Nocturnal Animals (2016)

A brilliant, genre-bending exploration of storytelling, revenge, heartbreak, transitions of power, and the nature of art, backed by a set of incredible performances, and some very lavish and stylish direction. Amy Adams does strong work with what she’s given, but it’s Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon that really shine in the film, delivering two very…

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015)

“Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” is the final entry in Hideo Kojima’s “Metal Gear” series. Oh, one could argue with that statement, citing “Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots” as the “true” ending, since it was the latest game chronologically and was clearly conceived as the ending of the series (”Metal…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

I did not particularly like any of David Yates’ “Harry Potter” films. I have not particularly liked J. K. Rowling’s recent work. I was thus utterly surprised when I saw “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, and found it an utter delight. It’s one of those rare prequels that doesn’t lean heavily on franchise…

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)

After the surprising highs of the first “Deathly Hallows” film, come the surprising lows of the second. The film is an utter mess, somehow perfectly preserving the flaws of the final novel, while letting all its strengths slip through its fingers. The point of the films proper climax is completely and utterly thrown away, not…

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Well, it’s markedly better than the last entry, but still a far cry from the highs of the third and fourth film. Visually, it’s not quite as dull and flat as the preceding film, presumably thanks to cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel.It has some of that glossy feel and lighting that one of his other films, the…