By: Henry J. Fromage –
I used some of those dark, dark Finnish (and a couple Swedish) evenings to catch up on a few theatrical releases- and a few other sundry films to boot.
253. Ford v Ferrari
The quintessential Dad movie- this paean to fast cars and ornery American can-do attitude is entirely engrossing even across its extended runtime, thanks in large part to Matt Damon and Christian Bale’s beautiful and cantankerous chemistry. I feel like it maybe stayed with the story longer than it had to and ends in quite the downer as a result, but I can see what they were trying to do. Two Beers.
254. Doctor Sleep
Listen, everyone knows there was no way this was going to be The Shining II. What Mike Flanagan purportedly does is something far more complicated- reconciling Steven King’s very different written universe with the Stanley Kubrick film that we all can’t help but see in our minds when we hear that Torrance surname. While a tad overplotted, perhaps, this film flies by and in the end almost earns the pathos that puts a bow on 40 years of creative efforts by some of our greatest artists. Or maybe it does, after all. Three Beers.
Roland Emmerich’s recounting of one of the pivotal naval battles in history certainly has all of the CGI warfare extravaganza you’d expect, but beyond that being far from a bad thing, he does a great job reconstructing the historical events and their context on both the US and Japanese side in the guise of a popcorn-muncher blockbuster. Oh, and those clear larger-than-life soldiers played by the likes of Ed Skrein and Nick Jonas? All real people who really did the amazing things depicted. Three Beers.
256. Play the Wind
Renowned photographer Alex Prager is starting to edge her way into film, with this short I caught at Stockholm’s excellent Fotografiska Museum displaying a ton of potential in converting her striking stills (look the up!) into a coherent story centered on, bizarre, heightened Los Angeles living. Enlisting collaborators like Riley Keough and Matthew Libatique certainly is the way to go- here’s to seeing what a feature by Prager looks like. Two Beers.
257. The King
The latest medieval film from Netflix got painted with an undiscerning brush in my opinion. Unlike the clearly compromised (but still interesting in its own way) Outlaw King, David Michod’s tale of the rise of Henry V from never-to-reign playboy to Shakespeare-inspiring warrior king is compelling, well-acted, and beautifully shot. Timothee Chalamet and Joel Edgerton’s Falstaff play excellently off each other, and the courtroom intrigue keeps everything on its toes. Very entertaining . Two Beers.