‘Knight of Cups’ is repetitive, heavy-handed, “First World” navel-gazing at its most self-indulgent. But my god is it beautiful!
It begins and ends with a look. In that look is hesitance, longing, desire, confusion, confidence, conviction, hope. Even love. On NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, writer and critic Glenn Weldon described real chemistry between actors living in the look, elaborating on the attraction manifesting in the movement of the eyes.
Cinderella is a refreshing callback to the unabashed costume epics of the past, when story and aesthetic held equal sway over ambitious filmmakers. Director Kenneth Branagh and his production team luxuriate in breathtaking sets, opulent costumes, and impeccable special effects while still keeping the old-fashioned story of courage and kindness at center stage. Yes, it would have been nice to see a little more cellulite and gumption from our heroine, but it’s hard to complain about a movie that so thoroughly delivers on spectacle and heart. Lush, extravagant, and painfully earnest, Disney’s Cinderella is a worthy adaptation of its classic predecessor. In fact, it’s quite wonderful.
There is a sense in watching Kingdom of the Crystal Skull play out that Spielberg’s lack of enthusiasm carried on into pre-production and then filming itself. One final, brutal visit to the editing suite before the film’s release would have fixed much of the damage and created a final product that, while hardly a classic, would not have infuriated to such a degree.
During the mid-2000s, between his exercise in low-budget filmmaking and new modes of exhibition with Bubble, and his big-budget ensemble Ocean’s Thirteen, Steven Soderbergh made a mid-budget return to 1940s style with The Good German.
Announcing the unambiguous Casablanca reference with a mimicking poster, Soderbergh’s black-and-white film is full of classic Hollywood soft-lighting and sinister wartime figures.