Spider-Man: Far From Home (PG-13)
There is nothing damagingly, damningly wrong with Spider-Man: Far From Home that would render it unwatchable. But neither is there much to commend it. To be sure, the film is uproariously funny, and the performances are engaging. The film even exceeds expectations in its action sequences. Because the set-pieces are staged live on location in European cities, instead of in wide-open spaces with bland computer-generated backgrounds, the tussles between Spider-Man, Mysterio, and the Elementals have a sense of tactility, geographical clarity, and human stakes that MCU battles have often lacked. I will also grant that the film has two show-stopping, jaw-dropping sequences that are among the MCU’s finest moments of visual storytelling. But the MCU has almost always been funny, and often to its detriment.
Nightcrawler: It’s A Free, Free, Free, Free Country (R)
Early in Nightcrawler, Lou Bloom sits with his back against a palm tree, staring at a white sand beach under the California sun. Behind him, a bicycler dismounts and chains up his bike. Bloom smiles. The scene cuts to Bloom pawning the same bike. In any other film, such a scene would stretch our credulity. […]
Encountering a double, or doppelganger, is an ancient fear with long literary credentials. There’s something primeval about it, the pagan myths are replete with twins, both evil and otherwise, and the Bible has some very famous twins of its own (Jacob and Esau being the primary example), but perhaps the one that connects most readily […]
If it is fair to go by numbers, movies about demons are both cheap and easy to make. Depending on how broadly you are willing to define “demon,” I would wager something demonic hits an American theater once a month. The never-ending spate of creepy kid movies which yet issue forth from The Ring’s wake, […]