Fletcher Powell | Movie Review

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Reviewer Fletcher Powell shares his no-holds-barred opinions on Hollywood's best efforts.


  • Movie Review: Revisiting The Assistant

    Movie Review: Revisiting 'The Assistant'

    21/05/2020 Duração: 01min

    One of the last movies I saw in an actual theater was The Assistant , and as the lights went down, I thought to myself, “what a disappointing title The Assistant is.” It seems instantly forgettable, like The Interpreter or The Accountant , both of which are real movies with major stars that I figure most people don’t remember.

  • Movie Review: A Couple Of Favorites In The Grimy New York Genre

    Movie Review: A Couple Of Favorites In The 'Grimy New York' Genre

    18/05/2020 Duração: 01min

    The other day I watched Dog Day Afternoon , and I have a confession to make—I’d never seen it before. Yeah, yeah, but we all have holes in our movie-watching history, and that just happened to be one of them for me. It’s obviously brilliant, and has a lot more zip than I expected, and it got me to thinking about how much I enjoy those grimy New York movies.

  • Movie Review: Driveways Shouldnt Be Remarkable

    Movie Review: 'Driveways' Shouldn't Be Remarkable

    15/05/2020 Duração: 01min

    Quick, what’s the rarest movie genre you can think of? OK, yeah, there’s the roller disco musical, there’s not many of those. But while it might not be the absolute least common, how about this—can you name five movies off the top of your head about people… just being nice to each other? I know, I know, dramatic tension, conflict, those make for good stories, but do we all really have so much kindness in our lives already that we can’t use more movies about people simply being good?

  • Movie Review: Beanpole

    Movie Review: 'Beanpole'

    07/05/2020 Duração: 01min

    There’s a moment at the end of the great Soviet World War II film The Cranes Are Flying where a soldier just home from victory addresses a celebrating crowd. He tells them they haven’t won in order to destroy, but so they could build a new life. It’s a rare moment of optimism for Russian or Soviet World War II movies—the Soviets lost somewhere around 25 million people in the war.

  • Remembering Actor Irrfan Khan, Whose Face Youll Likely Never Forget

    Remembering Actor Irrfan Khan, Whose Face You'll Likely Never Forget

    04/05/2020 Duração: 01min

    I was deeply sad to hear last Wednesday of the death of Indian actor Irrfan Khan from cancer at age 53. If you know his name, you already understand; if you’ve seen his face, you’ll likely never forget it.

  • Movie Review: True History Of The Kelly Gang Offers An Alternate Mythology

    Movie Review: 'True History Of The Kelly Gang' Offers An Alternate Mythology

    30/04/2020 Duração: 01min

    If, as an American, you know anything about Ned Kelly, it’s probably that you’ve seen the massive suit of bulletproof armor he wore in a shootout, or that you remember his magnificent beard. The movie True History of the Kelly Gang , based on the Booker Prize-winning novel, does not include that beard, which at first I thought patently ridiculous. And then I realized that’s part of the point.

  • Movie Review: A Hidden Life Is Malick At His Finest

    Movie Review: 'A Hidden Life' Is Malick At His Finest

    23/04/2020 Duração: 02min

    There are some reviews you dread writing. The bad movies, those are easy. It’s usually the totally average ones, where you have to come up with something interesting to say about a movie that’s completely unremarkable. But on very rare occasions, a movie touches you in such a deeply personal way it feels almost blasphemous to try to verbalize your experience.

  • Movie Review: Whos The Mosted Talented Tom Ripley?

    Movie Review: Who's The Mosted Talented Tom Ripley?

    20/04/2020 Duração: 01min

    In 1955, Patricia Highsmith introduced us to one of the strangest, most distasteful characters ever to anchor a book series—and somehow got us to root for him. Tom Ripley is a forger, murderer, and thief of identities, and he’s completely spellbinding. He appeared in five books, though, amazingly to me, only four movies in 65 years. Well, technically five movies, but one of those basically no one has ever seen.

  • Movie Review: Sea Fever Is Timely, And Terrifying

    Movie Review: 'Sea Fever' Is Timely, And Terrifying

    16/04/2020 Duração: 01min

    The great German director Werner Herzog said, “Life in the oceans must be… a vast, merciless hell of permanent and immediate danger. So much of a hell that during evolution, some species—including man—crawled, fled onto some small continents of solid land, where the Lessons of Darkness continue.”

  • Saint Frances Approaches Reality With Eyes Wide Open

    'Saint Frances' Approaches Reality With Eyes Wide Open

    09/04/2020 Duração: 01min

    There’s a moment in Saint Frances when the mother of our main character, Bridget, reveals something startling about how she felt when her daughter was a baby. Bridget’s shocked, but her mother expresses these are real feelings and thoughts women have, and they need to be talked about more so women know they’re normal, and that they’re not alone.

  • Celebrating One Of The Greats: Toshiro Mifune

    Celebrating One Of The Greats: Toshiro Mifune

    06/04/2020 Duração: 01min

    Last week, fans around the world celebrated what would have been the 100th b irthday of one of the greatest of movie stars, the Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune.

