The Implicit Irony of The New CANDYMAN

MGM

If there’s one word that neatly summarizes the new Nia DaCosta-directed addition to the Candyman series, it is the word ‘gentrification’. But there is a subtle hint of irony baked into this assessment, which I am not entirely sure the filmmakers were completely aware of.

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SPIRIT UNTAMED Is a Tool to Find Intelligent Critics

Dreamworks

The more I think about it, films specifically aimed at children can be useful tools sometimes, but not in any way related to the idea of providing the youngest audiences with entertainment. Movies like Spirit Untamed are a great litmus test to find out which film critics are worth reading and engaging with, and which ones clearly have no idea what they’re doing.  

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Does It Matter If STILLWATER Is Loosely Based on Amanda Knox Story?

Focus Features

No. It doesn’t. Now you can move on with your life.

Seriously though, apart from the curious case of Matt Damon not being able to refrain from speaking (yet again), the release of Tom McCarthy’s Stillwater (find my review here) was accompanied by quite a controversy. After Vanity Fair published a piece in which McCarthy admitted that the story was loosely inspired by the case of Amanda Knox, who was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for a murder of a fellow student when she was studying in Italy, the entirety of the discourse surrounding the film – such as it was – coalesced around this affair.

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Can OLD Be Weaponized by Vaccine Refuseniks?

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for M. Night Shyamalan’s Old

It took me longer than I would like to admit to come up with a title to this text that wouldn’t immediately ruin the film for anyone who has not seen Old yet. And although I think did a good enough job in remaining slightly vague while still making sure the title corresponds to what I wanted to touch on, something tells me (based on the dwindling conversation surrounding the film and the negative word-of-mouth extinguishing the film’s presence in the zeitgeist) that there aren’t many people left in the world who would care that much anyway.

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The Shyamalan Cameo and Authorial Control

Film directors have inserted themselves into their work ever since they figured out that somebody else was able to keep the camera rolling. In fact, quite a few have become known for doing so (you can find a more or less comprehensive Wikipedia list here). While most of these instances of director cameos are barely noticeable and can be easily filed as interesting curiosities to bring up during a podcast recording, some filmmakers have become well-known for sliding themselves into the frame. Naturally, the go-to example is Alfred Hitchcock who did this in the vast majority of his features (again, a comprehensive Wikipedia list is a great resource), but even the most vaguely informed movie-goer would be able to name Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner or Martin Scorsese as filmmakers known to have appeared in front of the camera in their own movies for a brief moment in time.

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Would Travis Bickle vote for Trump?

Yes, probably. Or at least he would think it’s a good idea before seeing through his lies and deciding he must be assassinated instead. Similarly, Travis Bickle would likely think it’s a good idea to storm The Capitol and vandalize America’s epicentre of parliamentary democracy. Though, I don’t think he’d actually show up on the day, because a chaotic revolution is not his scene.  

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A Rainy Day in New York (2019), or Why Woody Allen Must Be Stopped

To be completely honest, I wasn’t going to review this film formally. Not because I fear the backlash of the court of public opinion, but because I don’t think I have anything meaningful to say about this film in the first place. However, this may be a good enough reason to reflect upon the trajectory Woody Allen has been on for the better part of the last two decades.  

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Is Bill Murray the Humphrey Bogart of our time?

Having recently watched Sofia Coppola’s latest directorial effort On The Rocks (you can read my full review here) I had the opportunity to scrutinize the slowly crystallizing critical consensus surrounding the movie. One of the more popular observations made by Twitter users and reviewers alike pertains to Bill Murray’s acting. Granted, this isn’t the first time. In fact, almost every film Murray is in is bound to attract this kind of criticism, which mostly boils down to noting the fact he always – without fail – plays the same character. Himself.  

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Ammonite’s Troubled Use Of Dramatic Licence

When Francis Lee’s Ammonite opened across the world’s most prominent film festivals, it immediately attracted media attention. Interestingly however, it wasn’t because Lee’s film looks as though it was designed to cash in on the clout generated by last year’s critical darling, Céline Sciamma’s Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, but rather due to the liberties the filmmaker took while writing the script.  

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