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: The Wandering Earth (2019)

Chinese Theatrical Release Poster – China Film Group Corporation

The following is a review of The Wandering Earth — Directed by Frant Gwo. Available on Netflix now.

This 2019 release is a two-hour long blockbuster film that has made close to $700 million globally at the box office. There are no superheroes in the film, it isn’t based on Marvel or DC, and it doesn’t belong to a vastly popular science-fiction or fantasy franchise. On top of that, this isn’t an English-language film. In fact, it wasn’t released widely in theaters in Europe or North America.

This is The Wandering Earth, a relentless Chinese blockbuster film that proves that glorious spectacle created outside of North America can rival the best Hollywood has to offer in disaster film — at least when it comes to incredible and unfathomably spectacular action. I’ve got plenty of issues with The Wandering Earth, but the one thing that really impressed me was the science-fiction visuals because, normally, you don’t get these astoundingly well-designed visuals without the direct influence of a major American studio. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Wandering Earth (2019)”