Saturday, December 10, 2022

Two Paragraph Review: The Last Duel (2021)

Life was not easy in medieval France, especially for women, The Last Duel tells us. Even if the setting and context of the particular incident that the film examines remain a clear-cut situation, the times of this historical drama show the full scope of danger that women of the day faced. The Last Duel is directed by Ridley Scott, so a strong cast is no surprise. The film stars Adam Driver, Matt Damon, and Jodie Comer, all of whom are stellar.

The movie is set in 14th-century France and tells the story of a knight named Jean de Carrouges, who is forced to defend his wife's honor in a deadly duel against his former friend and one-time comrade, Sir Jacques Le Gris. Over a Rashomon-like retelling of its main story, the film explores the nuances of the period and its sheer multilayered brutality. But, thanks to excellent actors and a great director, it does it in a very engaging and heartfelt manner, even when the actions of its characters are despicable from a modern perspective.

Monday, November 14, 2022

"Romeo Yusupov" Documentary on the life of Romeo Yusupov New Poster & Continued Success

The incredible life of Romeo Yusupov was already featured here on Movies, Films, and Movies not long ago. The powerful tale of seemingly unsurmountable hurdles that Romeo, now the CEO of Weight Loss Mums, managed to overcome is both inspiring and intriguing.

That is why the new poster for the same documentary is such a powerful addition to the same story. It not only manages to capture the essence of belief in oneself even when things look impossible but also presents the symbolism that the film carries for anyone out there who is struggling.

However, the new poster is not the only big development related to this documentary. The same film has two official best documentary in world awards and over 10 official selections so far. There is a strong feeling that this is just the start for Romeo and his excellent short documentary creation. Because of that, new successes are clear on the horizon for the same film.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

When Cancel Culture Strikes Santa - Animated Short Feature

 The concept of canceul culture and its presence in the modern world is a hotly-debated topic. That also makes it a prime material for comedy and this short animated film makes good use of it as its parody focus.

In When Cancel Culture Strikes Santa, the same beloved childrens' character gets into hot water over a supposed problematic video. In it, the catchphrase of "ho-ho-ho" gets interpreted as an insult. The fallout of that is a cancellation of Santa Claus and possibly his ultimate doom.

The animated video applies the visual approach made famous by South Park, making great use of simple character animation and excellent voice-over acting. The result is a hilarious animated short that raises some valid questions related to the same social phenomena. Watch the entre short film right here:

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Two Paragraph Review: Hellraiser (2022)

There's a weird type of emptiness encompassing the entire new version of the famous Clive Barker novel called Hellraiser. It does not come from the actors, setting, or plot directly, but more from a combination of all of them. As the main character, addiction-prone Riley, struggles to find her brother, lost on the other side of a hellish universe, the audience is left not really caring about her.

The same goes for her brother or anyone else, including the dreaded Cenobites - even their cut-prone puzzle box. At the same time, the blood and gore elements also kind of fall flat, not provoking neither disgust or comedic effect. That could be the ultimate explanation of the baseline mediocre nature of the latest Hellraiser movie - it is too smart to be entertainingly dumb and too shallow to be emotionally and/or cognitively engaging. That makes it fit squarely (pun intended) into the middle ground where no movie wants to end up, but many sadly do.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

MFM Interview: Douglas Vermeeren

Movies, Films, and Movies (MFM): The domain of the movie industry is ever-changing, which is why it's often hard to keep track of so many names working in it. How would you describe Douglas Vermeeren to those who never heard of the same name?

Douglas: In short, Douglas Vermeeren is an actor, director and producer. But, I would say that he is best known for his work on several international award winning personal development documentaries.

MFM: You've been in the movie business for many years and that stems from your childhood love of cinema. But, what were the biggest influences that steered you toward the film industry?

Douglas: I developed an interest in film quite young. I loved films like Star Wars, Indy Jones, and Back to the Future. I knew I wanted to be part of that magic. My mom helped me get my first agent when I was a kid and the first show I did was for CBC. I played a newspaper boy. After that, I ended up studying film in college. While there I continued to study acting. But I also realized there were stories I wanted to tell.

