Avengers: Endgame (2019)

One part “The Leftovers”, one part clip-show, one part “Avengers: Infinity War” all over again, “Avengers: Endgame” is an odd film. Perhaps that’s accomplishment enough for the twenty-second film in this unstoppable series. A brief prelude serves as a fascinating follow-up to its direct predecessor, then followed by nearly an hour flatly aping “The Leftovers”…

The Wife (2018)

Glenn Close brings a story thinner and trashier than it appears to life, really imbuing it with weight and a sense of emotional reality it perhaps doesn’t really earn on its own merits. Jonathan Pryce fits his role well, but the one-note act gets old. The film feels stretched, like it could justify maybe fifty…

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Another tech demo for Disney’s deageing software, predictably more impressive than the previous efforts. There’s some good ideas at play here – the occasional visual inventiveness tied to the shrinking/growth concept, a smaller-scale adventure with no world-ending stakes, a remarkably positive depiction of a girl’s family comprised of both a supportive stepfather and biological parents,…

Hellboy (2019)

Guillermo del Toro’s two Hellboy films were passion projects with a very clear and consistent vision. del Toro’s dark fairytale style matched very cohesively with the characters and stories he brought to life, and what resulted were modern fantasy films with a very striking and cohesive aesthetic, sustained and unique tone, and cast that gelled…

Hereditary (2018)

The first third, maybe even half, of this film is a very well-executed unsettling family drama. Toni Collette leads with a very Shelly-Duvall-in-The-Shining (or even Essie Davis in The Babadook) style performance, really grounding the (natural) horrors of the film. An excellent portrayal of grief. The visceral horror of the film was well done, apart…

Shazam! (2019)

Where so much of the superhero genre of films feels loaded with bathos in how films will undercut their own stakes and concepts with irreverent humour poking at the essential silliness and vapidity of their own construction, “Shazam!” feels more like the superhero films nearly two decades its junior; the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films. Those…

Pet Sematary (2019)

A gloomy tragedy that foregrounds the hamartia of its protagonists then sets about methodically pulling down its characters into the appropriate misery and madness. Initially only the leading wife explicitly rejects death, the husband a scientifically-minded doctor that finds the concept perfectly peaceable, but as their move to a wishfully calmer backwoods town doesn’t result…