Fred Durst’s commentary on the audience/entertainer relationship goes about exactly how you think it will.

Movies seem to be constantly caught in the tension between their ability to exist as both art and entertainment. Hell, it’s not even that uncommon to encounter those who would insist that the two are mutually exclusive, although this is a sentiment usually deployed from a more defensive position, utilized alongside a denial that movies need to even be “about anything” to begin with, can’t we just turn our brains off and enjoy something for once, geez. And in a way, this isn’t incorrect. …


Noah Hawley’s directorial debut is an engaging watch that ultimately fails to deliver on its promises.

There’s a cognitive shift that impacts some astronauts who have been to outer space, the ability to see our planet from such a removed perspective granting them a sort of cosmically-imbued insight into the fragility of our collective being and the pettiness of that which motivates us to fuss and fight the way we so frequently do. It sounds, when it’s described by those who have known it, like a truly enlightening experience — one that could have untold ripples, radiating outwards and deep into their lives. …


Joaquin Phoenix turns in a fine performance in a well-made film with an ugly, irresponsible message.

Joker is the kind of film that can easily put one at a loss for a place to even start talking about it. Do we first discuss its at-times strikingly artful composition? The undeniably affecting performance, or the (mostly) genuinely engaging story over which these trimmings are draped? Or do we ignore those aspects of the film in favor of talking mostly about what an ugly, irresponsible, and gutlessly petulant message it has, all that art and color and weight loss and subtext funneled into the service of something truly vile and repugnant?

It’s a strange feeling, to be so…


The recently revived Wall-Crawler wrestles with responsibility in another engaging, yet empty entry in the MCU canon.

It’s tough to envy the folks responsible for writing the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On the one hand, there’s an easy case to be made for how fun it must be to play in that particular IP sandbox — it can’t be anything other than a total blast to mess around with power sets, chart courses for future storylines, and work within such a deeply-established lore. …


“I’m simply saying that life, uh…finds a way.”

In the days or weeks that follow a viewing of Claire Denis’ incredible High Life, it’s weirdly easy to get that iconic Jurassic Park quote stuck in your head. More specifically applicable to this sci-fi tone poem, though, is the little speech that precedes it. It’s certainly less memorable than that classic Ian Malcolm capper, but it offers an interesting take on the philosophy that surprisingly grounds both films:

…the kind of control you’re attempting, it’s not possible. If there’s one thing that the history of evolution has taught us, it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free…


Parabellum marks an unfortunate lapse in quality for the high-minded action franchise.

For all its talk of rules and consequences, the John Wick franchise has developed a frustratingly stubborn refusal to follow any of the ones it’s set for itself. Specifically in terms of quality: While the opening entry was an efficient little revenge thriller that transcended expectations simply by giving us action cleaner than we knew we wanted it, Chapter 2 stops just shy of being an out-and-out action masterpiece. …


“…There is the heat of love, the pulsing rush of longing, the lovers whisper, irresistible — magic to make the sanest woman go mad.”

Homer really nailed it, didn’t he? Sophia Coppola’s gorgeously-shot Southern Gothic is an exercise in repression, a study of that most human magic and the havoc it can wreak when it’s introduced into the wrong kind of atmosphere. The Beguiled is a lot of things — it’s beautiful above all else. It’s fantastically acted, languidly paced, and framed with a meticulousness that can only be described as painterly. It’s a series of chemical reactions that unfold with escalating consequences, but it ultimately fails to live up to the promise of its masterful direction.

Coppola’s skills directorial are on display in…


“It’s strange, what desire will make foolish people do.”

Ever think you have the game just mastered? You’ve played your hand perfectly, studied your opponent, predicted each and every one of their possible moves, planned your own accordingly…until you’re washed over with the slow-churned realization that the game you’re playing has actually changed from the one you sat down to, becoming something vastly different while you weren’t quite paying attention.

Yeah, that’s pretty much where The Favourite lives.

Yorgos Lanthimos pulls a nifty pivot from the “Wes Anderson, but everyone’s been hypnotized” vibe of his previous work, and instead brings to the table a game of cat-and-mouse whose surface-level…


How Rian Johnson’s film explores the importance of getting it wrong.

Ever since the prequels wound up being at least a little bit inept, large swatches of Star Wars fandom have delighted in acting like they know more about the franchise than the people actually writing the stories within it. George Lucas might have thought that it was a cool idea to start his trilogy about the emotional downfall of one of the most iconic representations of evil and villainy in all of storytelling with a film centered around a complicated trade dispute, but the guy isn’t a complete idiot. He was fully aware that he was telling the story of…


Stevey Speegs serves up a deep-fried pop culture candy bar, and not much else.

Considering its source material, it’s probably pretty impressive that Ready Player One only devolves outright into characters listing off beloved retro-culture ephemera two or three times throughout the movie’s generous runtime. In fact, for the most part, Spielberg’s latest remains outright charming, despite the readiness with which it falls apart as soon as you start to think back on it after leaving the theater. …

Sean Boulger

Writer, cat-haver, internet-liker. Let’s talk about movies and TV shows and music and stories please.

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