REVIEW: Dolor y Gloria (2019)

Spanish Theatrical Release Poster – Sony Pictures Releasing International

The following is a review of Dolor y Gloria (int. title: Pain and Glory) — Directed by Pedro Almodóvar.

Dolor y Gloria is Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s twenty-second feature film, but, admittedly, the first film of his that I have seen. It is a semi-autobiographical film about an aging Spanish filmmaker (whose name is unmistakably close to being an anagram for Almodóvar) who feels that his body and mind is working against him. Salvador Mallo (played by Antonio Banderas), the aforementioned fictitious filmmaker, is constantly depressed, and he also suffers from difficult headaches and serious back problems. All of these issues have stopped him in his tracks and made it difficult for him to continue to make his art — his films. Continue reading “REVIEW: Dolor y Gloria (2019)”

REVIEW: Her (2013)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros.

The following is a short updated review (2019) of Spike Jonze’s Her (2013).

Written and directed by Spike Jonze, Her is a science-fiction love story set in a ‘futuristic’ American city. The film follows Theodore (played by Joaquin Phoenix) — a writer of other people’s personal letters — who is separated from his wife (played by Rooney Mara). Continue reading “REVIEW: Her (2013)”

REVIEW: IT – Chapter Two (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros. Pictures

The following is a review of IT: Chapter Two — Directed by Andy Muschietti.

It would be an understatement to say that Andy Muschietti’s IT (2017) was a great success. Successfully building on audiences’ relationship with the 1990s mini-series, novel, or creature design, IT went on to become the highest-grossing Stephen King adaptation and the highest-grossing horror film in North American box office history (not adjusted for inflation). Therefore, naturally, expectations for the adaptation of the second ‘half’ of the 1000-page long clown-focused King novel were through the roof. Ultimately, although I don’t think the second chapter lives entirely up to the frightening but charming first film, IT: Chapter Two finds much more success in depicting the grown-up half of the novel than the mini-series did, and, even though I have notable problems with the film, I’m mostly satisfied with how this oversized crowdpleaser wrapped up the story. Continue reading “REVIEW: IT – Chapter Two (2019)”

REVIEW: Toy Story 4 (2019)

UK Theatrical Release Poster – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The following is a review of Toy Story 4 — Directed by Josh Cooley.

I once wrote that I am ‘a part of the Pixar-generation,’ i.e. I’ve grown up with their films and Toy Story was one of the first films I saw. I’ve loved almost all of the Pixar-films, and I love the Toy Story-films most of them all. The first film was a childhood favorite of mine. The second film was almost equally brilliant and becomes better the more I watch it. And, especially for my generation, the third film was a cathartic and nostalgic heartbreaker that had adults bawling their eyes out in crowded theaters or airplanes.

Toy Story is a special film series. The first three films are all some of the greatest animated films ever made and arguably include a couple of masterpieces among them. But it is also a film series that ended on the perfect note with Toy Story 3. So, I cannot say that I ever really wanted a fourth film. However, Toy Story 4 from feature film debut director Josh Cooley is another heartwarming and heartbreaking coming-of-age tale featuring childhood playthings. Though we didn’t need it, Pixar has, thankfully, brought us yet another great installment in this beloved film series, even though the fourth film isn’t as much of an instant classic as the first three films were. Continue reading “REVIEW: Toy Story 4 (2019)”

REVIEW: MINDHUNTER – Season Two (2019)

The following is a review of the second season of Mindhunter — Created by Joe Penhall.

In my first season review of Netflix’s MINDHUNTER, I wrote that it is like catnip for true crime aficionados. I stand by that, but it really hurts being without that catnip for two years. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve rewatched the first season of the show, so when it became clear that it was finally making its anticipated return I was excited, and before I published this review I made sure to watch the entire season twice. Rest assured, the second season of MINDHUNTER proves that the wait has been worth it. The excellent true-crime series about methodology and research is back, and this time around they get to interview exactly who they want. Continue reading “REVIEW: MINDHUNTER – Season Two (2019)”

REVIEW: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Sony Pictures Releasing

The following is a spoiler review of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — Directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Quentin Tarantino has claimed that he will only direct ten feature films, and, since he considers his latest film to be his ninth, that puts a lot of pressure on this penultimate effort as a director. Having just recently rewatched and reviewed his filmography as a director, I had prepared myself for this undeniable event film for cinephiles. When I walked out of the theater, I had a soft smile on my face, and I kept on repeating these words to my mother and sister, who had seen the film with me: “I think this is his most moving movie yet.” Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is tense but also laidback, sometimes violent but generally quite kind, and much to my own surprise, as Tarantino ended his film, I had a lump in my throat — I got a little bit choked up. Continue reading “REVIEW: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)”

REVIEWS: Feature Films Directed by Quentin Tarantino (1992-2015)

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood opened in North American theaters a couple of weeks ago, but it was just released in my corner of the world yesterday. To commemorate the release of what Tarantino claims is his penultimate feature film as a director, I decided to rewatch and review every full feature film directed by Quentin Tarantino thus far (not including his partially lost amateur film). Below you’ll find reviews of all of the films listed in the image above. So, without further ado, let’s get to it. Continue reading “REVIEWS: Feature Films Directed by Quentin Tarantino (1992-2015)”