Breathtaking, devastating, quite possibly the best directorial debut I've ever seen and an unmitigated masterpiece in nearly every facet, Florian Zeller's "The Father" represents the best sort of surprise you can encounter at the movie theater. Take a movie that you've heard very little about, from a director you've heard virtually nothing about and screen it at a rate of what feels one theater for every five hundred miles (in my area, at least) and you've got quite a long shot in the making. Man, oh, man does this defy the odds. Short of strapping a GoPro to Anthony Hopkins's head, there's no other way this movie could've better portrayed dealing with dementia from a first person perspective. From the manipulation of time, to the malleability of space, to the transience of matter, all of it is utilized for the sole purpose of making you feel as helpless and as confused as our ailing protagonist. God, it's all so genius and perfect in its execution. This is also probably the best performance from Anthony Hopkins since "The Silence Of The Lambs" and that's saying A LOT (the man WORKS). Olivia Colman -- as always -- is a damn treasure. Damn it, this was sublime. Easy perfect score.
Cannot believe we've made it to this point as a race of creative beings, where film studios will dump what's essentially an entire African country's GDP into bringing a 9-year-old's last outing with their action figures to the silver screen. Man, am I glad to be alive to see it.
This, of course, could be another case of me spending a bit too much time in the "rule of contrast" zone (see review of "Wonder Woman 1984"), but I was pleasantly surprised by some of the human characters in this movie, namely a young girl with a connection to a building-sized ape and a conspiratorial podcaster with a proclivity for mile-a-minute blather and a couple charming quips every now and then. They're not the highlight of the movie by any stretch, but remain counterpoints to the argument that every scene involving human characters in this movie is "unwatchable." Clearly, it's been a second since these people have seen "King Of The Monsters," which is at least a few orders of magnitude worse in the characterization department.
Being as real as I possibly can, however, the majority of props that I can give are going to anything and everything involving monsters, monsters fighting and monster world-building, all of which had me smiling like a primordial idiot. Still can't tell if it was the lizard brain or the primate brain in me that was so tickled, but in any event, I felt that -- as a film -- it more than made up for its admission price.
More motion-tracked/GoPro-esque shots of kaiju punching each other, please, Mr. Wingard.
Another winner from Ilya Naishuller, director of "Hardcore Henry" and all-around action movie maestro. "Nobody" may not be all that interested in introducing novel premises to the genre, but, damn it, if it doesn't execute on its well-worn premise in spades. Thrust forth by an impeccably game Bob Odenkirk and held together with stylish direction and enthralling choreography, I'd be hard pressed to say that I've seen another action movie within the past few years that's surprised me more. You also have to appreciate it when an action movie commits to utilizing inventive action sequences throughout. Leave it to the "John Wick" franchise's Derek Kolstad to keep things lively and vibrant on that front as well (no pencils to be found in this, however). In the end, would I mind another one of these? Not at all, actually! I'd honestly be happy to see it!
Based on Neil Simon's 1965 play of the same name, Gene Saks's adaptation of "The Odd Couple" features a characteristically amusing pair of performances in the form of Jack Lemmon as Felix Ungar and Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison. However, beyond a few smile-inducing exchanges and a couple of clever sight gags, I just simply didn't find this to be all that funny. This isn't to say that the material at hand is chock-full of swings and misses or offensive subject matter or anything. I guess what I'm saying is, no one told me that this was more of a dramedy than a straight-up, straight-laced comedy. Indeed, Lemmon and Matthau are fun to watch together, with their onscreen chemistry comprising the key factor of enjoyment for me. There's just not really that much else here for my comedic tastes. Killer theme song, though.