MFM: Today, you have one of the most diverse movie careers one could imagine, covering everything from stunt work to writing and directing. However, in what acting role do you predominantly see yourself in the next 10 years?

Douglas: I think every guy wants to be a hero. I like that too. But I also like to play villains. Everybody knows that baddies have more fun. But seriously, I’d like to try a comedy or something romantic. I can be romantic, right?

MFM: Your upcoming project includes the cruise ship industry. Could you tell us a bit more about that?

Douglas: It’s actually pretty cool. I speak on cruise ships several times a year about the personal development projects I’ve done and they asked me for some additional movies that are fun and motivating. My team and I decided to create a set of films for this and they are now sending those films to pretty much all of the ships.

MFM: Your path in the movie industry has been more than unique. With your diverse experience, what would you suggest to young people looking to break into the business today?

Douglas: There will be people who will tell you that you can’t do a thing. Some people will tell you you’re not good enough. They will give you all the reasons in the world why you won’t succeed. Don’t believe them. You will also have haters. Jealousy and hate are signs of an ignorant person. Did you know the most successful people in the world have all been told the same story and have all had haters? So when someone tries to stop you, you can’t take that as evidence that you are about to do something great and it scares other people. That’s why they are critical. Keep going. They don’t know you. They don’t know your heart. They don’t know your abilities. If you were inspired to do a thing there was a reason for it. Trust that. Get to work. Push farther. Stay focused. Thank them for their thoughts. And then go prove them wrong.

MFM: Thank you so much for your time, Douglas!

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

All Eyes - Indie Release that Blends Horror and Comedy

The hybrid genre that dares to mix traditional notions of a horror film with that of a comedy has seen somewhat of a resurgence in recent years. Interestingly enough, the best works from this field came from independent films and more minor releases. Now, it seems that All Eyes fits perfectly into that pattern. Here is how the same movie describes itself:

The movie follows Allen, a disgraced podcaster, as he travels to a secluded farm to interview a peculiar subject: a reclusive farmer who believes a monster roams on his land  What started as a fun piece to put him back into the spotlight quickly unravels as the subject begins to take a new life of its own. Sometimes the danger is not what we expect, and the truth becomes more horrifying than what we imagine.

Right off the bat, the trailer for the film showcases its raw and immediate appeal - that of a mystery of whether the old farmer is insane or not. As the film unravels, the mystery takes on a more and more esoteric proportion, sucking the viewers further in. That is, in my view, precisely what an ambitious horror comedy, in this case with even a pinch of thriller, should possess.

All Eyes was directed by Todd Greenlee and stars Jasper Hammer, Ben Hall, and Danielle Evon Ploeger. It was produced by Homefront Pictures and distributed by Gravitas Ventures. Their first feature Home With a View of the Monster was released in 2020, which was back then an excellent debut. Now, the new release promises even more thrills, especially if you're a horror and mystery movie fan.

The film is currently available to rent on Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, and YouTube. Get it today and enjoy 1 hour and 27 minutes of what could be the next big indie hit of 2022!

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Tales of Atonement: the animated series - Upcoming Web Show coming to YouTube

The potential of modern online technologies for story-driven projects is both immense and hugely underutilized. This means that a lot of effort goes into more or less traditional narrative mediums, like TV shows and feature-length movies, while many other exciting possibilities are overlooked. Tales of Atonement: the animated series is a new venture that tries to do the opposite and uses modern technology, especially one video streaming platform, to offer something new. At the same time, the whole project is based on an existing series of novels, which gives it an additional level of appeal.

This animated web series is soon coming to YouTube and it is based on the novel by the name of Tales of Atonement: To Make a Hero by A.A. Moreland, a duo of authors working together, as well as its subsequent series. The new show is also going to be in the realm of fantasy and science fiction. The story begins in medieval Scotland, where a boy discovers a weapon of apparently magical nature. From here, the story of Tales of Atonement asks a simple but intriguing question: are heroes born, or are they made?

