Welcome to 18-52, a weekly review column that tackles two current releases on your cinema screen and in your stream. This week “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017) & Dave Chappelle: Equanimity & The Bird Revelation (2018)
“The Last Jedi” is absolutely the “Star Wars” film we deserved and didn’t expect. The prequels, stand alone “story” films and even the animated series considered canon are a frustratingly repetitious and revisionist cycle. “The Last Jedi” is not a crude predictable entry to the series; Rian Johnson has delivered a luminous spark that’s left the future of the franchise looking bright.
“The Untamed” is a collision of Stanley Kubrick’s style and Pedro Almodovar’s contemporary social melodrama. The Kubrickian influences manifest in dizzying atmospherics, sensory deprivation and crashing waves of alien worlds weaved into the sound design. The Almodovar flair comes in the watching of this powder keg of intertwined relationships.
There’s a kind of rare documentary about a film that enhances and arguably eclipses its subject. “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse,” a behind the scenes look at the madness that forged the masterful “Apocalypse Now” was the primary example; until now.
Let’s find out if the second fitting of the Kingsman’s self-aware spy garb still makes the cut; and discuss the harrowing, controversial and ambitious thriller from Darren Aronofsky starring Jennifer Lawrence.
There’s not going to be a more stunningly composed film this year than “Blade Runner 2049”. Director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins have crafted a remarkable, immersive, sensory experience that embraces you wholly. For the cast Ryan Gosling, Sylvia Hoeks, Harrison Ford and Jared Leto, each scene comes with mood altering atmosphere. The world of “Blade Runner 2049” doesn’t feel like a creation rather that it exists and Villeneuve and Deakins have created a viewing portal into a prospective future.
Raul Peck’s Oscar nominated documentary is a manifestation of the profound intellect of author and activist James Arthur Baldwin. “I Am Not Your Negro,” is possibly one of the most revelatory, insightful and prescient visual documents on civil rights and race that has ever been committed to screen.
Two key writer/producers from the original run of 'Twin Peaks', Harley Peyton and Bob Engels, reflect on their time working on the ground-breaking show, and the evolution of 'Twin Peaks' from cult series to the feature film 'Fire Walk With Me' and the long-awaited third season, 'The Return'.
What you’re about to read is a list of the essential films of 2017 for me. The list features films that make you squirm they’re so funny; films that I’m legitimately fearful to watch again because of their booming power; films that feature frightening and disheartening premonitions; films that ask us the very nature of our existence in the increasingly digital world; films that feature achingly beautiful portrayals of love; and sequels that despite all evidence to the contrary, are exponentially more powerful than their predecessors.
“That’s Not Me” from filmmakers Alice Foucher and Gregory Erdstein is the best movie featuring identical twins played by the same actor since Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze's “Adaptation.” It sports a fresh young cast and is set in Australia and Hollywood. It blends the sensibility of the Zucker Brothers, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and sings to the tune of Mel Brooks’ approach to comedy.
Director Francis Lawrence has reconnected with his “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence for a dark espionage thriller about a Soviet spy ring called ‘sparrows.’ These ‘sparrows’ are female spies trained to kill and seduce with the same proficiency.
Embarking on this incredibly surprising and slightly overwhelming journey for a debut film has been completely unexpected for Lee, whose only goal was to make the film that he wanted to make and “not let anything happen to it.” Fortunately, “God’s Own Country” was nurtured by the British Film Institute and they allowed this new exciting voice total control.
Basking in the glow of Emmy-award winning series Amazon Prime Video has announced that it has signed a landmark international deal with 20th Century Fox Television Distribution, to bring This Is Us and the forthcoming television adaptation of The Exorcist, to PrimeVideo.com. This deal gives Amazon Prime Video the exclusive streaming rights for both series across more than 200 countries and territories around the world.
Warwick Thornton’s “Sweet Country” has won the Best Film in the Platform Competition at the Toronto International Film Festival. Fresh from taking out the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival, Thornton’s “spiritual epic” has gained yet another prestigious award on the the festival circuit.
Despite dozens of articles, an 80,000 + word thesis on authorship, masculinity and style in the work of Michael Mann, “Heat” has a richness that inspires me to undertake this epic minute by minute appreciation.
In the eighth episode of the latest series of POD SAVE OUR SCREEN Blake Howard reviews “Dunkirk” and welcomes back Dark Horizons’ Garth Franklin to talk how Disney owns everything as demonstrated by D23 and what to look forward to this San Diego Comic Con.
In the seventh episode of the latest series of POD SAVE OUR SCREEN Blake reviews WHITNEY: ‘Can I Be Me.’ and chats with documentarians Nick Broomfield (director of Whitney: ‘Can I Be Me’) and Matthew Salleh (director of “Barbecue”).