a historical atrocity’ mode – but it’s different. It’s not as mean and angry as the last three, or as carefully plotted as any of them. It’s sort of a hang out movie, a day-in-the-life of two friends, and a gentle tale of surviving a mid-life crisis, wrapped in a love letter to Los Angeles of the late ’60s, and to the then-fading leading men of the ’50s, with a chaser of gruesome violence. The fun kind, though. The cathartic kind.
Throughout his career, Tarantino has shown his affinity for cool shit like spaghetti westerns, blaxploitation movies, kung fu and crime novels. Here’s where he says “Fuck it, I also like old cowboy shows and procedurals and stuff.” When the guy who makes film exhibition and criticism a major element of his WWII epic does one that’s actually about the Hollywood film industry, obviously he’s gonna go buck wild. The amount of detail he puts into the fictional career of TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio, two episodes of The New Lassie) – to the point of needing a narrator to talk us through each entry from his Rome period – reaches the level of sci-fi world building. And of course Tarantino, being Tarantino, gives us a soundtrack that drips the sixties without one whiff of Creedence, Dylan, the Doors or Hendrix. Admittedly “Mrs. Robinson” is in there somewhere, but he leans more Deep Purple, Vanilla Fudge and Paul Revere & the Raiders. One of the few I knew was the Neil Diamond song. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Al Pacino, Austin Butler, Brad Pitt, Bruce, Bruce Dern, Bruce Lee, Dakota Fanning, Damian Lewis, Damon Herriman, Emile Hirsch, Julia Butters, Kurt Russell, Leonardo DiCaprio, Luke Perry, Margaret Qualley, Margot Robbie, Martin Kove, Mike Moh, Mikey Madison, Quentin Tarantino, Rebecca Gayheart, Scoot McNairy, Sharon Tate, Steve McQueen, Timothy Olyphant, Zoe Bell
Posted in Drama, Reviews | 201 Comments »