Oscars 2023

Oscars Watch 2023

Last week the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the nominations for the 95th Academy Awards (aka The Oscars). This isn’t going to be a post about who I think will win or what I would pick, and that’s because I haven’t seen all the movies up for awards. So, from now until March 12th, I’m going to make it a mission of mine to see as many of these movies as possible between new releases that catch my eye. I’ll tag these movies with “Oscars Watch 2023.” What do I have on my list you ask? Well, here it is:

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Elvis
  • Tar
  • Triangle of Sadness
  • Women Talking
  • The Whale
  • Living
  • Aftersun
  • To Leslie
  • Causeway
  • Pinocchio
  • RRR

That is a long list. At the top of my list are the best picture nominations and then from there are nominations for specific big categories that I’d like to have a little more knowledge of more of the nominees. I’m not sure if I’ll get to them all, and I have a snubbed movie that many have called out as a must-watch (Decision to Leave) that will likely take up some time too, but hey, this is going to be a fun ride! Look forward to more reviews and to my thoughts on what I’d like to win on the big night and what is likely going to win.

Oscars 2023, Reviews

Oscars Watch 2023: Elvis Review

Tom Hanks’s Colonel turns a great movie into a good one, which is a real shame.

Score: 3/5

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis has the director’s unique style plastered all over the retelling of Elvis Presley’s life, for better and worse. The King of Rock and Roll’s career is a powerful and sad story all at once, but Luhrmann’s tendencies don’t necessarily make for the best film. For every interesting shot, there is a bizarre choice like adding modern music spliced with Elvis’s music as an example. Hearing a song from Doja Cat in a movie about Elvis is just odd and pulls me out of the experience every time. A bigger issue though that really hampers this movie is the story decision to frame this story around the narration and takes of Elvis’s business manager, Colonel Tom Parker played by Tom Hanks.

You see, on top of Hanks’ over-the-top performance feeling out of place with everyone else in the movie, Colonel Tom Parker is the villain of the film. Not an oh-you-like-this-guy type of villain. No, this is guy you just don’t want to be around. Except the writer’s decided that the best way to move through the events of Mr. Presley’s life was through the guise of a scummy con man that would fit more in the SNL sketch of this movie than the actual film itself. Like the music choices I mentioned earlier, it’s perplexing. The movie makes no secrets that this character isn’t one to root for, which is fine, but why have him be the glue of the story of Elvis? Why gloss over moments and other aspects of the central character for someone that is very one note? He wants money, he wants to use people to get money, and that is all there is to it. These questions only become more glaring as you watch the movie since Austin Butler delivers an award worthy performance of Elvis.

This movie would not be in contention for best picture without Butler’s performance. He’s excellent as Elvis and adds additional depth to the character where the script decided to focus more on the Colonel. Butler is electric and commands the screen in every scene. You can see that addiction to both the love of the crowd and the drugs in his eyes. There’s that pain that the movie doesn’t spend nearly enough time exploring that he makes clear in just looks. It’s always key to getting the casting right, and everyone else outside of Hank’s Colonel meshes well with Butler’s Elvis. They feed off each other and make for compelling moments, and fun concert scenes. Why it was decided to not let Elvis be the teller of his own story will always confuse me.

There is a better movie within the parts of Elvis, a movie that could have been close to a no brainer for winning the Best Picture. Instead, odd choices in the plot, production, and a wacky performance from Tom Hanks keeps this movie from being a great one.

Feature, Preview, Thoughts

Winter & Spring 2023 Movies I’m Excited For

Wow, it’s almost February? How quickly time passes by will never not shock me. While the month has been lite on big movies to go see, (Plane, I will check you out soon) HBO adapting one of my favorite video games The Last of Us as a show has been pretty exciting. Fans of compelling characters and a brutal examination of love will really enjoy this. Don’t get scared off by the zombie setting, it’s not that kind of story, show, or game.