  • Movie Review: Portrait Of A Lady On Fire Burns With Life

    Movie Review: 'Portrait Of A Lady On Fire' Burns With Life

    02/04/2020 Duração: 02min

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire appeared on nearly every top 10 list from 2019 I can remember, but our local theaters never bothered to bring it to town, so I wasn’t able to see it until this last weekend. I usually work hard not to let my expectations get the better of me, but I failed—it was just receiving so much praise . And, well, it didn’t meet my expectations. It completely. Blew them. Away.

  • Movie Review: We All Are Indebted To Crip Camp

    Movie Review: We All Are Indebted To 'Crip Camp'

    26/03/2020 Duração: 01min

    From the 1950s through the 1970s, a summer camp in the Catskills called Camp Jened operated for kids with disabilities. In the exceptional archival film footage from the early ‘70s in the documentary Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution , we see it’s not just another place that would babysit those kids.

  • Movie Review: Dark Waters Is A Rock-Solid Piece Of Filmmaking

    Movie Review: 'Dark Waters' Is A Rock-Solid Piece Of Filmmaking

    19/03/2020 Duração: 01min

    I’m not sure why I and seemingly everyone else basically shrugged when Dark Waters came out at the end of last year.

  • Movie Review: For Too Many Women, The Invisible Man Isnt Fiction

    Movie Review: For Too Many Women, 'The Invisible Man' Isn't Fiction

    05/03/2020 Duração: 01min

    The Invisible Man is not the H.G. Wells tale you probably know. It does follow the usual pattern of the title character engaging in the basest impulses of humanity, but most of the rest of his story is different. Most importantly, this isn’t his story.

  • Movie Review: The Assistant Is Soul-Crushingly Great

    Movie Review: 'The Assistant' Is Soul-Crushingly Great

    27/02/2020 Duração: 01min

    As the lights went down in the theater, I thought to myself, “what a disappointing title The Assistant is.” It seems instantly forgettable, like The Interpreter or The Accountant , both of which are real movies with major stars that I figure most people don’t remember. Then the title came up on the screen and I knew instantly I was wrong, and that this was very deliberate. Because the title, and where it’s placed on the screen—in small font in the far lower right corner—show us exactly where our main character stands in the world. And from that moment through the end of the movie, we see that played out in soul-crushing detail. She has a name, it’s Jane, though I don’t even remember anyone saying it. She’s an office assistant at a movie production company and the film is, simply, her life, as she makes sure everything in the office is in place, answers phones, schedules appointments, and does seemingly everything else. Her boss is never seen, but he’s often heard, yelling behind his

  • Movie Review: Honeyland Thrives In Its Contradictions

    Movie Review: 'Honeyland' Thrives In Its Contradictions

    20/02/2020 Duração: 01min

    This year’s Documentary Oscar nominees tackled some pretty lofty topics. The war in Syria, tensions between U.S. and Chinese business practices, the eroding of democracy, and, of course, beekeeping in Macedonia. OK, I’m poking a little fun, that last one might not seem so weighty, but its inclusion with those others shows how strong the movie, Honeyland , really is. And it’s probably the best of a very impressive group, and the one most likely to endure.

  • Movie Review: The Significance Of Parasite Win

    Movie Review: The Significance Of 'Parasite' Win

    13/02/2020 Duração: 01min

    Film critic Justin Chang wrote in the LA Times, “It’s just the Oscars—but my God, it matters that Parasite won best picture.” Chang is right about pretty much everything he says in his piece, but we should probably acknowledge that first part. Yes, it is just the Oscars, and it is possible to overstate the importance of this. When’s the last time you really heard anyone talk about The King’s Speech , The Artist , Argo , or Birdman , all of which won best picture in the last decade? We movie lovers hate to admit it, but the Oscars have a limited reach. But you’re no doubt aware Parasite is not like those other movies. It’s the first movie in a foreign language to win best picture in the Oscars’ 92 ceremonies. And while it would still be a huge deal if a movie from, say, Germany or Sweden had won, this one is from South Korea—it’s filled entirely with nonwhite actors and, on the surface, at least, is very specific to South Korea. Its themes are universal, for sure, but its location and

  • Movie Review: Gretel  Hansel Rises Far Above Expectations

    Movie Review: 'Gretel & Hansel' Rises Far Above Expectations

    06/02/2020 Duração: 02min

    I only just discovered director Osgood Perkins last week, but I’ve now seen all three of his movies, and I’ve noticed a pattern—on paper, it doesn’t seem like any of them should work, but in practice, they really do.

  • Movie Review: I Lost My Body Illustrates The Beauty Of Animation

    Movie Review: 'I Lost My Body' Illustrates The Beauty Of Animation

    30/01/2020 Duração: 02min

    Each year, in amongst the annual Pixar and Dreamworks entries for the Best Animated Feature award, there’s always one or two nominees that pretty much no one has ever heard of. Usually they’re from outside the U.S., and usually there’s almost no way for most of us to see them. But, there’s reason to hope this might be changing. This year’s film that fits the bill, the French movie I Lost My Body , is available on Netflix, indicating the opportunities to see some of these may be increasing.