It is clear that the upcoming web series, like the novels on which it is based, is a labor of love, commitment, and dedication. Besides, the fact that the author aims to use modern tech to deliver this tale of a hero's journey through a very modern medium is also more than commendable. Tales of Atonement: the animated series is coming to YouTube this winter, so subscribe to its official channel and be among the first to watch this amazing adventure come to animated life!

Friday, September 23, 2022

Hustle Beach (2022) - Indie Buddy Comedy about Dreams and Friendship

Life can be tough on anyone, but in Hustle Beach, it is particularly tough on four individuals, who are also great friends. Each of them has a range of problems, starting with their careers, families, relationships, and much more. But, as the pressures keep mounting, one of them has a great idea: he wants them all to move to a brand new country and start a big venture from scratch.

The same venture is a new record company, but things look like they won't be a pushover in Mexico either. However, the main character, Derek, is determined to make it big in the beautiful Puerto Lisco.

Directed by Mitchell McDowell, the film is a snappy comedy that uses the familiar buddy format but places it in a completely new place - a foreign country. Here, the same group of friends will enter just as hilarious situations as they did back home. All of this takes place as they strive to turn their lives into something better, which is something anyone in the audience can connect with.

If you're up for some good laughs and beautiful scenery of Mexican beaches, check out Hustle Beach on its Facebook page, IMDb page, but also watch it now on Tubi, where the same film is currently streaming!

Friday, September 16, 2022

Romeo Yusupov - Powerful Short Documentary


The story of Romeo Yusupov is a tale of difficulties and never-ending challenges. It begins in his family's home in Chechnya, before the outbreak of the war in the early 1990s. A Russian missile strike destroys the same home, forcing the family to a journey over Pakistan, where Romeo was born, and then eventually to New Zealand. At a young age, Romeo became a citizen of the country, after his parents sacrificed a lot to provide the family with a new safe place to live. 

Unfortunately, Romeo's personal and professional struggles were only beginning. Those issues covered anorexia, depression, bullying, physical assaults, thoughts of self-harm, and even a full-on kidnapping on a trip to Pakistan. However, in the depth of despair, Romeo decided to turn his life around. Through concerted effort and hard work, he began a modeling career and eventually reached international stardom, as well as becoming the CEO of Weight Loss Mums.

The short documentary explores the incredible life of Romeo Yusupov in a layered approach. That includes actual photos and footage of the man himself, as well as a range of montages and stock elements that showcase the same, often harrowing, personal story. This is followed by a perfectly scored musical track and a powerful narration, showcasing together Romeo's struggles and resilience. The ending in particular brings the whole movie to a strong and poignant closure.

Inspirational and touching, the story of this short documentary dives deep into the personal life of its main character. It takes its viewers on a hard journey that is often difficult to watch, but which still ends up as a work that will connect with countless individuals across the world.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

The Ring - A Touching Indie Short coming to the Shockfest Film Festival

Will true love overcome the ultimate loss? That is the question that the short film called The Ring, produced by Lionel Stive and Armand Lopez, asks the audience and does it in a very gentle, melancholic, and moving manner. The same short film opens with a tragic passing of a young woman, witnessed by a man who is the love of her life. In the time that ensues, the same man tries to get to grips with the same tragic loss, knowing that their wedding ring could bring her back, at least in his mind.

The Ring approaches its somber topic in a very effective and emphatic manner. The audience can feel the environments where the film takes place, no matter if these are sloping meadows and their beautiful, lush nature, or the empty spaces of a home that no longer houses two people, but only one. This, along with a perfectly crafted soundtrack offers an insight into a world of a man who is heartbroken. The same is something you can feel in every frame and every conversation. But, ultimately, The Ring promises a chance for change and for things to get better, which is a very important message.