Anyways, movies! While the award season is in full swing for last year’s movies, this year is getting ready to pop off in a really fun way as more and more movies that pre-MCU domination would have been saved for the summer release in the last winter and spring. Below are the movies I’m most excited to see in these movie-going seasons.


Knock at the Cabin – February 3rd

I know, I know. M. Night Shyamalan movies are a real dice roll. Sometimes you get some interesting fun mystery movies, and other times the twist is just so bad that you feel duped for watching it. That said this movie seems to put the concept up front and center. A family of three is forced to make a terrible choice. Either save their family or choose one of them as a sacrifice to save the rest of the world. Oh, and they must make a choice because four strangers broke into their cabin and won’t let them leave until they make their decision. The cast looks great, and the premise sounds like a recipe for a pretty tense movie, yeah… I’m willing to be duped for this one.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – February 17th

MCU’s post-Avengers Endgame movies have been a bit all over the place. Save for Spider-Man: No Way Home most have not lived up to expectations. That also includes the Disney+ shows which have been a bit of required viewing to get the full scope of this never-ending franchise. All that said, this third Ant-Man movie which kicks off Phase 5 of this wild entertainment experiment looks like it could be the one to bring back some focus and deliver on what fans have loved about the MCU. I have always liked the Paul Rudd starring movies with their unique side story humor approach, and while this movie looks to be of a more serious tone it invites an interesting question. Was Tony Stark/Iron Man right to steal away five years of many loved ones’ lives for what he wanted to preserve? This feels like the other side of the Endgame coin that was never really discussed. I am super intrigued and can’t wait to see the next large-scope villain (Kang played by Johnathan Majors) take center stage in the MCU.

Cocaine Bear – February 24th

This movie is either going to be a ridiculously fun time or so awful you can’t look away bad. I don’t know yet, but a movie about a bear that is on cocaine terrorizing everything around it is a premise I never thought I’d see in a movie releasing in theaters. A buried-in-the-back-of-the-queue Netflix movie? Yeah, that sounds right, but a movie people will see in a theater? That’s bold Universal and like Knock at the Cabin I’m willing to take the plunge.

Creed III – March 3rd

The Creed franchise has been a pleasant surprise from the start and for me, it’s been better than Rocky so far. Will Creed III continue that trend? With Johnathan Majors has Michael B. Jordan’s opponent? It just might. By the way, what a start to the year Major is having right? Bring on the next tense boxing drama!

Inside – March 17th

Speaking of tense, Willem Dafoe’s Inside (not Pixar’s Inside) looks like the tensest movie in a while. An art thief gets trapped in an overly secure penthouse, and no one is coming to save him. Will he survive physically? Mentally? Dafoe always does a great job playing bonkers off-the-wall characters and this looks to be no exception. Get ready to clinch your teeth with this one, folks.

John Wick: Chapter IV – March 24th

It’s been a long four-year wait since chapter three, but John Wick is back baby! This sneakily made franchise has been a blast as far as action movies go and I can’t wait to see what new and wild way Keanu Reeves’ Wick finds a way to murder an enemy assassin. How do you top a pencil or a book? I don’t know but it will be fun to find out!

The Super Mario Bros. Movie – April 7th

Nintendo and Mario have been a part of my life since I was born. Nostalgia alone would make me want to see this movie, but the fact that it has a stacked cast of voice talent and the trailers have actually been really fun? Child me is ready to come out for this one! It’s been a long wait for a great Mario movie, and it might finally be over.


And that’s it! Not a bad list of movies for this first chunk of the year, right? The summer movie season starts in May and as we get closer to that date, I’ll put up another post like this for all the wild movies to come. Till next week, have fun at the movies!

Reviews

The Fabelmans Review

Spielberg captures the magic of movies as only he can.

Score: 4/5

Walking out of the theater after watching The Fabelmans it took me a while to process everything I had seen. The story is inspired by Director Steven Spielberg’s own childhood, and it explores many different subjects. The struggles of mixed support about a passion, a dysfunctional family life, and antisemitism, but at its core, it speaks to how powerful art (in this case, movies) can be to help any one of us in navigating through the trials of life. It’s about dreams, and how we shouldn’t push them aside no matter how hard it can be to accept what that may cost.

