‘Birds of Prey’ Is a Rambunctious Riot Grrrl Delight

It’s predominantly understood, in as much as it is practically common knowledge among film writers and observant viewers at this point, that DC and Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe found itself in such a precarious spiral post-Justice League’s calamitous showing because the two companies felt too hurried to compete with the already culturally and financially…

My Journey with ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ An Allusion Sustained with Marvelous Grace

Some will have argued that Wes Anderson’s 2014 ensemble comedy-drama, The Grand Budapest Hotel, rigidly, perhaps even self-consciously, maintains an assured aesthetic and identity, of which its opening sequences are symptomatic. Such lies not only in the cinematographic choices built into the direction as a structural storytelling mechanism – using differing aspect ratios to connote…

‘Ad Astra’: Space Epic Spectacle Meets Grim Revisionism

Misleading marketing isn’t a new concept, and it quickly became a tiresome subject to discuss long before It Comes at Night disappointed a sizable portion of the few people who showed up for it. The film’s initial trailer may have latched upon the title’s simplicity to tease a more conventional ominous presence the protagonists sheltered…

Some Thoughts on ‘The Boys’ and Satire

Whether it’s the usual romanticizing or thorough deconstruction, you’d think that, at a certain point, all narratives regarding a particular genre of storytelling would have been covered in the cinematic medium by now, as if we possess the hubris to delude ourselves that any well of resources will become finite. After all, original ideas for…

The Top 10 Movies of 2018

*Updated 3/8/19 for posterity to account for new films seen after initial publishing* It felt wrong crafting a Top 10 list last year before everything had reached the Richmond, Virginia area or even the usual online renting platforms, and in as many respects it feels wrong now. Last year, my retrospective of its best pictures…