Thanks to its clear quality and the ability to connect with people, the same short film will appear at the Shockfest Film Festival. Here, the audience will be able to see it and experience the touching story for themselves. It is also more than certain that The Ring will appear at many other festivals as well in the coming months!

Monday, August 29, 2022

Rescue (2022) - Combating the Darkness of Human Trafficking

Rescue is an independent film that took on a big challenge - it tells a story about a series topic but does it through being both a pure martial arts-based action film and a family drama, all at the same time. These genres usually do not easily fit together, but it quickly becomes clear that Rescue is not an ordinary indie film.

The movie opens up with Jake, a regular family man, going about his business. From the neighborhood to the office work, Jake leads an everyday life. His colleagues might not be the most effective workers and his daughter might caution him to avoid drinking too much, but overall, he is quintessential of normal life in the US. The same goes for his daughter Leah (played by Alexa Lohman), a teenager, who is still struggling with the loss of her mom and sister to an accident only a year ago. While Jake might be somewhat better at hiding it, his daughter has a much harder time coming to terms with their family tragedy. But, despite the same loss, both Leah and Jake are trying to go on with their lives.

The cinematography of the film showcases the same overall feel. The bright colors of a clear sky and sunny exteriors present a feeling of settled life, but a world of shadows lies just below the surface. That world emerges when Leah is suddenly kidnapped from a public place without any warning. Here, the film kicks into a whole new gear. While we quickly learn that Jake is a skilled martial artist, the moment his daughter is under threat changes everything. From a regular dad with his personal struggles, Jake turns into a man on a mission - to get his daughter back no matter what. With the help of a tech-savvy friend, he begins his hunt, while the human traffickers who got Leah have no clue what is coming for them.

Rescue manages to pull together a range of elements into a film that works both as an action movie and a family drama. Jason Lohman (who also plays the character of Jake) and Ted Tanaka co-directed the film and did a good job of balancing its two main elements. On top of that, a range of supporting characters also gives the film a lot of traction and flavor, from Jake's co-workers to a wide array of hardened criminals (all of whom come with their defined personalities). Through this interplay of two different genres, the film gradually builds into a powerful finish. There, the film boils down to a dramatic and action-packed finale, but still keeps the sense of ultimately being a movie about a father and a daughter.

By mixing a great cast and two demanding film genres, Rescue manages to turn itself into a powerful independent film about the dangers, toll, and impact of human trafficking. Find out more about the film on its official website as well as its Facebook fan page and see it for yourself!

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Two Paragraph Review: Black Crab (2022)

There's a simple and very unique premise behind the Black Crab script. It goes like this: imagine a war action movie, only on ice skates. That might sound dumb, but somehow, the film's plot manages to find its sea legs (pun intended). It is set in an undefined post-apocalyptic Nordic state, where a group of soldiers has to deliver a powerful weapon behind enemy lines using frozen waters around it.

The Director of the film, Adam Berg, got his first shot at a feature-length movie with Black Crab. He did a commendable job, just like his leading lady, the very talented Noomi Rapace. But, there's something off with the film as well, akin to some form of stable, but still shoddily made hut. The ice skate gimmick grows old eventually. At the same time, there is hardly a way to connect with the characters and the ending ultimately fails to change any of that. That is why the same shoddy hut, like the film, doesn't fold immediately, but overall, ends up being a very forgettable sight.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Rescue (2022) - Gripping Indie Action Drama

The scourge of human trafficking is a growing problem of the modern world. In fact, this horrifying practice is becoming more and more widespread and seemingly ever-present, even in countries like the US. Rescue is an indie action film that aims to tackle the same issue. It manages to do it in a very exciting and entertaining manner, but still showcases a very serious issue at the same time.

The film, directed by Jason Lohman and Ted Tanaka, showcases an ordinary US family, but one that experienced a huge tragedy. Jake recently lost his wife and older daughter to an accident. As he and his younger daughter Leah try to come to grips with this, Leah is kidnapped in broad daylight and from a public park. The intent of her kidnappers is to sell her to a drug cartel and Jake is the only thing that can stop Leah slipping away forever.

