All posts by Ben Sears

EO – Movie Review

EO

  • Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
  • Writers: Jerzy Skolimowski, Ewa Piaskowska
  • Starring: Sandra Drzymalska, Lorenzo Zurzolo, Mateusz Kościukiewicz, Isabelle Huppert

Grade: B

Robert Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthazar remains one of the French New Wave’s signature films, a unique achievement of storytelling and one of his best works. The film was a sort of character study, but from the perspective of a lowly donkey as it experiences its caretakers’ various quirks and dramas. While Balthazar the donkey was that film’s main character, he was simply an observer to witness human action, and as a vessel for Bresson’s statement about humanity. So why would director and co-writer (along with Ewa Piaskowska) Jerzy Skolimowski attempt to remake a classic, beloved film?

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Avatar: The Way of Water – Movie Review

Avatar: The Way of Water

  • Director: James Cameron
  • Writers: James Cameron, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
  • Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, Jack Champion, Jamie Flatters, Britain Dalton, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss,

Grade: B

Thirteen years ago, James Cameron did what he always does and redefined the modern blockbuster with Avatar, a global phenomenon that would go on to become the highest grossing movie ever made. While that film’s story was never much to brag about – it was almost beat for beat the plot of Pocahontas in space – the visuals and the experience from Cameron’s pioneering 3D technology is mostly what got butts in the seats. Cameron has made some of the greatest sequels of all-time (Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Aliens), so how will he tackle the first of many planned sequels for his passion project?

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Top 10 TV Shows of 2022

First, a disclaimer: As usual, this list is missing some of the bigger television releases of the year because I simply haven’t watched them yet. Though I did better in my TV viewing this year, I still haven’t gotten around to shows like Succession, House of the Dragon, Better Call Saul, Abbott Elementary, The Boys, or Hacks. Judge the following list accordingly.

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The White Lotus: Season 2, “Arrivederci” – TV Review

“Arrivederci”

  • Creator: Mike White
  • Starring: Jennifer Coolidge, Aubrey Plaza, Michael Imperioli, F. Murray Abraham, Haley Lu Richardson, Meghann Fahy, Theo James, Will Sharpe, Beatrice Grannò, Tom Hollander, Simona Tabasco

Grade: A

Warning: Reviews of The White Lotus season 2 will contain spoilers.

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White Noise – Movie Review

White Noise

  • Director: Noah Baumbach
  • Writers: Noah Baumbach
  • Starring: Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Raffey Cassidy, Andre Benjamin, Jodie Turner-Smith, Don Cheadle, Lars Eidinger

Grade: B+

Many films have been made throughout the years about the American Dream, but what about the American Nightmare? Noah Baumbach’s latest, White Noise, is a film that’s obsessed with impending doom at nearly every minute, filtered through the lens of the American condition. It’s the first time he’s working from previously-available material, adapted from Don DeLillo’s novel – long thought to be unadaptable – and it’s Baumbach’s most ambitious project to date. It’s also a thrilling, often messy film that exists on its own wavelength, and is liable to lose casual viewers because of it, but is no less enticing.

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The Five Worst Movies of 2022

Every year has its share of flops and misfires, but 2022’s worst films were less misguided pieces of auteur filmmaking (though there were certainly instances of that) and more studio algorithms passing as entertainment. It’s not that big budget filmmaking hit a new low this year – Top Gun: Maverick and Everything Everywhere All at Once and others reinvigorated the theater experience week after week! – but too many felt hollow and formulaic. Plenty of films passed muster as being merely forgettable, but nevertheless, here are the five worst films I saw in 2022.

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