De Superman à Spider-Man: L'aventure des super-héros
In Asghar Farhadi’s A Hero, moral ambiguity runs rampant through the life of imprisoned Rahim Soltani (Amir Jadidi). Locked away for a debt he could not repay, Soltani has two days of leave to get his creditor, a family friend, to drop the charges. He owes the man a large sum, given as a pseudo-loan for a failing small business. A father to a young boy with a speech impediment, Rahim is understandably anxious to negotiate his freedom. When his girlfriend finds a lost bag filled with 17 gold coins, the moral conundrums begin, multiplying throughout the film with “nice” deeds and public interference. Continue Reading →
Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier’s serrated razor thriller that follows luckless punk band’s attempt to survive an assault by murderous neo-Nazis, is five years old (six counting its appearance at Cannes). Watching it in 2021 is a different experience compared to watching it in 2016. It’s bittersweet to take in Anton Yelchin’s terrific lead turn as bassist Pat, given his death in a horrific freak accident that year. It’s bitter to know that empty creeps like Tucker Carlson would look at Patrick Stewart’s neo-Nazi crime lord Darcy and his band of openly fascist, hate-fueled, racist goons and say “they’re doing nothing wrong” to their nationwide audience.The world shifts, and with it the experience of partaking in culture. But, while that shifting is inevitable, Green Room remains Green Room. In other words? It’s a terrific thriller that uses its geography and its carnage smartly. It handles tone precisely. And in Yelchin and Stewart, it has two stupendous performances that anchor a strong ensemble cast and contrast each other in fascinating ways.After a prologue that introduces struggling punk band the Ain’t Rights (Yelchin’s Pat – the bassist; Alia Shawkat’s Sam – the drummer; Callum Turner’s Tiger – the vocalist; and Joe Cole’s Reece – the drummer) and their dire circumstances (an unexpectedly cancelled gig strands them states away from home, and taking a last minute gig at a right-wing skinhead club’s a way to get some badly needed cash), Green Room confines itself mostly to the title location and the club that surrounds it. Director/writer Saulnier and cinematographer Sean Porter (20th Century Women) turn the setting into a tightly packed box of nightmares.Barring a brief, transcendent moment during the Ain’t Rights’ show itself – a moment in the zone where the band gel and the rancid crowd get over themselves, the set and its presentation are consistently and deliberately stifling. Sometimes, this is literally true – as when the band are playing or early in the stand-off where they’re locked in the packed green room with a murdered woman, her best friend (Imogen Poots’ Amber), the white supremacist black metal band whose leader murdered her, and the club’s mountain of a bouncer (Eric Edelstein). Continue Reading →
Excalibur was hardly the first film to be made based on the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table and it was hardly the last word on the subject either. The saga has inspired everything from a bloated musical (Camelot) to one of the funniest films ever made (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) to whatever that thing was that Guy Ritchie made that you have already forgotten even existed until just about now (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword). It may not even be the best screen version—I would have to give that prize to Holy Grail on the basis of being both hysterically funny and more accurate in its depiction of the period than most of its brethren (coconuts notwithstanding). Continue Reading →
Star Trek: Picard
Patrick Stewart is still carrying much of the weight as "Star Trek: Picard" continues to pile on the lore & find its footing.
“Maps and Legends” improves on Star Trek: Picard’s series premiere. It’s filled to the brim with new lore and exposition and features another extended bout of table-setting. But it also features plenty of Patrick Stewart acting in one-on-one scenes, his forte, and puts him opposite performers who can hold their own. Making those conversations and confrontations a bigger focus here helps balance out the wobbly plot mechanics and less-exciting new faces the series strains to introduce.
That catch is that the series still dumps a ton of lore on the audience here. "Maps and Legends" is full of implausible and contradictory nonsense that constantly tries to top or overcomplicate (or both) whatever’s come before.
It’s not enough for the Tal Shiar, the Romulan secret police, to be involved in this conspiracy. There has to be an extra-double-secret force that’s even more hidden and even more deadly! Apparently the Romulans just hate androids and A.I. and any complex computing whatsoever, for reasons we’ve never been privy to before but which will assuredly be retconned down the line! Despite that, they still have fancy molecular reconstruction tools and can perfectly scrub a crime scene at the molecular level, but somehow not so well that Picard’s former Tal Shiar buddy can’t figure out what happened! And this new secret agency has also apparently infiltrated the highest ranks of Starfleet, where the latest corrupt commodore turns out to be a sleeper agent whose two goons are going after Dahj’s twin sister! Phew! Continue Reading →