As the trailer shows, Rescue mixes real-life gripping emotions with some dynamic action sequences. Jake, played by Jason Lohman, has experience in martial arts and a burning determination to save his daughter. The martial art angle includes fight scenes, which is always impressive to see in an indie film, especially one that can pull these off - Rescue managed to do just that. Another big and interesting twist is the fact that Leah is played by Alexa Lohman, Jason's actual daughter. This gives the film a whole new type of dynamic and it really shows in the final result.

Thanks to this, it is no wonder that the film generated a lot of interest at the film festival circuit. So far it won six awards and one honorable mention, but it is certain that it will not stop there. Instead, new awards are likely incoming for it in the coming months. If you're interested in learning more about the film and the dark but important topic it covers, check out its official website as well as its Facebook fan page right now! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Two Paragraph Review: The Black Phone (2021)

There is a shocking degree of savagery taking place in The Black Phone, which the film's creator treated with the utmost dignity and understanding. No, it's not the violence that a serial killer directs towards his victims, but the violence that teenagers experienced on a daily basis in the 1970s US. It was not heroic or poignant, nor was it sensible and something that helped their coming-of-age process. It was just bloody and senseless, as they fought each other and their parents simply beat them.

Here is where the key center of mass of The Black Phone lies. It is a tale of bullying and suffering but told through a lens of a spectacular serial killer tale. It has ghosts and it has a protagonist that refuses to quit, but it's about a generation that took its beatings in silence and helplessness. It is about the same generation, now in its middle age phase, that will soon run the world and the pains that they undoubtedly still carry inside of them. That makes The Black Phone a rare and very touching piece of cinema, even though it is very hard to watch.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Two Paragraph Review: Spiderhead (2022)


In theory, there are a lot of good things going for Spiderhead. It stars Chris Hemsworth and Miles Teller, talented and entertaining big-budget actors. It also features an interesting tale of a prison where inmates voluntarily take on an experimental treatment that alters their emotional and cognitive responses to things, people, and ideas. All of that should build into an exciting mystery thriller

But, beyond that, the film is actually a long, stand-alone episode of a cheesy sci-fi show. Teller and Hemsworth do little to change that and add slightly more class than any other actor, which would also likely do as good of a job as they have. Honestly, Spiderhead never promised too much, but in the end, it delivered slightly less than that.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Running Scared - Upcoming Indie Found Footage Horror

There's something truly disturbing in the idea of the found-footage horror genre. It presents a scenario where everything that the viewers are seeing is something that actually happened to the protagonists of the same film. In the case of Running Scared, an upcoming horror release, the same factor is very much in play. It also manages to capitalize on the unique environment of an ancient location in an ancient land, which becomes a place of utter terror. Check out its offical trailer right here:

The film was made as a Blue Mist Entertainment production and Alfie McArthur is one of the key individuals behind it. He is a multi-talented professional, having experience both as a professional boxer and now a cinematic creator. That is very much a unique combination.

The same versatility is immediately seen in Running Scared, which features a real place. This is a castle somewhere in Scotland and the trailer quickly shows some unnerving elements, like its vax figures. From here, the protagonists begin a filmed search for a supernatural presence and they have the misfortune of actually finding it as well.

The dynamic cast and the sense of realism both merge for this film and provide what seems to be a very promising indie horror film. It is also going to be a release that no fan of the found footage genre will want to miss. If you're one of them, follow Alfie McArthur on his Instagram account and stay up-to-date with everything related to the Running Scared and its upcoming premiere!

Monday, June 6, 2022

Movie Review: Memory Lane (2022)


Creating an impactful independent film is an incredibly difficult thing to do. More precisely, it demands a very strong alchemic mixture that combines visual storytelling, the ability to get an idea and thematically develop it, but finally, to infuse that with a personal and deeply emotional touch. This is precisely what Ross Holman AKA Arcadia Smith managed to do with a film called Memory Lane. The same independent movie is a work of art that transcends any single genre and even the art of cinematography as a whole. 

