The modern age of streaming shows has delivered countless programs that boast in their press releases about being “just long movies.” The new Netflix limited series Florida Man continues this trend. Worse, it puts its own insufferable spin on the mold by stretching out a late-1990s Quentin Tarantino knock-off to nearly seven hours of storytelling. Yearning for a return to the era of non-linear crime dramas embracing the notion that F-bombs and shady behavior turn the story into the new Reservoir Dogs? This Donald Todd-created series will make you giddy. Unfortunately, everyone else will likely come away irritated. Continue Reading →
A few weeks ago, a picture of M. Night Shyamalan and his family at the premiere of his Apple TV show Servant surfaced on my social media timeline. All five of them dressed exquisitely, Shyamalan with his goofy dad smile, his Ph.D. wife Bhavna looking glamorous, and their three adult daughters, bright with talent, love, and creative potential. Continue Reading →
“It’s not politics. It’s poetry!” one of the many voices screams approximately half an hour into Lux Aeterna (stylized, of course, as Lux Æterna). With that line, Gaspar Noé’s 51-minute movie—now available on digital three years after its 2019 Cannes Film Festival premiere—reaches the self-awareness at which it often paws. That opener is partly a joke in and of itself: Noé’s auteur work has relatively veered toward the quote-unquote apolitical. The politics, inherent as they are to the art of cinema, have fleshed themselves out by accident. Here, the spontaneous “poetry” of Lux Aeterna—an extrapolation of sorts of his previous film, Climax—lives on a prosaic approach. Continue Reading →
Despite its top shelf cast & capable direction, this drama about tourists behaving badly is nothing we haven't seen before.
The Forgiven is a story about fantastically rich white people behaving badly in an “exotic” location, told by slightly less rich and hopefully better intentioned white people. So soon after HBO’s The White Lotus, it might be tempting to call this a new trend. But it’s probably more accurate to consider it business as usual.
This is not to say that it’s a bad film. The Forgiven is thoroughly competent in its writing, direction, and performances. It also happens to be — from its first scenes and the Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?-esque dynamic it establishes between its protagonists, to its ending which is strongly foreshadowed to the point of telegraphing — an obvious one. Continue Reading →