Like many of Spielberg’s movies, he finds the right balance in the emotional story while peppering in drama, comedy, and joy that all of his coming-of-age movies nail. Also, per the Spielberg norm, he has an eye for exceptional young acting talents in his main lead Gabriel LaBelle. In a movie with Paul Dano, Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, and Judd Hirsch it would be easy to get lost in their shadow but LaBelle shines as Sammy Fabelman. You feel for his struggles of having one parent who sees his passion as a mere hobby, and the other struggling to accept that they don’t love their partner. This is all on top of having no escape outside of the home with antisemitism at school.

It may seem I am painting the picture that this is a sad movie, but it’s anything but. Throughout we see the wonder of someone falling in love with their creative expression. We see how this affects his connection to his family, be it his mom, his dad, or his sisters. We even find time for some action set pieces that at once seem insane yet completely in line with the movie’s dance between whimsical and dramatic. It may seem par the course for Spielberg, but it feels different in this story. I also appreciated his peppering in of his Jewish culture exposing me to aspects of childhood that I have never experienced myself.

This is a movie that through all the dramatic and fun moments, comes back to the same idea, Sammy can’t escape, or ignore what he loves. It’s making movies and it’s that theme weaving in and out of all those moments that hit me hardest. As someone who continues to battle with the idea of following your dreams versus what the world at large tells you to do instead, this movie kept me entranced. While I may have known where things would end, I cheered for him to keep on pushing for his dreams, because what else is more magical than that? The Fabelmans isn’t just a love letter to film or a story about his childhood. It’s a charming and powerful reminder that no matter what, you must listen to your heart.

To all you artists out there, watch this movie, and feel that extra hit of inspiration. Spielberg’s got our backs.

Reviews

M3GAN Review

DON’T F WITH AI

SCORE: 3 / 5

Another first weekend of January, another horror movie to get the movie theater year going! This year Universal brings us the andriod-mixed-with-horror-doll movie M3GAN. I had a fun time watching this movie, it has a good mix of humor, and unsettling horror as an AI four-foot doll is tasked with protecting a young girl processing the death of her parents and as you’d expect it goes entirely off the rails.

Let’s get the not-fun stuff out of the way first. This movie falls back on a tried-and-true plot of many science fiction stories, don’t make a super advanced computer without putting in some aggressive guardrails. Otherwise, you get a Model 3 Generation Andriod (aka M3GAN) that very quickly decides the solution to most problems is murder. Along with that is the human part of the story to give a reason as to why M3GAN comes to be. M3GAN’s creator, Gemma, works for a company that makes somehow more annoying versions of Furbies. Remember those ugly-looking things? Anyways, the movie opens with her sister’s family on a car ride getting hit by a snowplow leaving just her niece, Cady alive. As a way to cope for Cady, and as an escape from being a parent Gemma finishes a prototype for a ridiculous idea for a future children’s toy, M3GAN, and introduces it to Cady. The movie glosses over the ideas of processing trauma and parenting just enough to justify the plot that follows, but it’s definitely the least interesting part of the movie. A standout moment of this is showing the level of withdrawals Cady will express when not with M3GAN. It’s a bit much.

That said, this movie knows what people paid for. A bonkers evil doll doing terrible things. Watching what is the size of a child incorporate a dance she learned from Cady as she prepares to murder someone is always entertaining. Instead of the supernatural twist of powers beyond her physical body, M3GAN is an AI and the movie leans into this several times to show that if there is technology to hack into, she will use it. Anytime M3GAN is on screen there is always either a moment of horror or comedy which is good news with this being the main draw of the movie. It’s simple and it works, focus on the killer robot doll and the movie shines.

All to say, M3GAN is still the typical horror movie with the same beats you have probably seen twenty times, but it’s the unique flavor of mixing AI, a terminator, and a toy doll that makes for a fun time at the theater.

