By: Henry J. Fromage –
A rainy, slushy December weekend means catching up on some at-home picks and a studio film I’ve been meaning to get to.
Don’t come at me with your Film vs. TV bullcrap on this one- this is very, very clearly a 4-ish hour film, and a singularly bizarre one. Cary Joji Fukunaga riffs on everything from Brazil to Lord of the Rings, or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to… I, Tonya? It’s a uniquely dystopian and oddly moving tale of a psychiatric experiment involving eclectic simulations from a depressed computer. You know, the usual. Two Beers.
183. Creed II
First, the obvious question: no, this isn’t as good as the first. The Rocky franchise’s obsession with perpetually being the underdog hamstrings the first act (can the Heavyweight Champion of the World even be an underdog)? However, the film builds in power as it moves along, not in the least because the time it devotes to developing all of its characters, from Tessa Thompson’s arguably more-interestingly-complex-than-Creed-himself wife to both of the Dragos. Still better than a Rocky sequel has any right to be. Three Beers.
184. Raise the Red Lantern
I last watched Zhang Yimou’s seminal tragedy in college, and didn’t even remember that I’d seen its cityscapes when I set foot in Pingyao where it was set years later, so I suppose this is almost like watching it fresh now. What a gorgeously shot, tremendously sad allegory for the role of women in pre-revolution China and simultaneously the Cultural Revolution much post it. Two Beers.
185. Outlaw King
The story of the Scottish outlaw and rebel against the Scottish crown, after William Wallace, doesn’t quite reach the heights of the film it’s an unofficial sequel to, but does still provide an appropriately brutal vision of medieval combat- all blood, shit, and screams- as well as excellent performances from Chris Pine and Florence Pugh, who’s killing it in everything she tries her hand at. Two Beers.