The film begins in a very straightforward fashion. It follows its main character who finds an advertisement that promotes the possibility of traveling through time. He takes on that offer and thus begins a strange and impactful journey through the actual life of Ross and his personal history. The same is followed by the actual archive footage going back to the early 90s and the birth of the same writer and director.

At the same time, the film uses a range of hip-hop tracks that Ross Holman created as well, including full music videos. These follow the same general formula of the film, adding a further avant-garde notion that strongly resonates through the whole work. Using this almost magical formula, the movie tells a tale of a boy who lost his father at an early age and began his adulthood through numerous challenges. 
Yet, the will and the drive to create clearly never left him. On a technical side, Memory Lane was made in a solid manner, covering all of the bases diligently. The camera shoots from a steadicam and offers clear and crisp pictures, while the audio remains level and clean, even though the movie uses a range of recordings.

All of this shows that Ross Holman is a very talented individual with an outlook on the world of art that is different and impactful. Memory Lane is the ultimate proof of this, as it provides something unique. Follow Ross Holman on his official website and Instagram, but make sure to check Memory Lane when you get the chance!

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Two Paragraph Review: The Batman (2022)


What a terribly dull movie The Batman turned out to be! On some level, it's practically fascinating how directorial hubris and a total lack of any originality merged together for this huge, but empty and endlessly-lasting film. While initially there was so much focus on Robert Pattinson as Batman, the end result almost has nothing to do with him, neither in a good or a bad way. Instead, he's just there, creeping about, like all other characters in the film apart from one - Selina Kyle (all of the energy in the film goes to Zoë Kravitz playing Selina).

Narratively, the bottom line is that you can't take Se7en and turn it into a movie in the Batman universe by turning the lights off. Furthermore, you can't do it by thinking that the brilliant Se7en is all about a serial killer and dark noir-laced spaces. That is why The Batman takes place throughout the film in very badly lit environments, thinking that it will make it into a dark and brooding, serious movie. But, there's nothing happening in those spaces, apart from time passing (very, very slowly). That is why this approach just made it into a tiresome film that has basically nothing besides Zoë Kravitz.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Two Paragraph Review: The Outfit (2022)

 Like a well-made suit, The Outfit is smooth and looks great the first glance. But, the suit is only as good as the thing that inhabits it below the fabric and all that fine craftsmanship. In the case of this 1950s thriller, that thing inside is without any doubt its main character, Mark Rylance. As a semi-legendary actor even today, Rylance offers a powerful and layered approach in anything he does. This movie is no different.

But, there is a lot more space in that suit. Graham Moore, the movie's director, got his first chance to fill this role and it shows. Too often, the movie is either aimlessly intense or lacking in any meaningful impulse. Also, the incessant need to change gears leads up to a very tiring last third of the film, which even Rylance can't make up for. That is why The Outfit remains a great first attempt, but one that still rings somewhat hollow in the end, remaining more style than substance.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

One More Dream - Ambitious and Profound Coming-Of-Age Drama


Throughout the numerous phases of the cinematic art, the genre that follows the entrance of children into the world of adults is as fascinating today as it ever was. Known as the coming-of-age genre, it often manages to touch many of us, even if we live very far from the actual location where the film's plot takes place. The same things apply to One More Dream, a touching drama written and directed by Ricky Burchell. It also promises to be a film that captures the highs and the lows of the current generation of young adults in the US.

The film follows Jeremy, who struggles with his own fears and doubts, but is also looking for a way to pursue his dreams. However, an humiliating encounter with a bully sets his life into another rocky and difficult path. On the same journey, however, Jeremy gets a chance to grow and learn, not just from his peers (who are also struggling with their issues - including the same bully) but also other people who are older and who came up in very far-away lands.

