‘Giant Little Ones’ Review: A Decent Queer Coming-of-age Drama With Little New Ground to Cover

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Keith Behrman’s Giant Little Ones is a coming-of-age film that tells a story of the fears of coming out of the closet and one that also explores the concept of sexual fluidity. While it’s commendable to see a film that embraces the fact that these concepts are not the binaries that society paints them out to be, Giant Little Ones also seems to feel a little bit lacking everywhere else. That’s not to say Giant Little Ones is bad, because it’s a fairly decent film on the whole but it seems to lack what would otherwise have made it a great film despite having all the ingredients that would have made one. For a film that has all the potential to create something greater or more meaningful for younger people still trying to form a better understanding of the spectrum upon which we find ourselves best feeling a sense of identification, it seems to feel so limited even in its scope – thus it never really sticks its own landing. It’s cute enough to warrant a single viewing, especially among younger viewers who are still coming to terms with understanding core aspects of their own sexual orientation, but it seems to struggle with finding the footing of its own.

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‘Lords of Chaos’ Review: A Black Metal Film for Posers

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The world of Norwegian black metal is already twisted enough as is, not only for the image that the musicians have created for themselves but also because of the notoriety that many of the biggest figures involved have achieved for their lives outside their work. One such band that exemplifies the world of black metal is none other than Mayhem, whose members have went all around from noted arsonists, murderers, and even neo-Nazis – with one among these people being Varg Vikernes of Burzum (who reportedly had despised this film). But looking back at the formation of the band and their noted album De Mysteriis dom Sathanas, there’s already a fascinating story that can be told here given the crazy things that have happened beyond the band’s formation for the creative process will almost seem secondary to what more you would hear about how it remained one of the most influential black metal albums of all time. But Lords of Chaos is not the film that such a story deserved, and for the matter, it doesn’t really have all that much interesting to show even about how fascinating the formation of Mayhem was, you just have a bunch of bad dudes being bad dudes as they show you here.

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Another Side to a Familiar Coin in Werner Herzog and André Singer’s ‘Meeting Gorbachev’: Tribeca Review

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For director Werner Herzog, it’s easy to see how a story like this would be incredibly personal for him. But one can only set their expectations high enough when talking about a film director like Werner Herzog because he has always remained one of the most fascinating people of his own kind, both in general and when discussing his work as a filmmaker. It’s hard enough to point out what makes his style so distinctive but he has also maintained such a distinguishable personality over the years and seeing him take on the role of a documentarian would also prove a treat when you’re being subjected to listening to him speak. When talking with someone like Mikhail Gorbachev, Werner Herzog already seems like the perfect person to discuss how the career of one man whose influence went far beyond the Soviet Union, especially as its final leader. But if anything else makes Meeting Gorbachev feel all the more meaningful, all that one would really need is the sort of message that Herzog would want to share in the current political climate – because there’s a whole lot that we could learn from the way Gorbachev speaks about how his political career has impacted his personal life too.

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‘House of Hummingbird’ and the Importance Within Insignificance: Tribeca Review

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This first feature from South Korea’s Bora Kim has already found a name for itself through various film festivals and I was lucky enough to be able to catch it at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, where it remained my favourite film seen then for the duration of my time then. But the beauty of a film like House of Hummingbird perhaps can be best described as an encapsulation of memories and how small moments can end up changing our lives to a larger scope, which is best reflected by the film’s timely setting. If anything else can best sum up what makes a film like this every bit as gorgeous as it is, there’s always something to be found in its small moments and how they define the course of what’s to come, as they slowly lead up to something of a larger scope, one that would end up shaking far more than the world that one would have already known. Nonetheless I’m still in awe that this film was a first effort behind the camera, and if anything I’m already looking forward to what Bora Kim has in store for the future.

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‘Overlord’ Review: WWII Horror Never Holds Back on the Gore, Fulfilling Its Promise

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It’s not unfamiliar to see WWII revisionism coming ever so frequently but there’s something about Overlord that also carries a distinctive charm that would also grant it a place above most other films of its sort. Director Julius Avery and screenwriters Mark L. Smith and Billy Ray have crafted what shows itself to be Hollywood escapism at some of its finest, especially in its celebration of the heroism that led to the downfall of the Nazi party. But Overlord already knows the sort of film that it’s trying to be, and doesn’t pretend it’s anything far beyond that. That having been said, I can’t help but feel as if there could have easily been so much more done with a concept like this especially given its own setting since it’s not terribly inventive with what it has, though there’s no denying that it has a lot of fun with what’s available to work around. Sometimes I think that’s all that would really be necessary in order to create an overall fun time at the movies, even providing that satisfaction of seeing Nazis getting exactly what they deserve from start to finish – but who wouldn’t want to see that?

