The Alchemist Cookbook captures the fear of a slow mental breakdown in its negative space. Paranoia is peppered throughout, pressing down upon Sean from every which way. The horror of the unknown and a lurking evil (which here is very real) soaks the brown-leaved frames with dread.
The whole film leans on and into Kate. As she presses into Christine’s life, Christine seems to press into her. The film finds its rhythms in its lead actress, and as Kate succumbs to the character she’s to play, she’s like an apparition that looms over the town which seems to have forgotten Christine.
Finding Dory is honest about this aspect of mental illness as well. The film is as much about learning to value the unique gifts of “broken” members of communities as it is about the importance of family.
The core longing of the film is that Sunny would find a respite from whatever strange place she’s come from. She is clearly a victim of some sort of abuse, be it emotionally, physically, or sexually, or possibly all three. So she finds solace in imagining life with another, with one who may need her
Popstar's satire is relevent and biting, while still being downright silly. It functions as a cohesive collection of everything The Lonely Island has done to this point, while also demonstrating a new maturation into smart cultural satire that may mean a bright future for this trio.
The Lobster portrays a fantasy world without displaying anything out of the ordinary, yet the fantasy is not fanciful at all, going for resonance rather than comedy.
Quicksilver’s rescue scene finds a balance in between freeze-frame and cinematic movement; it allows for filmgoers to pause and reflect on breathtaking images while also offering enough movement to prevent them from disengaging.
Neighbors 2 seems to be interested in more though, building off Neighbors’ subtle critiques of frat culture by offering a more blatant, feminist critique. The movie chooses not to play up stereotypical, fetishizing depictions of college-aged women, and instead skewers it.
Calling Holland and Jackson “nice guys” might be a stretch. They are good guys, sure. Nicer than other guys, definitely. But not nice guys.
When a film chooses quantity over quality, it turns into noise. This film is noisy because it’s trying to accomplish too much.