Showing posts from 2024

The Holdovers (2023)

Sometimes I'll say a movie doesn't have much of a plot, or that it's not driven by its story. In most cases, I'm lying: the movie has a plot, it's just that said plot is driven primarily by subtle character interactions and developments that are both difficult to remember and even more difficult to recap. In other words, I'm really saying the movie's plot isn't defined by external story beats but internal growth. The Holdovers is one such film. I'm spelling that all out, because I don't want to give the impression that very little occurs in the course of the movie, or that there's anything less than fantastic about the writing. This is an amazing movie, and it deserves the accolades it's received. But it's also a subtle movie, which means it's a pain in the ass to actually describe the plot, so don't expect more than a vague overview this time. The premise centers around two or three characters, depending on which side of the

Things to Come (1936)

Let's acknowledge up front that this isn't something I'd call a Christmas movie, though it comes significantly closer than I'd have expected. Things to Come is a 1936 British science-fiction film directed by William Cameron Menzies and scripted by... hold on... got to check my notes here... some guy named H. G. Wells. Anyone heard of him? Things to Come doesn't have a typical narrative. While the movie sort of has a lead actor, his characters (he plays a couple) are really just standing in for an ideology. The real main character is the fictional city of "Everytown" (subtle!) which evolves and changes over the course of a century. The movie is less interested in its human characters than it is in speculating on the arcs of history. This is quite literally Wells's vision of a possible future, augmented with absolutely astonishing sets and visual effects that often left me scrambling to figure out how shots were achieved. That qualifies as a recommendati

The Dead (1987) [Revisited]

I've been meaning to re-watch this for a while. I originally wrote about this back in 2016, and while I'll link to that post , it's not one I'm proud of. Having a "review" up for a critically acclaimed adaptation of a James Joyce story where my take is basically just me whining that I found the movie boring hasn't sat well with me as my appreciation for different kinds of films has expanded. I suspected - correctly, I might add - I'd react differently if I gave the movie another chance. That said, I agree with at least part of my original sentiment - this one really isn't for everyone. It requires a great deal of attention to follow the large number of characters and their relationships. Multiple viewings are probably the best approach if you're unfamiliar with the source material - at an hour and twenty minutes, that's not too heavy a lift (I watched this twice yesterday, for anyone curious). Even then, the movie and its underlying plot (w