If you have finished watching the film Memento (2000) and are looking for other movies like it, here is a list of options to consider.
Inspector Sun y la maldición de la viuda negra
I love detective stories. Tales of how, as Sara Gran would say, "truth lives in the ether." Explorations of people and places and how they shape each other. The journey down the streets towards a hidden truth. Dennis Lehane's Darkness, Take My Hand, is my favorite book. Rian Johnson's Brick and Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone are movies I think the world of, never mind all-timers like Howard Hawks' The Big Sleep and Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye. And, of course, the immortal Who Framed Roger Rabbit? from Robert Zemeckis. Any time there's a new detective film, whether it be an affably bleak comedy or an action-driven character study, it's a treat. Continue Reading →
Upon the news of the passing of William Friedkin, every headline reporting on the news focused on two films. It’s not surprising that the media spent so much time talking about The French Connection and The Exorcist, two bona fide masterpieces that paved the way for a new era of American filmmaking. What was disappointing was this seeming willingness to reduce a cinematic legend’s legacy to a burst of time in the early 1970s, thus dismissing the five decades that followed as either negligible or outright unworthy of interest. Continue Reading →
After the aggressively negative critic and audience response to 1980’s Cruising, William Friedkin took a curious “hell with it, I’m going to do whatever I want” approach to projects. None of what he directed over the next decade, save for To Live and Die in L.A., came close to receiving the kind of acclaim his early 70s career did. If anything, it seemed as though he had given up his precise, occasionally unreasonable eye for perfection in favor of churning out the most generic cable-friendly nonsense possible. Continue Reading →
Cade: The Tortured Crossing
Say what you will about independent film auteur Neil Breen: he has a vision. All of his movies have a common theme, in which a man with superhuman abilities (played by Neil Breen) directs those abilities toward vanquishing evil corporate and government entities. Many people die in the process, but in Breen’s vision it’s all in the name of world peace. What he’s trying to say isn’t all that hard to figure out: he thinks the world would be better off without corrupt CEOs and pass-the-buck lawmakers (and hey, I don’t disagree). Continue Reading →
Something in the Dirt
Remember when conspiracy theories used to be fun? Well, maybe “fun” isn’t the right word, but entertaining? Once, they were limited to harmless weirdos who would gladly give a presentation on chemtrails or how many different assassins were actually at Dealey Plaza when JFK passed by, but could also at least maintain some veneer of normalcy. Then the internet made it easier for people to spend most (instead of just some) of their time discussing their favorite conspiracies, without anyone telling them that they were getting obsessed, or that what they were saying sounded insane. And then, of course, QAnon turned conspiracy theories into a kind of religion, one in which its followers were willing to kill to prove their belief. It stopped being entertaining a long time ago, and now, like a lot of things about the world in its current state, it’s just bleak and terrifying. Continue Reading →
A look back at the use of chimpanzees as clowns & sidekicks for humans, & how it relates to a strange & haunting subplot of Jordan Peele's hit sci-fi horror.
Note: this article contains spoilers for Nope. Please read Jon Negroni’s spoiler-free review here.
If you haven’t seen Nope yet, you might be a little puzzled by references to a character named Gordy, especially once you learn that Gordy is a chimpanzee. It’s understandable: there’s not so much of a glimpse of a chimpanzee in any of the promotional material for Nope, and nothing that happens in its trailers seems to suggest that a chimpanzee will play any part in it. Continue Reading →
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers
The more things change, the more they stay the same. For the latest example of this phenomenon, notice how, 34 years after Who Framed Roger Rabbit? changed movies forever, moviegoers are getting another comedic mystery hinging on live-action humans interacting with famous cartoon characters. The shadow of Zemeckis' revolutionary blend of filmmaking styles looms large over its modern-day thematic successor, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers. Continue Reading →
An admittedly intriguing blend of bleaker-than-bleak comedy and holiday spirit is undermined by noxious writing and character work.
If you do not yet know about Silent Night’s big twist, I’d strongly recommend you set his review aside. Talking about Camille Griffin’s directorial debut requires talking about its twist. To sum up: Silent Night is awful. It aims to blend dark comedy with sentiment via an audacious story but does little with its intriguing core idea. What it does do does not work.
It’s Christmas, and married couple Nell (Keira Knightley) and Simon (Matthew Goode) are preparing to host a celebration for a group of their old school friends. Their pals include snotty Toby (Rufus Jones) and Sandra (Annabelle Wallis), obnoxious Bella (Lucy Punch) and her girlfriend Alex (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and James (Ṣọpé Dìrísù), and his girlfriend Sophie (Lily Rose-Depp), whose youth and American heritage make her an outsider amongst the others. Continue Reading →
Hugh Jackman chases down the ghost of Rebecca Ferguson through futuristic memory tech in Lisa Joy's ponderous, limp tech-noir pastiche.
It would only be frustrating to recount exactly how many opportunities writer-director Lisa Joy (Westworld) throws away in her desperate effort to please in Warner Bros.’ latest, Reminiscence.
It’s not just that Joy fails to follow through on the noir tropes she so clearly wants to pay homage to while attempting to subvert, or a cast that features Thandiwe Newton and Hugh Jackman as jaded private gumshoes in a dystopian Miami, not to mention the near-perfect timing of this movie’s release. Noirs didn’t just come into their own in the years around WWII: some of the best examples of the genre came in the wreckage after, as people still flailing in the trauma of the Great Depression and genocide wondered what the hell was next in a new era of peace and prosperity that some found just as terrifying as what preceded it. Continue Reading →
Blood Red Sky
Nadja (Peri Baumeister, The Last Kingdom), a cautious, brittle woman battling a terrifying illness, boards an overnight flight from Germany to the United States. With her is Elias (Carl Anton Koch), her sweet, precocious son. They're hoping to make a new start in America, where a talented team of doctors wait to help Nadja find a cure for her sickness. While at the gate, Elias befriends Farid (Kais Setti, Dogs of Berlin)—a kind young man bound for a conference. Continue Reading →
Elizabeth Is Missing
Based on the novel of the same name by Emma Healey, the new-to-American-TV-movie Elizabeth is Missing seems at the surface like yet another in the seemingly endless parade of missing women in television and film. We’ve seen lost women from trains and in windows, what more can there be? Written by Andrea Gibb and directed by Aisling Walsh, Elizabeth is Missing is less a story about an actual missing person and more a story about loss, aging, and the slippery movement of memory. Continue Reading →