As always these are films I *watched* for the first time in 2018, not necessarily that were released this year. Part 1 contains #30 – 16.
30. Lean on Pete (2018, dir. Andrew Haigh)
Continue reading “My Favorite Films I Watched in 2018 – Part 1”
From my review:
Charley has never really experienced love, except for that one short time with Aunt Margy. She truly loved him, and then they had to go away. So, when Charley meets Pete, a horse considered valueless, he wants to repay that love. Charley begins to see the beauty in Pete, old but still strong, full of opinions and not easily tamed. He wants to rescue Pete in the same way he needs someone to save him. No one’s coming for Pete, so Charley takes it upon himself without ever asking if anyone is coming for Charley. So often the rural corners of our nation are portrayed as the warm, moral centers, the “Heartland.” Director Haigh has no qualms pointing out how stark and lonely the landscape and its people can be, just as devastating as any urban nightmare conjured up.
The Incident (2014)
Written & Directed by Isaac Ezban
Two brothers have been caught red-handed committing an undescribed crime. They are ambushed by a police officer who directs them down the stairwell of their apartment building to his car. However, on the way, a loud boom sounds from somewhere outside, and suddenly they find themselves caught in a looping stairwell without end or beginning. A family sets out to drop off the kids with their father while mom and stepdad are headed to the beach. On the road, they hear a loud boom and then find themselves on an infinitely looping stretch of highway. What is happening? Why are these people trapped?
It is literally impossible to discuss this film without spoilers so if you don’t want to know what happens, turn back now. The film is on Netflix, come back after you have watched it.
Continue reading “Movie Review – The Incident”
Black Panther (2018)
Written by Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole
Directed by Ryan Coogler
Prince T’Challa is still mourning his father’s death in the wake of Captain America: Civil War and he must be coronated the new monarch of Wakanda. After defeating his single challenger, M’Baku of the Mountain Gorilla Tribe. As his first act as the king, T’Challa decides to bring in fugitive Ulysses Klaue who is guilty of murdering multiple Wakandans and stealing their precious Vibranium. This leads our hero into crossing paths with Everett Ross again who becomes embroiled in the current drama overtaking the kingdom. Among Klaue’s ranks is an even more significant threat with deep ties to Wakanda and could be the undoing of everything T’Challa is fighting for.
Continue reading “Movie Review – Black Panther”
Call Me By Your Name (2017)
Written by James Ivory
Directed by Luca Guadagnino
Elio is the son of academics living in northern Italy. He spends his days consuming books and composing piano pieces. He is also in friendship with local girl Marzia where the beginnings of attraction are forming. Summer looks to be a monotonous season until Oliver arrives. Oliver is an American doctoral student who has come to get the aid of Elio’s father in revising his dissertation. Elio finds himself drawn to Oliver and even feeling pangs of jealousy when it appears the older man fancies a woman in town. As Elio explores and discovers himself in this formative year, he becomes aware of his feelings for Oliver. First, with some anger, he tries to push them aside, and finally, he confesses all of this to Oliver who reciprocates.
Continue reading “Movie Review – Call Me By Your Name”
The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
Written by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung
Directed by Julius Onah
In the year 2028, an energy crisis has sent humanity to the verge of collapse. The last best hope for the world is the crew aboard an orbital particle accelerator, The Cloverfield Station. Their goal is to get the accelerator running, creating an infinite alternative energy source that would cause global tensions to subside and hope to be restored. After two years and multiple tests, it appears this is not going to work out. After a few adjustments, they make one final check, expecting nothing. But something does happen, and the crew is suddenly thrown into a bizarre new reality, where the laws of physics and nature do not operate the same. Comms officer Ava Hamilton attempts to navigate this treacherous new paradigm while keeping the crew alive around her. A new crew member appears who knows all of them but whom they have never seen before in their life. Voices speak to another who becomes violent. Everything they used to be able to rely on is crumbling.
Continue reading “Movie Review – The Cloverfield Paradox”
The Post (2018)
Written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer
Directed by Steven Spielberg
In 1971, portions of a U.S. government commissioned classified report on their involvement in Indochina were sent to the New York Times. The Times was the first outlet to publish an article on the content which led to the Nixon White House slapping them with an injunction. Meanwhile, another portion of the document was dropped on a desk in the newsroom of the Washington Post. Editor-in-Chief Ben Bradlee sees this as the Post’s moment to move from a local D.C. paper to a national force in the news. Owner Katharine Graham is hesitant when she finds out, being told this could damage the legacy of her family. The Post has just gone public on Wall Street, and the board of directors fears massive damage financially. Graham is also a lifelong friend of people who will be implicated in flawed U.S. foreign policy like Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara. She must make a decision about what to do next and deal with the repercussions that result.
Continue reading “Movie Review – The Post”
The Great McGinty (1940)
Written & Directed by Preston Sturges
We begin at a bar in a banana republic where a forlorn and suicidal American banker is stopped from ending things by the bartender. The bartender is also an American, Dan McGinty, who tells his patron that he was once governor of a state in the U.S. From there we flashback to the story of McGinty’s rise and fall to power. During the Great Depression, he’s another jobless schmoe who is coerced into a voting fraud scheme for two bucks. He ends up showing an impressive level of moxie, and a local mob boss decides to use McGinty in his plans. He starts out as an alderman before moving to mayor and eventually governor of an unnamed state. But, as the film’s opening prologue tells us, one moment of good will topple McGinty back to the bottom.
Continue reading “Movie Review – The Great McGinty”