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  • The New Mutants

    The New Mutants


    And with that, Fox’s X-Men series goes out with a sorry whimper. This just feels like I’m watching Glass all over again. To be fair, though, this is only marginally better than Shyamalan’s movie. Anya Taylor-Joy’s role is more watchable here, if only for her cool abilities and interesting backstory. She is the sole mutant who strikes me as prime X-Men material. The others in the cast, however, are just about the most ho-hum bunch of characters I’ve seen in a comic book flick, like cardboard cut-outs from a second-rate supernatural Netflix series complete with some thinly veiled woke agenda.

  • Backdraft



    This Universal Studios blockbuster from the 1990s comprises two genres: one, a soap opera centering on a Chicago fire department; and two, a detective thriller about an arsonist hell bent on revenge. I’m afraid only the latter of these is worth mentioning. Ron Howard, in characteristic fashion, is in full middlebrow mode when it comes to the drama. Hollywood schmaltz abounds, so be wary. The film picks up only when it shifts its focus to William Baldwin and his detective…

Popular reviews

  • Upstream Color

    Upstream Color


    Shane Carruth’s alluring Upstream Color is Invasion of the Body Snatchers for the art house crowd, with hogs replacing pods and identity crisis substituting for McCarthyism. That may be an awfully crude comparison but it’s the overall gist I got as I watched this beguiling, beautiful film. One thing’s for sure, the plot’s mind-control science fiction aspect plays only second fiddle to the transcendent yet universal overarching theme of emotional resonance in people in the vein of Henry David Thoreau’s…

  • Alps



    There is an unassuming moment in Alps, the latest offbeat puzzler by absurdist Greek director Giorgos Lanthimos, when the plot’s obscurity reaches its zenith, delineating that the story has taken a sudden dark, awkwardly humorous turn into surreal, Luis Buñuelian territory. A somber hospital nurse, played exceptionally well by Lanthimos’ muse Aggeliki Papoulia, brings bad tidings to a couple, reporting that their sixteen year old daughter has succumbed to her fatal car crash injuries and passed away. The couple sits…