Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PG-13)
I have dreaded writing this review ever since I left the theater, and don’t think I will get much enjoyment out of it. There is no pleasure to be had in speaking against a group of artists whose work you have always enjoyed — and even been shaped by — in the past. Some take […]
A Nightmare on Elm Street (R)
Imagine, if you will, a perfect American suburb. You know the kind, probably only immortalized on the silver screen or through photography. All the houses are colonial style, possibly Victorian, with white picket fences and freshly mowed grass. The neighborhood’s safe enough for the kids to play without adult supervision, and everyone is familiar with who lives on their block. But scratch that seemingly perfect veneer, and there’s decay under the surface.
The Lone Ranger: Gore Verbinski’s Unheralded Masterpiece (PG-13)
A similar dilemma faced those who watched Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger when it was released over 2013’s Fourth of July weekend. Was it stupid? Or just pretending to be stupid? Most critics and audiences subscribed to the former possibility. In fact, most people really, really hated The Lone Ranger. More than just stupid, they called it overlong, offensive, bloated, messy, disastrous, horrific, boring, and so on, with the hyperbolic amounts of vitriol further fueled by reports of the film’s extravagant budget. In the end, it was a financial and critical bomb, and seems to have singlehandedly destroyed Verbinski’s once-promising career in the same way the infamous 1980 flop Heaven’s Gate destroyed Michael Cimino’s, mere years after he was deemed a rising star due to the success of The Deer Hunter.
Black Mass: The Cost of Looking the Other Way (R)
Bostonians can rest assured that, unlike his earlier crime film Out of the Furnace, their home city is portrayed as being remediable. It does not even seem to be particularly corrupt. What it is, however, is tribal, with the Irish and Italians constantly at one another’s throats. It is a tribalism which not only defines allegiances in the criminal underworld but also among police and federal authorities.