Great dramedy set in an Italian beef joint

Jeremy Allen White and Liza Colon-Zayas in The Bearphoto: Matt Dinerstein/FX Is there anything more Chicago than footage of perfectly seasoned meat being cooked for an Italian beef, the city’s brag-worthiest sandwich, set to “Via Chicago” by Wilco, the city’s brag-worthiest band? In the case of FX’s The Bear, actually, yeah, kind of: Before that … Read more

John Carpenter responds to Fathom’s botched Thing screenings

Kurt Russell and John Carpenterphoto: Emma McIntyre (Getty Images for TCM) “I know I’m human. And if you were all these things, then you’d just attack me right now, so some of you are still human. This thing doesn’t want to show itself, it wants to hide inside an imitation. It’ll fight if it has … Read more

Season 1, Episode 6, “Part VI”

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Obi-Wan Kenobiphoto: 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. The issue with prequels is you know how they’ll end. There can be a thrill in that. The Star Wars prequels ran into this conundrum. For many fans, knowing that Anakin Skywalker would turn into the imposing Darth Vader didn’t detract from the enjoyment of, … Read more

A Review Of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis.photo: Warner Bros. There’s undeniably something appealing about artists who cannot be anyone but themselves—especially filmmakers who bring 100 percent of their personality to every project, whether or not it needs that much. Baz Luhrmann is one of those artists, and it should have made him the … Read more

Beavis And Butt-head Do The Universe aims low, scores high

(from left) Butt-head and Beavis (both played by Mike Judge) in Beavis And Butt-head Do The Universe.photo: Paramount+ One of the prime “rules” of screenwriting is that your main character has to change. Not just throughout the movie, but a little bit by the end of every scene, even. Yet part of the appeal of … Read more

A Review Of Marcel The Shell With Shoes On

Jenny Slate provides the voice for Marcel in Marcel The Shell With Shoes On.photo: A24 Even though Marcel The Shell With Shoes On is not the eponymous hero’s first rodeo, it’s assuredly his greatest adventure to date, with an even bigger narrative scale and emotional scope than before. The gregarious, one-inch tall, one-eyed seashell sporting … Read more

A Review Of Peter Strickland’s Flux Gourmet

(left to right) Asa Butterfield as Billy Rubin, Fatma Mohamed as Elle Di Elle, and Ariane Labed as Lamina Propria in Peter Strickland’s Gourmet Flow.photo: IFC Midnight People regularly throw the word “surreal” around simply to mean weird. But surrealism as an artistic movement is a specific pursuit of the unconscious; probing the irrationality of … Read more

A Review Of The BlackPhone

Madison Thames (center) stars as Finney Shaw, a boy communicating with past victims of the serial killer who kidnapped him, in The Black Phone.photo: Universal Pictures Based on a short story by Joe Hill, The Black Phone hits a sweet spot regarding its subject matter, its setting, its tone, and its star that should allow … Read more

A Review Of Jim Archer’s Brian And Charles

(left to right) David Earl stars as Brian and Chris Hayward stars as Charles in director Jim Archer’s Brian And Charles.photo: Focus Features Mockumentary filmmaking and outlandish high concepts are a match made in budget-conscious heaven, taking ideas that might be too weird or outlandish for producers to risk funding and presenting them in a … Read more

The Summer I Turned Pretty is pretty damn delightful

Christopher Briney (Conrad) and Lola Tung (Belly) in The Summer I Turned Pretty photo: Dana Hawley/PrimeVideo There is a lot of pressure on a sophomore project to live up to the hype of its predecessor. (Look no further than just about every headline declaring that Conversations With Friends dropped the Normal People torch.) The Summer … Read more