Best Of

My Top Ten Movies of 2022

Welcome back movie fans, it’s been another wild year where I completely fell off keeping up with movie reviews, but unlike 2020, I did watch quite a bit this year. I am toying with going back and writing reviews for many of the films I have seen, but at the very least I wanted to compile a list of ten favorite movies of the year. I’m even going one step further and will actually rank them. Let’s get started then, my personal top ten movies of 2022!

10. Turning Red

The biggest shame of Turning Red is that this movie didn’t get to play in theaters. This Pixar movie is everything you’d expect from the studio, heartful, funny, and charming. It wallops adults and their children with powerful messages in playing that difficult balancing act of speaking to everyone. This won’t be the only movie on this list that deals with mother-and-daughter relationships, but this movie does a great job of highlighting how important it is to build that trust and evolve the bond you have with your child or your parents. Also, for anyone who grew up in the late-90’s-early-00’s, this movie has a nostalgia that will have you grinning throughout.

9. Emily the Criminal

This isn’t the first movie that Aubrey Plaza has dominated the screen, but this is one of her best. This indie crime thriller with a sprinkle of 2011’s Drive noir feel is a tense-watching experience that leaves you conflicted by the end of the film. The motivation of getting pushed into a dangerous lifestyle because of student debt is sadly not that far-fetched and for those of us who still have that burden on our shoulders, it adds an extra element of playing out that what if through Emily’s eyes. This is an excellent small film that not enough people watched. Check it out if you can.

8. Vengeance

There are so many layers to this thriller mystery comedy movie, that even as I write this I am thinking, should this be higher on my list? It has social commentary coming from both sides of arguments, a mystery of a young woman’s death, and a very fun cast to tie all together. For those who listen to podcasts, this movie is very similar to the podcast S-Town, where the story you are sold ends up going in a completely different direction by the finale. It’s funny in both its commentary on how little different parts of society understand one another, and yet are so alike when it comes to the basics of being a human. This is another movie that barely anyone saw and it’s a shame because this is one of the good ones.

7. The Black Phone

With the way Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness turned out I’m glad that director Scott Derrickson stepped away to instead get back to the horror genre and give us this excellent horror film. The movie’s concept is simple, a young boy Finney gets kidnapped, but is helped by the ghosts of his kidnapper’s victim. It’s tense, terrifying at points, but also builds in the way a boxing movie like Rocky or Creed does whereby the end you are ready to see if Finney can fight back against The Grabber. For those that like a good children fighting back against evil story, you will love this movie as much as I did.

6. Barbarian

The one thing I heard the most about this movie from those who saw it in early screenings, don’t watch any trailers, don’t read up on this movie, just go see it. I’m glad I did. This is probably my favorite pure horror movie in a good long while. It goes places I did not expect and kept me glued to the screen the entire run time. If you like a good horror mystery movie this is one of the best you can see in recent memory. Even those that aren’t typical fans of the genre, this one is that good that you should make the exception.

5. The Northman

The biggest movie director Robert Eggers has crafted yet, the Northman could have just been a typical revenge movie with a Viking coat of paint. But it’s his unique direction and writing that adds the spiritual trippy spice to make this movie something truly special. Add an excellent cast led by Alexander Skarsgård and Anya Taylor-Joy (more from her in the next entry) and you have an epic that was a pure joy to see on a big screen. Like several movies on this list, it was not seen by anywhere near enough people. If you like a good epic, rectify this, and check out The Northman.

4. The Menu

The Menu was a surprise for me, a movie that I didn’t know a thing about until one trailer a month before the movie came out. This dark comedy, thriller, horror nailed it in every regard. The film has a stellar cast lead by Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes. The plot involves Anya’s Margot joining a very exclusive dining experience set on an island. Very quickly the uptight almost cult like Michelin star dining experience turns into a deadly game of survival. It goes back and forth between horror and comedy to keep things from going too dark. For fans of the genre, it’s a boatload of fun.

