Joy Ride is a film filled with rude and crude jokes throughout and often fairly ramshackle in its construction. Those with more delicate constitutions may be chagrined to discover it tends to reduce its few Caucasian characters of note to little more than punchlines. It also contains—let me consult the next page of my notes—more big laughs than any other film I’ve seen so far this year. Plus, carefully layered among its more outrageous elements, you’ll find a surprising amount of heart. The result is both a genuine delight and a wonderful alternative to the soul-deadening blockbusters that have glutted multiplexes this summer. Continue Reading →
It doesn’t take much for someone who once meant a whole lot to you to creep into your thoughts every now and then. It’s not an everyday obsessive thing, where they’re a shadow lingering over you. It’s softer, more subtle: a snippet of a song, or something that reminds you of a private joke once shared. Even if the fire has long burned out, an ember or two will glow for an instant. Then it’s gone, and the life you’ve lived without them goes on. Continue Reading →
It takes a little while to find Beef’s groove. This critic assures you that this is not the classic of the streaming age, “give it a few episodes” warning. By the end of the first episode, you will know if the series is for you. However, everything about the show feels overwhelming in the first eight to ten minutes. Continue Reading →
The documentary Kim's Video stumbles when it stops relying on the facts in favor of flights of fancy.
The video rental empire known as Kim’s Video began in the late 1980s. It started as an adjunct to a Manhattan dry-cleaning establishment owned by a mysterious man named Yongman Kim and eventually expanded to five New York City locations. Though it never went further than that geographically, it became a mecca for cinephiles worldwide. They were drawn in by tales of its legendary collection of classics, cult favorites, rare and quasi-legally obtained titles, and straight-up weird shit. Continue Reading →
What would you do to know your parents? Not just as parents, but as people—even long after their deaths? How would you make the most of a horrendous moral quagmire you had no choice in getting dragged into—and what would you do when that quagmire, for all its familiarity, finally became too much to bear? On a broader level, what makes us human—and what remains when we're gone? Director/writer Yeon Sang-ho asks and answers these questions in his out-now-on-Netflix science fiction film JUNG_E. It's a solid, thoughtful film that shines thanks to its leading trio and Sang-ho's skill at depicting and delving into the uncanny. Continue Reading →
From The Flight Attendant to The Rookie, there’s no shortage of comedy action series, flipping the script of formulaic procedurals and infusing a dose of relatable, if often quirky, characters as leads. Netflix looks to add to the roster with the new series The Recruit, which follows a dashing but stumbly new CIA lawyer Owen (Noah Centineo), as he falls deeper into internal espionage. While The Recruit gets muddled with an unbalanced tone, Centineo jumps in with enough charm and comedy to keep viewers coming back. Continue Reading →
Park Chan-wook fans can rest assured that the director who gave us the twisty, blood-soaked passions of Oldboy, Stoker, and The Handmaiden has returned with another romantic crime-fueled drama. His latest, Decision to Leave, is high-grade neo-noir, the newest installment in Park’s ongoing exploration of the genre. Continue Reading →
The legendary filmmaker's last bow is a fascinating misfire starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon (and a bonkers Klaus Kinski).
There are some movies that receive critical scorn and commercial indifference upon the time of their initial release, only to find their reputations rehabilitated with the passing of time and reevaluation. That hasn’t been the case with Billy Wilder’s 1981 dark comedy Buddy Buddy; if anything, its reputation has actually gotten worse over the years — and it wasn’t exactly starting off from a high point. Continue Reading →