post

Out in Theaters: ‘READY PLAYER ONE’ 

Ernest Cline’s 2011 dystopian YA novel ‘Ready Player One’ struck a nerve with self-described fanboys, sending readers into a tizzy of nostalgia-fueled nerdgasms. Many gyrated over the book’s overindulgent references to 80s pop culture, from coin-op arcade games to deeply engrained new wave synthpop cuts to the nerdcore iconography of John Hughes films. I personally found the book dull, monotonous and underwritten; reference-laden light reading that worked more as a pop culture checklist than an actual story. Worse yet, Cline’s book functioned as an unchecked celebration of deep-dive fandom in a time where fandom has become hostile, exclusionary and often vile.  Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘DUNKIRK’

A visceral sensation from start to finish, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk delivers the experience that 3D has promised to for so many years. Immensely immersive, Dunkirk envelopes you in its perfectly orchestrated chaos from the very first moments, surrounding you with the sights and sounds of war-torn Dunkirk as soldiers scurry for safety, hugging you in a sickly embrace of unease while Hans Zimmers’ sublimely nerve-inducing score tears at your composure. Hypnotic in its ability to put you on edge and suck you headfirst into the screen, Nolan’s sure-to-be Oscar juggernaut forces you to scour every inch of the screen for danger and refuses to relent for but a moment. A layered triptych that integrates three disparate narratives, all working on their own timelines, Dunkirk is nothing short of a verifiable masterstroke of cinematic construction and the lauded director’s most artistic and impassioned vision yet.  Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘THE BFG’

Our eyelids flow in the same direction as the Frobscottle bubbles in Steven Spielberg’s paperweight adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved The BFG : down. All the chartreuse-tinted whizpopping, electric neon dream-wrangling and slime-smelling snozzcumber buffets in the land can’t ameliorate The BFG’s nominal narrative offerings. Though Spielberg admirably ditches the chaotic whirligig of headache-inducing parade of non-stop action that defines much modernized children fare for something less expository and more steeped in otherworldly awe, his knack for forging wonder has receded like the gums of a past her prime monarch leaving us with a rather unremarkable, but ceaselessly shiny, icon of 21st century nostalgia pop art. Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘BRIDGE OF SPIES’

Now this is confident filmmaking. But what else would you expect from the accomplished pairing of artful overlord Steven Spielberg and American everyman maestro Tom Hanks? Bridge of Spies is in its very essence a showcase of Spielberg’s directorial prowess; it neatly highlights the auteur’s ability to shape the mundane into the magical, of his expert craftsmanship behind the camera, of his articulate (if not subtle) storytelling capabilities. It is at its very core a reminder of why Spielberg has become a harbinger of prestige pictures and why Hanks will never be replaced. It is, without a doubt, an excellent film. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re looking at our first assured best picture nomination lock. Read More