In Review: Parasite

In an era where discussions of class structures and all of the inherent systemic evils are constantly at the forefront of both our conversations and the art that responds, master storytelling Bong Joon-ho may have just given us a definitive text. Parasite, his newest blend of classic genres pushed into a daring new future, is far-reaching and immersive in its ideas, a contained piece of essential cinema. It expresses how we live today and how we feel, all while unfolding with unexpected consequences and reveals that serve its look at wealth inequity.

But aside from its ability to condemn the forces upholding our social strata and how it delights us in doing so, Parasite reveals the wounded soul at the heart of the suffering, and the things that keep us apart from even those closest to us. Parasite is an uproarious and furious heartbreaker, one to let consume you with the might of its full force.


Continue reading “In Review: Parasite”

In Review: Jojo Rabbit

The laughs die quickly in Jojo Rabbit, writer-director Taika Waititi’s newest whimsical farce. Set in the dying days of Nazi Germany, a preteen would-be soldier named Jojo (played by Roman Griffin Davis) in the youth army struggles to fit in with his Reich peers. No matter, because he has the faith of his imaginary friend, a cartoonish version of Adolf Hitler played by none other than Waititi himself. Its silly and convincing opening act soon falls into one-note flatness as things turn to sentimentalism, giving us Waititi’s weakest film and one that frustrates in its fleeting successes.


Continue reading “In Review: Jojo Rabbit”

In Review: First Love

Grandmaster Takashi Miike returns with another crime saga and genre hybrid in First Love, a downshift in his trademark provocation but no less spirited. This time Miike turns fablistic in rooting through violence, capturing a young love starting in the crosshairs of the criminal underworld. He’s as witty as ever, and as idiosyncratic, but this film is much more tame in its delights, losing much of the director’s signature danger in the process.


Continue reading “In Review: First Love”

In Review: Monos

Filled with sensory explosiveness, Monos is an incredibly evocative breakthrough for filmmaker Alejandro Landes. Set in the wilderness and mountains in Latin America, the film follows a small militia of young adults tasked with watching over an American hostage and carrying out the orders of a transient general known as the Messenger. Landes crafts a narrative indebted to the likes of Lord of the Flies and Apocalypse Now in a package that is almost neo-Malickian, both classically familiar and freshly tense.


Continue reading “In Review: Monos”

In Review: Judy

The glossiest of biopics arrives with Judy, Rupert Goold’s adaptation of Peter Quilter’s play The End of the Rainbow that details the final performing days of Judy Garland. In order to prevent homelessness and lose complete custody of her two young children, the faded legend Judy Garland took on headlining a series of concerts in London in the late 60s. The film follows her struggles with stage fright and addictions as she struggles to match her legacy, years of insomnia and anxiety taking its toll on her voice and psyche. It’s a blend of the somber and the splashy, a sometimes inelegant tonal soup that is nevertheless elevated by a transformative performance from Renée Zellweger as Garland in her most tragic days.


Continue reading “In Review: Judy”