3. Top Gun: Maverick

The first time I watched the original Top Gun? The day before I saw Top Gun: Maverick. I have no nostalgia for the first movie. I loved this sequel. It’s what a blockbuster should be, and it’s a movie’s movie if that makes sense. It’s big, it’s bold, the action keeps you glued to the screen, and it feels like being on a roller coaster. Love him or hate him, Tom Cruise knows what it means to make something you MUST see on a big screen. There is a reason this is one of the highest grossing movies of the year, it’s meant for you to watch again and again.

2. The Batman

What will likely be the most controversial movie I have on my list. I loved The Batman. The dirty, gritty take on the dark knight was everything I have been looking for in a Batman movie. It’s a detective movie, it has a super fleshed out world, villains all over, a terrifying is-this-guy-crazy Batman and shockingly a buddy cop element thrown into the mix. This may not be everyone’s Batman, but this is the Batman I have been waiting for since playing the excellent Arkham video games. I was glad it delivered and can’t wait to see what is to come with the Penguin spin-off show and the sequel.

1. Everything Everywhere All At Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once is so many things. It’s a movie about the concept of a multiverse, an action movie, a comedy, a family drama, and exploration of what makes a good parent, a good partner, what it means to be strong, and how to embrace the positive against the backdrop of a chaotic world. It’s exactly what the title says it is. I could gush about this movie for hours at a time. In a year where the powerhouse of Marvel with hundreds of millions of dollars to tell stories about a multiverse it was an indie movie about an immigrant couple’s family struggles that nailed the concept and dove headfirst into what is possible when anything is possible. This isn’t just my favorite movie of 2022, it’s one of my favorite movies period. I can’t wait to watch it many times for years to come.


Wow! This was a challenging list to make, this year had some great movies! Here are a couple of honorable mentions I still thought were a great time.

Bodies Bodies Bodies
Bullet Train

Here’s to 2022 and hoping that 2023 can delight and surprise with more great times at the movies!

Reviews

Three Thousand Years of Longing Review

Stories, and the discussion of them is important, this movie not so much.

Score: 2 / 5

I knew going into this movie that this wasn’t going to be another Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller’s previous masterpiece from 2015. Yet maybe it the trailer mixed with just the general storytelling approach from Fury Road that I had an expectation going into this movie. A wacky romance of sorts but with that same stellar show not tell wizardry that Miller employed with Fury Road. That is not what I got from Three Thousand Years of Longing. While it is a romance, the film both felt stretched too thin and too packed at the same time.

To explain, the movie’s plot structure felt like at times this was two different movies, or one story that needed a wrapper to feel complete for some audiences. One a story about stories themselves told through the fantastical journey of Idris Ebla’s Djinn. A Djinn by the way is like a genie with more depth. It’s the whole three wishes after being released from a bottle concept. Which that as the crux of the story would have worked! Yet then the romance piece of the story really takes hold and feels super disjointed. This story feels like a blanket around the concept that makes this movie interesting and not just another romance movie. This follows Tilda Swinton’s Alithea, who is a very introverted yet passionate woman the through the story falls for The Djinn. This story also could have been interesting! It just wasn’t the focus until it was. Again, it was this two movies in one feeling that just didn’t feel like it built off one another enough. To compound on this issue, the movie feels like it could have ended several times, and when it reaches the final ending, I felt exhausted. Not rewarded, exhausted.

None of this is to say that I didn’t enjoy some of the back and forth of Alithea and the Djinn, but I’ll be honest that I didn’t really feel the chemistry. You ever hear in a song or TV show where a character says, “you don’t love me, you love the idea of being in love?” That’s the best way I can describe how their love was coming across to me.

Something else that got under my skin were a lot of the transition and structure decisions. At a certain point it’s decided that this movie will use title cards to break up beats of the movie. That’s fine, but why wasn’t this there from the start? This issue also popped up in my head when we get to the more romance chunk of the movie. The amount of fade to black transitions just felt distracting, and sloppy. That’s the best way to describe the movie to me, it feels distracted and sloppy. Which makes it harder when Fury Road felt so damn laser focused and thought out.

