2021 New Years Resolution: Forget 2020 Ever Happened and Slap the S**t Out of Anyone Who Reminds Me.
In typical assassin film fare, Martin Campbell's The Protégé largely falls short of the mark due to its thinly-written and oddly-paced storyline. Built primarily on the action-packed sexual tension between Maggie Q and Michael Keaton, the film manages to simultaneously entertain in generic fashion while also being a glimmer of what could have been.
10 Rillington Place centers on the story of Timothy Evans, a man who unwittingly becomes implicated in the murder of his wife by John Christie, a cordial but murderous landlord. Based on an infamous true story, actor/director Richard Attenborough's portrayal of Christie defies the sensationalist Hannibal Lecter-esque approach in favor of a subtle, soft-spoken and superficially-pleasant veneer that hides his cunning, despicable and depraved behavior. The film commendably avoids the abortion politicking and the indulgence in violent grotesquery that modern filmmaking cannot resist. In doing so, 10 Rillington Place hits at more disquieting, uneasy considerations of human condition.
Culled from a dismal sequel to a series of ambitious misfires, Zack Snyder's Justice League demonstrates the unique power of over-hyped spin. From the inception of the "release the Snyder cut" campaign, the Snyder cut has been uniquely promoted as an inevitable classic that would improve upon Joss Whedon's version (as if improving upon the original Justice League would be some kind of feat). Never mind the ambitious failures of Snyder's in-tact vision for Man of Steel and Batman v.…
Chloé Zhao's third feature Nomadland is a slow-burning drama about a widowed nomad traveling the American West in the wake of the 2007 financial crisis that decimated her small town. Culled from the 2017 book of the same name, Zhao's adaptation is a somber affair built entirely on the reflections of a forgotten underclass piecing together what remains of their arduous lives. This elegy to loss is slightly effecting in its exploration of working class peril, but remains an aimless…