All tagged drama

It Comes at Night Review (Film, 2017) #31DaysofHorror

For his second feature length film, writer/director/editor Trey Edward Shults shifts genres but sticks with the same subject matter as his breakout critical hit Krisha. It Comes at Night sees different people with different perspectives on a past trauma forced to come together in the same house and coexist despite their differences. Where the family in Krisha gets to leave after the party, the families in It Comes at Night have nowhere else to go.

The Happytime Murders Review (Film, 2018)

A pretty common flaw in edgy adult humor films is equating shock value--unexpectedly sexual moments, gore, drug abuse, violence, etc.--with mature humor. These gross out moments do not automatically something funny or edgy. They often just distract from the rest of the film.

The Happytime Murders, conceptually, derives most of its humor from this kind of situation. The comedy is look at puppets do drugs, solicit sex, or get brutally murdered. There's not much depth beyond that in the humor. It's the major flaw of the film and, frankly, enough to not recommend watching the film.

Dead Ringers Review (Film, 1988)

David Cronenberg somehow finds a way to turn any film into a body horror film. It doesn't matter what the actual plot is, or the genre, or the overall tone of the film. At some point, there will be a shift to incredibly visceral horror, if only for a moment, to comment on the characters' relationships with themselves, their bodies, and their sense of humanity.

Dead Ringers is not really a horror film. It's a dark psychological drama that descends into utter chaos in its final few moments. Even that's not a particularly fair assessment. The chaos is always there--the characters just hold it together for a really long time. 

Beatriz at Dinner Review (Film, 2017)

Beatriz, an alternative therapist specializing in all kinds of healing, winds up spending the night at her client's mansion for a dinner party. She is a Mexican immigrant and environmentalist, surrounded for the night by a group of cutthroat white business people. The night is to celebrate a controversial business deal years in the making, but Beatriz will not go through the night silent. 

Beatriz at Dinner is a quiet film from director Miguel Arteta and screenwriter Mike White. I could imagine it working very well as a stageplay, which for me is a compliment. Film is a visual medium and it's rare to come across a screenplay with dialogue and narrative structure so sound it could be lifted and placed (with minor alterations to minimize set changes) right on a stage, where imagination has to fill in the gaps. The dialogue feels quite natural even when White is serving friction and Arteta is setting up Beatriz for a hard spike into the beliefs of the other dinner guests.

Tully Review (Film, 2018)

I'm not afraid to take a strong stance on the issues that really matter in the world. I do not shy away from controversy. I have expressed my feelings on this subject before and I am not afraid to reiterate it. 

Diablo Cody is arguably the best working screenwriter of our time and one of the all time greats.

Forget about the affected too cool for life hipster dialogue of Juno. True, I went to school with many people who spoke like that in NYC shortly before the film's release, so it was a clear authentic voice of young people for me, but it's not the genius of the film. Cody does dramatic structure better than anyone else working in film right now.