There’s no mistaking a Hollywood Popcorn Flick. Between the big laughs and over-the-top action sequences, audiences don’t have to think too hard: it’s escapism. Art house cinema is the opposite in every way and generally appeals to a very niche market. Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s films generally skate a thin line between the two realms, though his latest, “Phantom Thread”, settles solidly into the latter category. “Phantom Thread” tells the story of Reynolds (Daniel Day-Lewis), a respected dressmaker, and his model-turned-muse Alma (Vicky Krieps). There’s very little dialogue and the actors are challenged to emote wordlessly, trusting that the...Read More
Author: Zoe Hewitt
Traditional Westerns have fallen out of favor in recent years, though the values they espouse remain timeless. Writer/director Jared Moshe’s “The Ballad of Lefty Brown” may fit the mold of a Western but with one distinct difference: it focuses on the overlooked sidekick rather than the standard hero. Moral codes like integrity and loyalty, however, remain at the forefront. In fact, it was this code of ethics in particular that drew Peter Fonda (“Edward Johnson”) and Tommy Flanagan (“Tom Harrah”) to the film. For more about “The Ballad of Lefty Brown” directly from Bill Pullman (“Lefty Brown”), Fonda, Flanagan...Read More
The trailers for Pixar’s newest animated film “Coco” aren’t particularly captivating. At first glance, the story seems confusing and vaguely reminiscent of last year’s motion-capture feature “Kubo and the Two Strings”. As it turns out, trailers can be misleading and skipping “Coco” would be the biggest mistake of the year. Miguel’s (Anthony Gonzalez) search for his father through the land of the dead is a visual masterpiece. The production design is rich with detail and the character design is fabulous. Whoever first imagined skeletons could embody a range of emotions as sympathetic characters had tremendous foresight. “Coco” is a...Read More
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” is officially billed as a darkly comedic drama, but it’s far more drama than comedy. Mildred (Frances McDormand) pays for three billboards questioning the local police chief’s investigation into her daughter’s murder when the case stalls after seven months. The murder mystery, though, is more a device than actual plot point as the case takes backseat to Mildred’s grief, actions and evolution. The local police chief (Woody Harrelson) and detective (Sam Rockwell) are as multi-dimensional as Mildred. However, particularly with Mildred and Detective Dixon, it’s up to viewers to decide if they are truly...Read More
“Thor: Ragnarok” may be the third stand-alone Thor movie, but it revitalizes the franchise, as well as the superhero genre, in a way that the previous chapters have not. Director Taika Waititi’s vision presents Thor (Chris Hemsworth) as more smart-alecky yet relatable than ever before. The movie’s opening scene shows a new Thor. While there’s never really a fear that he’s not as all-powerful as ever, there’s also a different tenor to his wisecracking jokes. He’s cocky, but not standoffish. A good portion of “Thor: Ragnarok” takes place on Sakaar, a planet ruled by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). He’s...Read More
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