Before I close, I will say, there is a bit of this movie that made it interesting for me. That would be the beginning through the several stories of the Djinn. They carried moments of terror, wonder, and spectacle. They felt special and I wished that these feelings continued through to the conclusion arc of the movie. They don’t though. They devolve or disappear entirely. Fantasy becomes heartless science. An interesting exploration and discussion of story falls into predictable love story mode on fast-forward. It falls flat in all ways for me, which yeah, after Fury Road it’s a big bummer.

Three Thousand Years of Longing has some interesting ideas, but through a disjointed approach to the story and sloppy pacing, it falls flat into a very skippable movie.

Reviews

Thor: Love and Thunder Review

It’s fine, Thor’s fine, Marvel’s fine. Right?

Score: 3/5

As Marvel Studios continues down the road of what the heck to do after Avengers: Endgame it has felt more and more like Marvel doesn’t know either. Maybe it’s a strategy to come back with a more robust vision in time, or an admission that what came before will not be possible to sustain going forward. All that is to say Thor: Love and Thunder is another fine, okay, it’s alright kind of movie. One or two every so often in this never-ending journey of Marvel characters is one thing but it’s getting a tad exhausting.

Getting that out of the way time to really talk about Thor: Love and Thunder. It’s solid, and pretty funny at points if you are into the child-like humor that director Taika Waititi is known for. My two personal favorites are a pair of ridiculous goats and a love triangle you may or may not see coming between Thor and two other “characters.” Chris Hemsworth’s more comedic Thor still works so much better for me than serious over-the-top drama pre-Ragnarök Thor ever did. Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster / Mighty Thor feels like the first time that she has been given a fun role in a big blockbuster. It’s clear from the get-go that she got to enjoy herself and not feel trapped under the weight of a weak script for her character. Then there is Christian Bale’s Gorr. He is creepy, he is interesting, he is fun to watch on screen, and just like 85% of Marvel villains he gets very little time for the audience to enjoy him.

While the movie is funny and has plenty of action beats, I felt that as I watched the movie felt hollow. It ran at a quick pace like it wanted to be over as quickly as possible. Very few beats had moments to breathe or be challenged. Gorr, as I mentioned before, was severely lacking in some of that department. While on the topic of Gorr and Marvel villains again. I have reached a breaking point of seeing random monster henchmen designs. They don’t make for interesting action scenes after you have seen it done a bajillion times in the MCU. One last nitpick, for me, voice-overs are the hardest thing to pull off in a movie without feeling lazy or too over the top to get the point across and this movie has moments like that. It didn’t work for me in the slightest.

I still can’t quite put my finger on what has been going on recently with the Marvel releases but Love and Thunder continues the trend of being adequate. It isn’t wowing you with anything so amazing on screen that you can be distracted from other shortcomings, but it also isn’t so offensively terrible that you won’t have at least a good time at the moment. Thor: Love and Thunder is the second best-ish Thor movie, which after Ragnarök the bar is admittedly low. It’s fun at times, dumb at others. It’s very empty of a movie but moves fast enough that you may forgive it. It’s okay, which hey take that as you will when deciding if it’s worth seeing in theaters or waiting eight weeks for Disney+.

Reviews

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

The Multiverse of Madness delivers the horror, goofy, and MCU-ness but not quite on an impactful journey level.

Score: 3 / 5

After nearly 6 years Doctor Strange finally has a sequel to what I thought was an entertaining and interesting first movie. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness feels like the culmination of all the MCU projects that have come after Spider-Man: Far From Home uttered the words multiverse. It goes farther than even the Disney+ show Loki did in giving you a taste of what Marvel’s multiverse is. There are so many realities and trippy moments, and it notches up the horror and violence to a level that I don’t think we have seen so far from Marvel. The movie has so many “wow!” moments and fun cameos you’d expect from a multiverse story. Yet with all of that, I felt a bit underwhelmed.

