Monday, 6 August 2018
First Reformed's opening shot slowly pushes in on an old church with a sense that it’s opening up an old religious text and releasing its teachings into our modern poisoned world. The film takes place in New York at First Reformed church, nearing its 250th anniversary, and is run by Ethan Hawke's Reverend Toller. The church, now more of a tourist attraction, feels out of place, of a world that no longer exists. Schrader cast Hawke, instead of younger more bankable actors, because he felt that Hawke finally had some wrinkles that suggested a lifetime of experiences. Schrader himself has been making movies for decades (notably the writer for Taxi Driver and Raging Bull), and this is the film he had to live a lifetime to finally make.
Thursday, 2 August 2018
Reviewed by Andy Zachariason
2018 has already had two of Marvel's biggest films — both financially and culturally — and now comes a sequel starring everyone's favorite hero: Ant- Man. That this movie exists, and is a sequel to a movie about Paul Rudd as a shrinking man, is low-key the best example of what Marvel has accomplished. There's much to criticize in Marvel's filmmaking (or lack thereof), but their narrative railroading is a great feat at this point, and they've been driving so fast for a decade now that they can make movies about Ant-Man and they'll be successful. In the grand scheme of Marvel's superhero highway this might not some seem like an exit worth taking, but it's this outlier status that has made Ant-Man one of Marvel's better set of films.