All of them are tied by that human desire to love and be loved, as well as to evolve and change. For the current generation, that process is a minefield of negative influences and wayward paths. However, One More Dream shows us that the most important thing is not to give up and let go of people, no matter what.

Ricky Burchell managed to create a dynamic and engaging coming-of-age film. It will reach out not just to those who are young and going through all of this, but those who went through their own similar experiences years ago. In both cases, One More Dream will have a lot to offer to its viewers!

Monday, March 14, 2022

Two Paragraph Review: The Night House (2020)

Most successful modern horror movies that do not follow a super-tight genre guideline come with a special kind of elegant simplicity. Early films from James Wan are bursting with it. Now, David Buckner is showing a similar tendency and The Night House showcases it really well. In a straightforward story of Beth, a woman who loses her husband to suicide only to gradually find out that he might not be completely gone, Buckner elegantly tackles all kinds of fears.

Some of them might point to the unnatural, but others are very much grounded in the real world and its woes. Chief among them is loneliness and the sense of isolation, even when with other people. At the same time, The Night House is also very crafty with its mystery part, which works almost outside of any horror environment. Here as well, Buckner is focused on the tactile nature of things like strange architectural notebooks with potential gateways to some other place. The final excellent element of this great horror film is Rebecca Hall, who does Beth masterfully, yet keeps her very much grounded and believable. The same thing applies to the movie as well.

Monday, February 28, 2022

Two Paragraph Review: Parallel Mothers (2021)

Pedro Almodóvar has this uncanny ability to turn mundane into something extraordinary and also to make it appealing in a very ordinary, straightforward way. Parallel Mothers is another example of that mastery in action, as it brings about a story of two mothers with two babies, having their lives intertwined together after spending time in the delivery ward. At the same time, in the past and the brutal Spanish Civil war, lives cut short by falangist death squads also lie intertwined as well, but as skeletons in mass graves.

Through a tale of the present and the past, Almodóvar makes a very heartfelt movie that is very modest and self-contained in its delivery. But, through the characters, especially the two main female leads, that modest tale becomes very impactful not just when it comes to being a mother, but also when it comes to being a decent human being. We expected nothing short of that from the great and magnificent Almodóvar!

Monday, February 14, 2022

Two Paragraph Review: Red Rocket (2021)


It would be easy to label Red Rocket as the spiritual successor of Boogie Nights, but one that takes place in the 2020s. However, this movie is much more than that, as it offers a look into the dark heart of an ordinary guy with some gleaming ambitions and a very empty soul. The story follows the tale of Mikey Saber, a former porn star who comes back to his Texas hometown completely broke and clueless about what to do. There, in the house of his estranged wife and her mom, he is willing to do anything to call himself a success once again.

Sean Baker is a director who is strongly rooted in realism and here as well, he delivers the same, but with such a mesmerizing combination of empathy, comedy, and dark drama that it is hard to look away. The same goes for Simon Rex, who delivers the role of his career so far, blending a goofiness and American street entrepreneurial spirit with a total lack of care for anyone but himself. This combination, along with a super-strong supporting cast of Bree Elrod and Suzanna Son, provides a powerful film that is unimposing and free of judgment. Instead, it is a fantastic testament of a time and a mindset that we will collectively be very much ashamed of in several decades - or at least I hope we will.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Two Paragraph Review: Don't Look Up (2021)

More than a decade ago, ‎Adam McKay did an incredible service to humanity and the future generations to come by making one of the best comedies ever. That is the brilliant Stepbrothers, a movie that celebrates a single idiotic premise in an incredible, hours-long manner. Today, it still stands the test of time and I'm sure that it will make people laugh in the 22nd century as well.

Don't Look Up does not make us laugh now, which is fine, but it does not make us think about things either. We all know that the world, especially the US, is locked in bitter but senseless arguments as the natural world around us burns, often quite literally. The work of the comet disaster movie that McKay created sheds no new light on this problem and offers no solutions either. It is just a mournful lament of the present moment that manages to entice no emotion whatsoever.