‘She Said’ dances on the corpse of systemic sexual predation, which is alive and well

Kazan and Mulligan try their hardest, but can’t always energize into their weakly written characters. Images courtesy Universal Pictures.

2/10 As a journalist and someone who followed the Weinstein revelations closely, She Said is an absolutely infuriating film to watch. It feels like pulling teeth trying to get this to turn into a real journalism movie about the discovery of information or, more importantly, an honest look at the ongoing struggle kicked off by the Weinstein story.

On Oct. 5, 2017, The New York Times published a bombshell investigation into high-profile Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein detailing allegations of sexual misconduct and hush-money payoffs that stretched back decades. The explosion rippled across the internet, kicking off the #metoo movement and a global reckoning with sexual assault and the treatment of women as objects, demolishing The Weinstein Company and eventually triggering prosecution against Weinstein that resulted in a 23-year prison sentence. In 2019, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the reporters who wrote and won Pulitzer Prizes for the investigation, published “She Said,” a book detailing how they organized the evidence against Weinstein and convinced women to speak to them on the record. The movie rights were sold before the book was printed, and by 2022, Annapurna Pictures and Plan B Entertainment have squeezed out She Said, starring Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan as Kantor and Twohey.

Continue reading
Posted in Entropy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Balding celebrity chef makes mid-life crisis everyone’s problem in ‘The Menu’

Ralph Fiennes, the legend, crushes it, of course, though I can’t figure why they’re having him do an American accent. Images courtesy Searchlight Pictures – that’s right, kids, this horrible movie about the crazy chef who kills everybody is a Disney property!

2/10 The Menu is a terrible, boring film that exists only to clamber up its own ass and turn left. It’s about a crazy chef who murders everybody, and the mystery is his insane and torturously metaphorical reasons for murdering everybody being revealed over the course of the dinner. It’s wild, but completely arbitrary in a way that makes my interest vanish as it goes onward.

In The Menu, Tyler Ledford and Margot Mills (Nicholas Hoult and Anya Taylor-Joy) join a group of a dozen diners for an exclusive evening at Hawthorne, the restaurant on a private island belonging to reclusive celebrity chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes). Slowik, a self-aggrandizing cunt, has arranged for a specific group of 12 customers and intends to murder all of them, but he’s thrown by the presence of Mills, who’s filling in for Ledford’s recent ex.

Continue reading
Posted in Entropy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ deservedly rakes in awards

Images courtesy Searchlight Pictures – that’s right kids, this extended allegory for the Irish Civil War where Brendan Gleeson cuts his own fingers off is a Disney property!

9/10 The Banshees of Inisherin is one of the top movies of the year, simple yet contemplative, expressive and emotionally razor sharp.

Inisherin among the Aran Islands on the east coast of Ireland, April 1, 1923- Local folk musician Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) begins abruptly ignoring his longtime drinking buddy, Pádraic Súilleabháin (Colin Farrell). As the confused Súilleabháin tries to mend the friendship, over the course of a week and a half, tensions between the two wind to the point that Doherty threatens to begin cutting his fingers off in protest every time Súilleabháin speaks to him. Relationships in the tiny island town unravel as inhabitants begin to wonder whether or not they really like each other or the isle of Inisherin.

Banshees of Inisherin is the fourth feature film from playwright and director Martin McDonagh, who’s been putting them out every five years like clockwork. He’s one of the best dialogue writers and meta storytellers working today and appointment viewing for any cinephile. Perhaps only Quentin Tarantino is better suited to make a movie about smalltalk so irritating it fully ends a relationship, but his version would be a completely different movie. McDonagh has already hit mainstream success with his last film, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Inisherin collected screenplay and lead actor awards at Venice and three Golden Globes, including Best Picture in the comedy category, making it an Oscar frontrunner.

Continue reading
Posted in Entropy | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Tár,’ the #metoo ghost story

Images courtesy Focus Features.

9/10 Tár is a three-hour long talkie. Only a certain kind of person is going to be up for this, but it’s for that certain kind of person, nuanced, detailed, more rewarding the more attention you’re paying and formed around a signature central performance from one of history’s greatest actresses.

Berlin- World-renowned composer-conductor Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett, who also produces executively) has done it all in her career, playing at each of the big five American orchestras on her way to her current seat as the first ever female chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, but behind the scenes, it’s clear she’s spent decades abusing her authority to select young women and keep them close for sex. As she prepares for a live recording of Maher’s transformative fifth symphony, which is to be the climax of her career, Krista Taylor (Sylvia Flote), an old victim who Tár blackballed from the conducting industry, escalates her stalking of Tár, and Tár begins to suffer nightmares and hear disembodied sounds in her waking life.

Continue reading
Posted in Entropy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

‘Decision to Leave’ is one of the finest films ever made

“Killing is like smoking – only the first time is hard.” Images courtesy CJ Entertainment.

9/10 Decision to Leave is an absolutely gorgeous and completely engrossing shape-shifting and yet brick-solid beast of a film. It’s transcendent, a sensation, a revolution, an utter masterpiece – screenwriter/director Park Chan-wook is such a master of his craft that he can make abbreviations no one else can make, like a writer expressing entire paragraphs with a single word. It’s breathtaking to watch and even more breathtaking to watch again and again.

Busan, South Korea- Det. Jang Hae-jun (Park Hae-il), one of the Busan police department’s lead inspectors, can’t sleep and only sees his wife on weekends. When a retired immigration official falls to his death from a mountain he regularly climbs, Jang suspects his wife, the much younger Chinese immigrant Song Seo-rae (Tang Wei), but is also immediately infatuated with her. His nights, already consumed by long stakeouts, become completely earmarked for her, and they grow closer over interrogations.

Continue reading
Posted in Entropy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment