By: Henry J. Fromage –
Represented here are some theatrical experiences both tardy and not in an attempt to catch up a bit on a summer lost to adult stuff.
Ari Aster’s vision is bleak and terrifying but oh so clear. His follow up to his already classic Hereditary may feature a setting and characters very different than that film, but the same preoccupation on grief and the way it twists us (not to mention facial deformities and good ‘ol fashioned head-smashing) is present. I’ll be watching this one again. Two Beers.
171. The Best of Enemies
I can see how Sam Rockwell is ready for a break from playing racists who have a degree of moral awakening. He’s getting too good at it (and going toe to toe with the always formidable Taraji P. Henson certainly kept his game elevated). Is this another “look how bad it used to be” film about racism that doubles as reassurance of “look how far we’ve come” to old white people? Maybe, but it’s a damn fine acted one, too. Three Beers.
172. The Art of Self Defense
Director Riley Stearns is crafting one hell of an interesting resume, threading the line between Yorgos Lanthimos and Adult Swim-inflected provocations like the mighty The Greasy Strangler to deliver a purposefully off-putting, removed story of a dweeb (Jesse Eisenberg, of course) who finds out that the karate classes he’s taking have a dark, dark side to them. Style for days. Two Beers.
173. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino’s getting old, man. But he’s as always also willing to tackle all of those associated feelings through film, and with this one delivers perhaps his loosest hang-out/buddy flick-derived film yet, but one that’s a pleasure to experience alongside the characters (Pitt + DiCaprio is exactly as great as you could have hoped) until it veers into something else entirely- a paean to his own youth and the desire to keep it unsullied forever, history be damned. Two Beers.
174. The Dead Don’t Die
My only explanation for this film is that Jim Jarmusch positively hates zombie films, and had the express intent to drain all of the joy and thrills out of the genre that he could (seriously- not impossible- but even as an ironic exercise it’s lame as fuck). A game cast makes this livable (no, there really, really is nothing that Tilda Swinton can’t do), but if you put no-names in this thing and disassociated it from Jarmusch, Netflix wouldn’t even throw 5 dollars at it. Boring, saddening dross. Five Beers.