The Magician’s Elephant (2023)

Layers Any children’s movie runs the risk of easily being reducible to a ‘message’, often mistakenly called a moral. I’ve already read a few reviews of this that mention the film’s message, and how wonderfully it is presented. I suppose if that is how you watch movies, this will deliver. It is heartwarming, and it… Continue reading The Magician’s Elephant (2023)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023)

Inside the Lines In most respects, this is a conventional film. It has a lot of story, more than one dynamic development, and character portrayals way beyond the normal. Its conventionalism is also reflected in the father dynamic, pervasive these days, the social message of antiracism, and the standard final monster battle. A few jokes.… Continue reading Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023)

Oppenheimer (2023)

Fours First let me remark on the film itself. Visually, Nolan continues his ‘dogma of performance’ where every decision is slanted toward reality except — predictably — the sex scenes. Structurally, he has mapped his philosophy of folded narrative onto basically four events with nested histories, both as traditional viewer-oriented (narrative-expository) flashbacks, and those carried… Continue reading Oppenheimer (2023)

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)

Chapter and Verse Lest I sound overly critical below, let me say up front that this is an important film if only because it extends the vocabulary. I’m excited by it and what we may expect. However, I recently commented on ‘Fast X’ and noted that these sorts of films have three relatively independent components:… Continue reading Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)

Fast X (2023)

Neonoir Reversed There are three components to these kinds of products. Action scenes of some kind, a cosmology, and a story to weave them together. Characters and drama are irrelevant. For me, sometimes the cosmology was enough, like the middle ‘Wick’ projects. Sometimes it blows me away, but more often these days I end up… Continue reading Fast X (2023)

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)

Little Men The story is frippery. The tone light, but not as light as advertised. Action and effects are as expected and no more. What was remarkable to this viewer were a few of the character backstories. Our hero’s story was ordinary. A petty theft got his wife killed. He tries to get a resurrection… Continue reading Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)