By: Henry J. Fromage –
This week I turned my attention back to the Year of Our Lord 2018 for three films that are unique standouts in their own way.
147. A Simple Favor
Paul Feig’s very under the radar latest is not the straight dialogue-riffing style broad comedy he’s usually associated with, but rather a quite polished thriller with a comedic bent, not the least because of Blake Lively’s viciously DGAF performance and the amusing way it complements Anna Kendrick’s more familiar corny mom who may be hiding some darkness herself. Somehow it’s a tad less than the sum of its parts, perhaps due to wanting to simultaneously be taken seriously and keeping it’s tongue firmly in cheek, but still well worth a watch. Three Beers.
148. American Animals
Documentarian Bart Layton (The Imposter) c0uldn’t quite renounce that side of himself in making his fiction debut, instead creating a type of hybrid of documentary interviews and dramatic recreations of four college students planning and then bungling the theft of rare books worth millions from their college library. The way he sets them off of each other to examine the nature of recollection and truth is fascinating, and not the only stylistic flourish he brings to the table- just energetic, exciting cinema no matter what you call it. Two Beers.
You came for the bugfuck Nicholas Cage performance (yes, all you’ve heard is true- this is one of the most spectacularly Cage performances of his entire oeuvre), and you stayed for Panos Cosmatos’s fetishistic early 80s, neon and Heavy Metal-style world-building. While few of the performances can stand toe to toe with Cage, creating a bit of an imbalance and begging for a bit of fat-paring from the quite slow pre-rampage first half, this is still one of the most thrillingly unique films you’ll see this year. Three Beers.