‘Phantom Thread’ Delights As It Perpetually Proves You Wrong

Typical Oscar fare – prestige pictures, for example – have often found a way, whether through perfect cinematic technique or pure emotion, of sweeping us off our feet. So, how do we react when a new film from a trusted source repeatedly, even to the point of comically, rejects our wanting to swoon over it?…

The Pulsating ‘Post’ Is an Anxious, Urgent Celebration of Ethics & the Truth

The Washington Post was responsible for Watergate. Obviously, that isn’t at all fact, but any individual influenced by a complete distrust of media, for one misguided reason or another, might somehow interpret the editing of Steven Spielberg’s The Post’s final few sequences in such a way that benefits this narrow view of an entire industry. That’s…

‘Okja’ Comfortably Sets the Bar for All Netflix Original Films to Come

Originally published June 30th, 2017 on thedistantcloseup.com Here it is, ladies and gentlemen; the film that most of us only had to wait one more month for. It feels strange calling Bong Joon-ho’s Okja a controversial picture when the controversy had nothing to do with the film’s content, but rather the name attached to its distribution. The…

Thursdazed and Confused – ‘Eraserhead’

Originally published June 29th, 2017 on thedistantcloseup.com Just based upon the people I’ve interacted with in my life, it can seem like the title for “Most Unconditionally Loved Director by Millennials” is a neck-and-neck race between Wes Anderson and David Lynch. It only feels so long ago that almost everyone I talked to from various…

’47 Meters Down,’ There’s Only Toothless Terror and Wasted Breath

Originally posted June 26th, 2017 on thedistantcloseup.com I certainly wasn’t allowed to watch most R-rated films growing up, but with adult supervision, my parents did allow a couple of distinctly memorable choices: 1999’s killer animal features Lake Placid and Deep Blue Sea. Aside from the abnormally large crocodile that Lake Placid’s protagonists decide not to kill and tranquilize instead…

‘All Eyez on Me’ Can’t Put Its Best Foot Forward, Let Alone Stand Up to Tupac’s Legacy

Originally posted June 19th, 2017 on thedistantcloseup.com It’s almost fascinating, especially in today’s age of more readily available information, that creators of biographical dramas still sometimes include historical inaccuracies, often as integral plot points or poetic, character-defining moments. Surely they must know what they’re doing and that they risk the story of their chosen subject’s credibility,…

‘Rough Night’ Is An Apt Title For Both Its Premise & the Viewing Experience

Originally published June 16th, 2017 on thedistantcloseup.com Sometimes it seems like folks love original films and content as much as they love complaining about the modern age’s lack of originality among mainstream releases. Rough Night is one of those films that sits too uncomfortably between originality and familiarity for even those alarmists to stand behind it, because…