Author Archives: david nerlich

Whiplash

Does jazz really live at the Lincoln Centre? Is the way of the jazz warrior really from music school to there? Perhaps Whiplash’s original conception described a classical music prodigy, navigating a musical realm wherein the concept of genius is much

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Whiplash

Does jazz really live at the Lincoln Centre? Is the way of the jazz warrior really from music school to there? Perhaps Whiplash’s original conception described a classical music prodigy, navigating a musical realm wherein the concept of genius is much

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Black Panther

Judging by its reception, Black Panther did something right. Cinematically there’s not much to get excited about, but maybe there’s a lot to think about. Black Panther is ridden with cliches and its dialogue is entirely expositional. But underneath this painful

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Black Panther

Judging by its reception, Black Panther did something right. Cinematically there’s not much to get excited about, but maybe there’s a lot to think about. Black Panther is ridden with cliches and its dialogue is entirely expositional. But underneath this painful

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It Follows

How did this happen? Its like someone, while absently pondering mash-ups of horror sub-genres, put The Ring’s pass-it-on curse next to Halloween’s teenage body count and stumbled upon a Tutankhamun’s tomb of treasures. It Follows‘s simple premise of sexually transmitted

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It Follows

How did this happen? Its like someone, while absently pondering mash-ups of horror sub-genres, put The Ring’s pass-it-on curse next to Halloween’s teenage body count and stumbled upon a Tutankhamun’s tomb of treasures. It Follows‘s simple premise of sexually transmitted

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Style triumphs so resoundingly here that substance has been driven almost entirely from the screen. Cara Delevigne wins by virtue of playing the only character that vacillates. Well actually the CGI white masai people are kind of interesting but only

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Style triumphs so resoundingly here that substance has been driven almost entirely from the screen. Cara Delevigne wins by virtue of playing the only character that vacillates. Well actually the CGI white masai people are kind of interesting but only

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The Florida Project

A more-than-you-can-eat pizza-slice of life, hot from the florid state – more specifically Orlando. It’s a short walk from Disneyland but a long, alligator-infested way downstream. The Florida Project features one of the most striking child performances in recent memory

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The Florida Project

A more-than-you-can-eat pizza-slice of life, hot from the florid state – more specifically Orlando. It’s a short walk from Disneyland but a long, alligator-infested way downstream. The Florida Project features one of the most striking child performances in recent memory

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Wheelman

The vaguely familiar Frank Grillo makes a classy and economical pitch at booting a Stallone/Van-Damme/Strachan tough-guy franchise. Director-writer Jeremy Rush has mashed Locke with Driver. As a car-chase movie, like nearly every car-chase movie other than Bullitt, it’s a fail. It

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Wheelman

The vaguely familiar Frank Grillo makes a classy and economical pitch at booting a Stallone/Van-Damme/Strachan tough-guy franchise. Director-writer Jeremy Rush has mashed Locke with Driver. As a car-chase movie, like nearly every car-chase movie other than Bullitt, it’s a fail. It

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The Shape of Water

Some strong elements combine to achieve less than their sum. A fine cast acts out some hot topics and at the helm is the director possibly trying harder than anyone else today to make movies that look good. It does

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The Shape of Water

Some strong elements combine to achieve less than their sum. A fine cast acts out some hot topics and at the helm is the director possibly trying harder than anyone else today to make movies that look good. It does

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Blade Runner 2049

Deckhard is back, Hampton Fancher is back, the rain is back, as is some of the neon, albeit faded behind some kind of airborne filth with lumps in it. Blade Runner in the eighties was a world crippled and depressed

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Blade Runner 2049

Deckhard is back, Hampton Fancher is back, the rain is back, as is some of the neon, albeit faded behind some kind of airborne filth with lumps in it. Blade Runner in the eighties was a world crippled and depressed

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Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler crawls over the line where news eats itself, not just blurring the report and the reporter but selling a kind of news that is self-creating, like reality television, with hapless unpaid actors forced to play out scenarios of some network

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Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler crawls over the line where news eats itself, not just blurring the report and the reporter but selling a kind of news that is self-creating, like reality television, with hapless unpaid actors forced to play out scenarios of some network

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By The Sea

The Brangelina vanity pic really isn’t that bad. However its punchline is straight out of that famous picture starring Burton and Taylor, which sadly then makes everything else about By The Sea seem familiar – the soon-to-be-divorced-in-real-life actors, the younger

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By The Sea

The Brangelina vanity pic really isn’t that bad. However its punchline is straight out of that famous picture starring Burton and Taylor, which sadly then makes everything else about By The Sea seem familiar – the soon-to-be-divorced-in-real-life actors, the younger

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Alien: Covenant

As has been observed before regarding Prometheus, Alien: Covenant is trying to build conceptual sci-fi on the burial grounds of what began as a simple, stylish, terrifying horror story. This alleged prequel to the Alien saga, now in its second

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Alien: Covenant

As has been observed before regarding Prometheus, Alien: Covenant is trying to build conceptual sci-fi on the burial grounds of what began as a simple, stylish, terrifying horror story. This alleged prequel to the Alien saga, now in its second

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Doctor Strange

This latest comic superhero activation is notable for the first inspired and visionary (rather than merely pragmatic) use of visual effects in a blockbuster since Avatar.  

