While undeniably ambitious, writer-director Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of novelist Don DeLillo’s seminally strange White Noise is a shrill, obvious, and often painfully annoying disaster of epic, indulgent proportions.
Since George Lucas decided Star Wars needed to be updated for modern times, Lucasfilm has set a certain tone. That was never more evident than when Star Wars: A New Hope arrived on Disney+ with “maclunkey” plopped in for absolutely no apparent reason.
While its overall style of excessively literal deadpan humour won’t be to everyone’s taste (especially horror fans going into this expecting a broader, gorier zombie comedy), The Dead Don’t Die is a silly, unpretentious, and admittedly slight bit of good fun from art house darling Jim Jarmusch.
If some of the greatest humour comes from tremendous suffering, then Spike Lee’s riotously funny and sharply pointed period piece BlacKkKlansman is one of the best examples of how those who are discriminated against often have to laugh to keep from crying.
Logan Lucky, director Steven Soderbergh first film after stepping away from the big screen for several years, is an odd duck. Tonally strange, it falls somewhere between a mainstream blockbuster and avant garde restraint. The story is a classic sort of heist caper that could be played up for maximum broad effectiveness (a la Soderbergh’s Ocean’s films), but instead it’s played straight with nary a wink or nod to the audience. It vacillates wildly between outlandish silliness, dry humour, and high drama, speeding up or slowing down whenever it feels like it. As a result of such shifting, Logan Lucky is an uneven movie, but also a thoroughly fascinating and consistently enjoyable one.
Quietly contemplative, down to earth, and stirring, Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson might be the least pretentious film ever made about the creative process. Centering around a simple man who finds the most moving inspirations out of a seemingly banal life, Paterson proves that art is where we make it and that there’s inspiration in everything.
My childhood came back to me in a wave as I watched the opening crawl of Star Wars: The Force Awakens yesterday morning. It’s like I’m a kid again, and someone has planted me back in this universe a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.