Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures
There are three cinematic masters in today’s reigning generation of directors, who each rarely ever fail to produce masterpiece after masterpiece. Along with Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson is one of those elite few who seem to just churn out brilliance without having to even try.
When the idiosyncratic director of Rushmore tackled stop-motion animation with 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, he found his truest calling. In the wake of his Oscar-nominated Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson has now returned to the same arena of animation and it’s a masterpiece even when stacked against his best.
Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
The fact that every Marvel Studios movie going back to 2008’s Iron Man are all connected in one large narrative has always helped distract from the fact so many of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe follow the same pattern.
Doctor Strange, the latest movie in the unstoppable force of a franchise, is just Iron Man in a different goatee, just Thor in a different cape. That being said, like Pixar before it, Marvel is the current possessor of the alchemical formula for movies, delivering strong movies every single time, and Doctor Strange is no exception.
Photo: Universal Pictures
The Coen Brothers are an odd breed. They’re brilliant filmmakers, as their combined 28 Oscar nominations stand as testament to. But like Quentin Tarantino and the Wachowskis, they can be their own worst enemies sometimes.
So long as they treat the script and characters as the most important pieces of the picture, they invariably spin gold. (See: Blood Simple, Fargo, The Big Lebowski.) Whenever their visual eye and compulsion for cinematic homage take precedence, though, their movies end up misfires at best and forgettable at worst. (See: The Hudsucker Proxy, The Man Who Wasn’t There, The Ladykillers.)
Hail, Caesar!, the brothers’ first mainstream movie since 2010’s True Grit and their first “goofy” comedy since 2008’s Burn After Reading, has all the pieces to have been one of their greats. Unfortunately, they’re lost in a sea of half-sketched scenarios and overlong set pieces. Continue reading
Photo: The Weinstein Company
The first thing that stands out in Bong Jong-Ho’s American debut Snowpiercer is the lack of colour. That may come across as an oxymoron as not having colour isn’t a trait usually meant to be noticed, but the colour sets the tone of the film, and the characters that inhabit this piece of work are a larger representation of what this standout film means.
Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Wes Anderson is the most visually distinctive film director since Stanley Kubrick. Other than his first film, the six that followed — Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise Kingdom — all looked similarly idiosyncratic to the point of being immediately identifiable, even just by a still frame, as “Andersonian.” His eighth feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is at once a typical Wes Anderson movie and also something much more.