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‘Her Smell’ Review: Elisabeth Moss Explodes in This Punk Rock Tragedy

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An extreme assault on one’s own senses, one that takes you in like a great punk rock song. In Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell, you’re only left with this vague title describing something that can mean anything. It could even mean something pleasant because she’s wearing a whole lot of perfume in order to put on some fragrance for the show, but that’s also a part of what makes the whole film so wonderful in the same sense too. The third pairing of Alex Ross Perry and Elisabeth Moss isn’t only the most stressful film that they’ve made together, but it’s also the most chaotic of the sort. It’s chaotic in the sense that it shrouds you in everything that could lead to its own main character’s downfall, but Perry does not simply make his film only about the plight that one suffers in that sense. If there’s anything else that Alex Ross Perry has added to his own body of work with Her Smell, it’s a cementation for Perry’s name being among the most distinctive voices in American independent cinema. For all that said talent would be worth, this is where he finds himself having made his most significant work yet.

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‘Aquaman’ Review: Working with Too Much Within Too Little

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There’s a lot about Aquaman that easily should have placed it above most other films from the DC Extended Universe, but even if that were the case it also shows how much they still have yet to overcome after starting off with a rather rocky note. In bringing the underwater superhero to the big screen, James Wan does the very best that he can in order to try and improve upon the rather rough introduction that we got from him through the halfway-completed Justice League but even the roughest patches of Aquaman still ended up reminding me of what held back Justice League from being as great as it could have been. Yet despite that, it’s also a case where the film’s weirdest moments also churn out some of the more fascinating aspects to come out from the film because it’s hard enough having any clear idea what’s going on, the least of what can be said when you have so much going on underwater with so much dramatic heft. You’re left wondering how much of this really is necessary, and how much actually means anything.

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Transit Review: A Haunted Tale of Survival Between Past and Present

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There’s a specific anxiety that comes by with having to constantly move from one place to another, and in Christian Petzold’s melodrama Transit, all of that seems to be elevated to a tee. But from watching every moment through the eyes of Franz Rogowski’s character, all that you really need to know is that this is a film all about people who are haunted by the ghosts of the past, for they lurk all around a place where awful things have been happening day by day. Yet as one would ever expect from Christian Petzold, there’s a great deal to admire about how he crafts melodrama – it’s never to the point where it feels overtly sentimental or very dry. To say the very least, it’s a film that racks up tension in the same sense that the very best Alfred Hitchcock films would, yet it also has that same tenderness of a Douglas Sirk film, but that only covers the very least of where the film’s best aspects start to shine. But it also plays out like a novel being read, this approach could have gone wrong – yet Petzold uses it to capture something much greater.

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Mamoru Hosoda’s Mirai, and the Understanding of Familial Dynamics: A Review

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It isn’t unfamiliar to see young children grow jealous when their parents shift their attention to a new sibling. I know for a fact that when I was young, and my own younger brother had been born I was always jealous about him having gotten far more attention than myself at the time, but Mamoru Hosoda creates a whole other adventure from something that could have seemed so simple at first in order to create a perfect tale of coming of age, even while incredibly young. Admittedly, Mamoru Hosoda’s sentimentality was never something that had always worked for myself (even holding back films like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars from being truly great in my eyes), yet I’ve always admired the sweetness that he aims for in his work. With Mirai, what comes by is a perfect story for children – especially those who are still learning how to cope with jealousy amidst their families, but there’s a resounding sense of nostalgia that comes by for adult viewers which would allow its impact to stretch much further. As is, I had already found the film to be admirable enough even if I still found it slightly lacking in that same way I have always thought of Hosoda to be.

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Capernaum Review: An Imperfect, if Unflinching Look at a World of Chaos

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Nadine Labaki takes you on a trip to see the very worst that living through poverty in Lebanon would be like from a first hand experience with Capernaum. But one thing that caught me about Nadine Labaki’s approach to this subject matter was the fact that she never looks down upon her own subjects, she observes everything here with an incredibly careful eye. To say that it would be the best way to approach such difficult subject matter is one thing, but there’s a sense of honesty coming forth from how Nadine Labaki reflects her own background as an artist here. You recognize the world in Capernaum as being one that has influenced how Labaki has continually grown as an artist, most importantly as one that has influenced the stories that she chooses to tell. As she tells a story of a young boy trying to find a better living for himself in an area that only ever seems to have itself surrounded by nothing other than the absolute worst, there’s a great deal to admire about the rawness that Labaki deals with in the climate.

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