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Doctor Strange

This latest comic superhero activation is notable for the first inspired and visionary (rather than merely pragmatic) use of visual effects in a blockbuster since Avatar.  

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Ex Machina

According to the movies, programming your AI is apparently indistinguishable from a contract with the devil. Inevitably there is a hidden catch in the wording of the contract, or a clause that hubris encourages you to overlook. And the outcome for

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Ex Machina

According to the movies, programming your AI is apparently indistinguishable from a contract with the devil. Inevitably there is a hidden catch in the wording of the contract, or a clause that hubris encourages you to overlook. And the outcome for

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Ghost In The Shell

In this remake of the 1995 anime, a story about semi-outlaw cyber cops chasing a rogue entity that has evolved out of the internet has been dispensed with for an episode of Find My Family, with lashings of chop socky in leather

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Ghost In The Shell

In this remake of the 1995 anime, a story about semi-outlaw cyber cops chasing a rogue entity that has evolved out of the internet has been dispensed with for an episode of Find My Family, with lashings of chop socky in leather

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One feels like a heroine’s journey has been extracted from something originally conceived for an ensemble cast, leaving us with not quite enough of either. There are too many characters, talking so much about what they’re doing we don’t know what they’re doing.

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One feels like a heroine’s journey has been extracted from something originally conceived for an ensemble cast, leaving us with not quite enough of either. There are too many characters, talking so much about what they’re doing we don’t know what they’re doing.

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Miles Ahead

For the 100 minutes of this film’s running time, Miles Davis is taking no shit from nobody. Don Cheadle’s invocation of Miles is mad, bad and dangerous to know, as Ewan MacGregor’s desperate-for-a-scoop Rolling Stone reporter discovers. Even bullets are

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Miles Ahead

For the 100 minutes of this film’s running time, Miles Davis is taking no shit from nobody. Don Cheadle’s invocation of Miles is mad, bad and dangerous to know, as Ewan MacGregor’s desperate-for-a-scoop Rolling Stone reporter discovers. Even bullets are

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Westworld (1973)

Michael “high concept” Crichton directs the film of his own screenplay (no novel this time). It becomes very clear where the idea for The Terminator came from as we watch Yuul Brynner reincarnate his The Magnificent Seven character in the form

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Westworld (1973)

Michael “high concept” Crichton directs the film of his own screenplay (no novel this time). It becomes very clear where the idea for The Terminator came from as we watch Yuul Brynner reincarnate his The Magnificent Seven character in the form

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Jimi: All Is by My Side

Interesting, if frustrating. Seeming unable to pull a narrative from elsewhere the story spends most of its time on Jimi’s girlfriends and, by all reports, does them a disservice. Andre Benjamin’s voicing of Jimi is startlingly good but he’s playing someone

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Jimi: All Is by My Side

Interesting, if frustrating. Seeming unable to pull a narrative from elsewhere the story spends most of its time on Jimi’s girlfriends and, by all reports, does them a disservice. Andre Benjamin’s voicing of Jimi is startlingly good but he’s playing someone

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Captain Fantastic

Drop-out survivalists are forced to re-enter mainstream society when a tragedy strikes. They’re like a family of doomsday preppers with a positive, if fortress, mentality and leanings toward Mao and Chomsky rather than the NRA (was this written in the 70s?). The

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Captain Fantastic

Drop-out survivalists are forced to re-enter mainstream society when a tragedy strikes. They’re like a family of doomsday preppers with a positive, if fortress, mentality and leanings toward Mao and Chomsky rather than the NRA (was this written in the 70s?). The

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I Am Not Your Guru

Figure out what you really want. Work out what’s stopping you from getting it. Decide what you are going to do about it. Don’t get distracted. This bit of apparent common sense has been the core of Anthony Robbins’ testament for the

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I Am Not Your Guru

Figure out what you really want. Work out what’s stopping you from getting it. Decide what you are going to do about it. Don’t get distracted. This bit of apparent common sense has been the core of Anthony Robbins’ testament for the

/ No comments