Drama

Review: For a Lost Soldier

Review: For a Lost Soldier

Original title: Voor een verloren soldaatYear: 1992 | Rating: Content Warning: This review mentions pedophilia and the sexual abuse of a child. Moreover, For a Lost Soldier explicitly depicts the grooming and sexual abuse of a child, including a sex scene between an adult and a child. If any of that makes you uncomfortable, I recommend that you do not read this review, nor do I suggest that you watch the film in question. I doubt that many of you reading this have ever heard of For a Lost Soldier, and any of you that have probably already know what it's…
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Review: C’mon C’mon

Review: C’mon C’mon

Year: 2021 | Rating: “Of all the arts, movies are the most powerful aid to empathy, and good ones make us into better people.” These words were written by film critic Roger Ebert in regards to the power that cinema has to enrich the lives of viewers, and in no film that I’ve ever seen has the desire to use empathy to be a better person been as strong of a driving force as in C’mon C’mon. Written and directed by Mike Mills, C’mon C’mon tells the story of Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix), a documentary filmmaker who is given the task of looking after…
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Review: Jerry & Marge Go Large

Review: Jerry & Marge Go Large

Year: 2022 | Rating: After having seen ads on TV for the past couple of weeks, Jerry & Marge Go Large is a movie that I maybe wouldn't normally have been too interested in, especially since it's a Paramount+ exclusive in a time when movies are returning to theaters. It can be a red flag. But the fastest way to get me to see a movie that I'm on the fence about is to cast great actors, and Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening have a consistent track record of being great in everything that they're in, so I decided to give this…
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Review: The Long Day Closes

Review: The Long Day Closes

Year: 1992 | Rating: It had been nearly ten years since I'd seen The Long Day Closes, so I only remembered a few specific fragments of the of actual piece, certain shots and musical cues. This is actually incredibly fitting for this film, though, because while the details may have been fuzzy, one thing that you never forget, whether it be about childhood events or green films, is how they make you feel. The reason that I remembered loving this film has nothing to do with the images on the screen, but rather with the emotions that those images evoked…
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Review: The Terence Davies Trilogy

Review: The Terence Davies Trilogy

Year: 1983 | Rating: While it would be fair to say that the so-called "Terence Davies trilogy" (consisting of short films Children [1976], Madonna and Child [1980] and Death and Transfiguration [1983]) at many times feels like a thesis for his later feature films Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) and The Long Day Closes (1992) (which, along with "Trilogy," make up an autobiographical trilogy of their own), it's also undeniable that these are the most provocative films that I've seen from Terence Davies so far; Madonna and Child, in particular, feels downright raunchy in a couple of different instances.  This collection of short films is certainly the most outwardly homosexual of…
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Short/Feature: Breaking Fast

Short/Feature: Breaking Fast

Breaking Fast The Short: Year: 2015 | Rating: In a bizarre twist that I absolutely did not see coming, I liked the short version of Breaking Fast much better than the feature that it ended up being adapted into. The actors were much more natural; so much so, in fact, that the whole "Kal-El" bit that was cringe-worthy in the feature was actually adorably awkward here. This short, which focuses mostly on Kal and Mo's first "date," feels almost Before Sunrise (1995)-esque at times, a tone which is painfully absent from the feature; in fact, as I mention below, it lacked…
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Review: Distant Voices, Still Lives

Review: Distant Voices, Still Lives

Year: 1988 | Rating: Simply put, Distant Voices, Still Lives is a beautiful little revelation of a film. The only Terence Davies film I had seen before this was The Long Day Closes (1992), which I consider a masterpiece and one of my favorite films of all time, and as is often the case when the first film I see of a filmmaker's speaks to me so vividly, I had both been looking forward and hesitant to check out more of Davies' work for many years, in the slight fear that none of his other films would affect me as much…
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Review: Happy Together

Review: Happy Together

Original title: Chun gwong cha sitYear: 1997 | Rating: Holy smokes. It's been a long time since I've seen a film in which every single frame feels like an innovation, like something I've truly never seen before. The style that director Wong Kar-Wai, cinematographer Christopher Doyle and editor William Chang achieve with Happy Together is simply remarkable. I doubt that there's anything that I could possibly say about the camerawork that hasn't been said before, so instead I'll just say this: Wow. But beyond that, Happy Together is exactly the kind of film for which Western audiences have been begging for years: a…
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Review: We the Animals

Review: We the Animals

Year: 2018 | Rating: Despite being perhaps the most empathetic art form humans possess, it's surprisingly rare that you can say that a film perfectly evokes the real-life experiences that it portrays. Personally, I've only experienced that feeling less than a handful of times in my life, but it's a high that I chase with every single film that I watch; I'm constantly in the pursuit of that indescribable feeling of being seen, of realizing that somebody else somewhere knows what I've been through and has captured that feeling so that other people can get a better understanding of why I…
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Review: Men

Review: Men

Year: 2022 | Rating: Man, I was on-board with Men for so long. Jessie Buckley is wonderful. The music is spectacular. The camerawork, particularly with the use of focus, is dynamic and interesting. The story mixes the realistic with the abstract just enough to keep you guessing and intrigued. Yes, the "drama" portion of this film is engaging and riveting, even at its slow and deliberate pace. Then right at the beginning of the third act, it's like a switch is flipped and the narrative and style delves straight into Blumhouse cheap-horror territory, and that's where Men begins to lose me. Once…
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