It’s taken me a good bit of time to unravel the feelings I have had about this move and where I stand. Which is to say I feel like the big thing missing from this movie that makes the overall package feel lackluster is the journey of the two leads of the film. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange and Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda/Scarlet Witch.  While the story of events happening was not difficult for me to follow or didn’t make sense, it just felt hollow. I know, I know, Marvel movies having depth? I’d argue many of them do. I’d even say the first Doctor Strange had more going on for the growth of Stephen Strange than anything that happens in this movie. It’s even more difficult for me to follow because of how nearly one-note Wanda becomes throughout this movie. I get the motivations but it sure would have helped to have more scenes to explore maybe some level of conflict inside her.

Moving aside from this aspect of the movie, it delivers some really interesting new things to the MCU. Director Sam Raimi injects some dark moments along with some of his signature goofiness. There is one sequence towards the middle of the film that really drew me in as it was genuinely horrifying to watch. I honestly am shocked they went that far at points. There are also some fun and mind-bending multiverse moments that fit right at home with the trippy scenes from the first Doctor Strange. The finale also gives us something that is uniquely Strange, and I loved it. There are some other things I’d love to dig into but I’m keeping this review spoiler-free.

Overall, I had a great time with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it has a great mix of horror, goofy, and the typical MCU-ness moments you want out of these movies, but some hollow depth for the lead character’s journeys of the movie left me feeling just alright instead of ready to go right back for another showing.

Reviews

Everything Everywhere All at Once Review

Everything Everywhere All at Once really does feel like everything, everywhere, all at once. It’s a masterpiece.

Score 5/5

Directors/Writers Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s Everything Everywhere All at Once is something special. It made me laugh, it made my cry, it made me reflect upon myself, and I can’t stop thinking about it after watching it. It’s one of the best films I have seen this year, and one of the best films I have seen period.

Everything Everywhere All at Once follows Michelle Yeoh’s Evelyn Wang, a Chinese immigrant mother trying her damnedest to keep her family and her family’s business from falling apart. In the start of the film her marriage is crumbling, her relationship with her daughter is strained, her relationship with her father is strained, and her family business is on thin ice with the IRS. It’s a lot for anyone person and just when it seems things can’t get worse, Evelyn learns an insane truth, she alone can save the universe from an impending doom by connecting with other versions of her life throughout the infinite alternate universes.

That last bit threw you for a loop, right? Well, it’s not even close for how wacky this movie gets, and while the film goes to absurd places it never loses that drama. It amplifies it, it dives in headfirst to speak about everything that Evelyn is going through. I don’t want to spoil how off the wall it gets, but it’s a film that oozes in confidence taking you on a ride that will make you feel many feelings and revel in the entertaining action that you have probably never seen before. Did I say action? Yeah, this is just as much of an action movie as it is an adventure, a drama, a comedy. I desperately want to say more about what you are in for, but I don’t want to spoil it. If you are even remotely interested, go in with as little information as possible. You’ll thank me later for that recommendation.

The main cast of this movie are excellent in this story that jumps all over the place. Michelle Yeoh is brilliant, she carries this film with poise through every wacky moment and every heartfelt dramatic beat. Ke Huy Quan plays Evelyn’s husband Waymond Wang with such child-like charm and energy. His positivity radiates even in the darkest moments. Stephanie Hsu rounds out the main trio of the cast playing Evelyn and Waymond’s daughter Joy. She has just as a heavy load to carry in this film as Yeoh does and she nails it. Everyone in the cast buys in to the absurd, to the dramatic, to the journey of this film. Like I said the film is swimming in confidence and you can see it in cast.

This is all wrapped in a production that just goes for it. You see it in the costumes and set design. You hear it in the score and sound. Every element is giving is their A-game. How I want to say more specific things, give you hilarious examples, but I’m resisting. This is a movie that if you generally like movies you have to see this. So don’t wait, find a theater, find a showtime, experience this movie!