‘The Dead Don’t Die’ Review: Jarmusch’s Zombie Comedy is Dead on Arrival

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Jim Jarmusch is one among the most unique American filmmakers working today, for his deadpan sense of humour and otherwise outwardly visual style makes him stand out from many others. But even being too involved with that sense of being so distinctive can take a director like Jim Jarmusch somewhere, and in the case with The Dead Don’t Die it seems to have gotten the better of him. If anything, this almost feels like an actively lazy effort from Jarmusch which isn’t something that I would have expected from him, and even as a longtime fan of the filmmaker I was hoping that even for as messy as the results would have been, The Dead Don’t Die would at least be something I can find enjoyment from. And the joys are definitely present within the film after all, but there’s a point to which you also find yourself getting quite weary because Jarmusch isn’t really doing terribly much here that wouldn’t already feel as if it came out from a feature-length effort of an overeager student filmmaker. Which I suppose is the point, but it didn’t work at all for me.

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2018: Another Year of Cinema Come and Gone

This year was a real game changer for a person like myself. To kick things off, it was the first year in which I was able to attend TIFF as a press member rather than as any other audience member. It was a defining moment for myself, though I don’t want to brag a little too much about what happened there. It was just a good year for cinema in general. That’s all I can really say, and I want to bring more attention to the many films that I absolutely loved this year – and so many of them came around this year and so forth. We’re already nearing the end of a decade, and through the good and the bad, the cinema has always been able to provide nothing but the greatest pleasures through and through. Although as we look through the films that have come to define 2018 as a whole, there were many surprises that came along the way just as there were disappointments – all of which came in between the very best and the worst in cinema through the year. So without further ado, let us begin. Continue reading →

Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria is a Beautifully Indulgent Nightmare: Review

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Dario Argento’s Suspiria is one of the greatest horror films ever made, so the idea of a remake being directed by Luca Guadagnino was something that already seemed tempting just on the basis of him being one of Italy’s most exciting working filmmakers. But what Luca Guadagnino had in mind for Suspiria was never going to be the same one you would already have remembered that someone like Dario Argento would have had everyone remembering over the years, so the idea of a new experiment that would pay tribute to the original film rather than outright remake it was something that could easily have gone either way. Luca Guadagnino has always remained one of the most interesting filmmakers of his own sort and as polarizing as the results may be, I can’t help but find that what Guadagnino created using the story of Argento’s film as a template for this new experiment would also be beautiful in its own way. It’s no ordinary horror film, one that isn’t guaranteed to win over new fans from anyone who is unfamiliar with the source material, but also not the other way around – yet Guadagnino comfortably makes it feel like it’s his own thing and to say the very least, it’s outstanding.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel – Review

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It’s easy enough to recognize the distinctive aesthetic of a Wes Anderson film but where it finds itself at its most delightfully tangible, without a doubt, is in The Grand Budapest Hotel. But even by Wes Anderson’s own standards, the elaborate structure of such a work is nearly impossible to match, for this feels like the sort of film that only Wes Anderson could have made. The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most Wes Anderson film that Wes Anderson has ever made, because it’s where each and every one of his most distinctive skills find themselves at their most free. If that alone weren’t enough to amount to what could easily become one of Wes Anderson’s best films, I don’t know what else can – because this may very well be the most Wes Anderson film ever to Wes Anderson.

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Isle of Dogs – Review

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Wes Anderson’s second animated feature film Isle of Dogs (which can be said out loud as “I love dogs”) is delightful in every sense of the word. For as easy as it is to admire the consistency of a filmmaker like Wes Anderson whether it be via his trademark visual style or his distinctively quirky sense of humour, his style will understandably not be for everyone’s tastes. Speaking only for myself, I’ve been a rather dedicated apologist for Wes Anderson’s work for I’ve yet to find myself actively disliking a film under his own name – because the way Wes Anderson allows his own trademarks to adapt so well under different forms of storytelling only goes to show more proof as to why he is truly among the most unique filmmakers of his own generation, for he is truly in a league of his own.

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Okja – Review

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Netflix’s feature films have never been particularly great ones at that but the idea that Bong Joon-ho was directing one to be distributed under their name only left me feeling optimistic. Bong Joon-ho only left behind a sign of promise when he transitioned towards directing English-language films with Snowpiercer and with his second Korean-American production, what has come by goes beyond just being exciting. It only wears that on the outside, but then comes by something far more thoughtful almost akin to the early work of Steven Spielberg, drawing upon something far more impactful. And as far as Netflix-distributed original features have gone, Okja is not only the most exciting one of the bunch but it also might very well be the best one by far. And by the standards of their original features, it says a lot for what Bong Joon-ho provided in Okja is a fantastic film as expected of him.

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Moonrise Kingdom – Review

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As far as critical success is concerned, Moonrise Kingdom is Wes Anderson’s most popular and for fans of the director it would be easy to see why this has stood atop all the rest. Although Rushmore still remains my favourite of his own work, Moonrise Kingdom showcases his own talents in arguably the most accessible manners for audiences of all sorts, but nevertheless it seems as if this is where he has only found the quirkiness that defined his own films working at its very best. Perhaps I’ve already come to the point that I’ve watched so much of his films enough to consider myself an apologist, but they’ve always worked with the same charms as he tells stories of all sorts. In just how it captures the joys and quirks of being a child, Wes Anderson has struck gold once again with Moonrise Kingdom by telling a whole other story on the inside here.

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Doctor Strange – Review

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With every new character introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe I would only be willing to approach the concept with caution given my general feelings towards their output primarily because I feel it’s difficult enough trying to tell the stories apart from one another besides the fact that another iconic character is in the leading role. The case with Doctor Strange could easily have been something different now that we have Scott Derrickson behind the camera but once again the case becomes clear: a director’s talent being wasted behind a product that will garner attention from those who have followed along with the MCU over the years. I’ve found myself fatigued at their lack of willingness to stand apart from one another, but I still watch them anyway only to see if a different experiment comes into play and I’ve always walked out empty.

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