‘Wonder Woman 1984' WarnerMedia

“The world is going to miss the moviegoing experience.” — Jack Nicholson

The death of movies was heralded again when WarnerMedia announced they would put up their entire 2021 film lineup on HBO Max. Starting with WW84 on Christmas Day, theatrical releases will debut the same day on the struggling HBO Max app with no surcharge (like Disney’s $30 fee for Mulan). The move is a game-changer and one born out of necessity. The pandemic made streaming the only game for film distribution for several months, providing a look at what the future might bring for the film industry.

The…


Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

Never as candid as it promises, Nomadland tries to reach both narrative and documentary feel for the lives of the new nomads. Unfortunately, in incorporating Frances McDormand’s Fern into the nomads routines, makeshift homes, and headspaces, authenticity is lost. Monologues presented by real-life nomads are engaging, close-ups that present their backstories, thoughts, and motivations. By later placing Fern in these conversations with people like Bob Wells, those conversations transition into monologues again, creating a self-conscious scene that shatters any sense of documentary truth that director Chloé Zhao intends. Also lost in this combination of drama and depicting nomad communities is…


Zentropa Entertainments

Four teachers gather for a fortieth birthday party and commiserate in the boredom that has permeated their lives. While dining, they discuss psychiatrist Finn Skårderud’s hypothesis that a perpetual blood alcohol content of 0.05 will make you more creative and relaxed. The others scoff at such nonsense, but Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) decides to imbibe at work and finds the results encouraging. Feeling disconnected from his wife and kids and dealing with burnout at work, a swig of vodka was just the kick that Martin needed. …


We did it everyone! We made it to the end of a hellscape of a year. The history-making Oscar win for Parasite gave cinephiles much to hope for, but that goodwill unraveled so very quickly. While it wasn’t a good year for going to theaters, it was a good year for films. By brushing aside so many blockbusters from the 2020 calendar, smaller titles that would’ve gone marginalized any other year suddenly got more prominent placing.

Regardless of the size of the screen we saw most of 2020’s films on, the impact those films made is indelible.

“we’ll see who’s the last man standing.”

Honorable mentions: Da…


The Star Wars universe is one made up of doomed mothers and distant fathers whose children struggle to live up to their image. While the galaxy far, far away has all the ornaments and trappings of fantastical science fiction, the focus of the series is parentage. Whether faced with competing with the idealized reputations of their parents, or to live in the long shadows that they cast, tragedy lurks in the arc in each trilogy. Darth Vader is the result of Anakin Skywalker throwing away everything in trying to preserve his family, only to be betrayed by Emperor Palpatine. …


Photo by Parisa Taghizedeh

Imagine living inside of a memory. A sensuous experience punctuated by anxiety lurking even inside the warm membrane of a haven made just for you. Set in a West Indian neighborhood in London, Lovers Rock takes place at an all-night house party because of Britain’s bigoted, Caucasians-only nightclub culture. There, young people dance, drink, toke, and forget the stresses and angst of the outside world. But that’s not really true, is it? Setting up for the evening, the young DJs (Kadeem Ramsay and Alexander James-Blake) feel the heat of the angry stares of white faces across the street. When Martha…


Better when finding its teeth, Mank settles earlier on for the easy charm of replicating the dream factory of Hollywood (cigarette burns and all). And that’s exactly what’s provided: pretty people say clever things and the scene fades to black when anything starts to resemble reality. Scurrilous activities by those with power are seen taking place, but never seriously addressed. Mank makes a withering comment drunkenly and the scene resets. It’s not until Gary Oldman’s eponymous lead develops a conscience when MGM heads Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg use their significant influence to dictate the 1934 gubernatorial race of…


What could’ve been a very lazy body-swap film is instead a delightful blend of Vince Vaughn as a brutal killer and Kathryn Newton’s good-natured neglected teen. And conversely is just as good when they swap, tapping into Vaughn’s charisma and Newton’s iciness. Christopher Landon has tinkered with the ratio of laughs-to-chills to varying success in Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2 U, and while the meta-ness of ticking off movie rules and snappy teens will recall Scream, Freaky falls a little short of that mark. Though, given how much that film changed the horror landscape, that may be asking too much of any comparison. This slasher won’t really terrify you, but it’s a welcome reminder of when we could have a good time at the movies.


Shot in faux-documentary style, and made believable by the improvisational performances of three leads, The Blair Witch Project is one of the best horror films in recent history.

Three film students go out to Burkittsville, MD, to make a documentary about the legend of the Blair Witch, who supposedly still haunts the area. Heather (Heather Donahue) is the director, and accompanying her on the trip is cameraman Josh (Joshua Leonard), and Mike (Michael Williams), who records audio. As they ask locals for legends, they get a tip about the cemetery up in the hills. Supposedly, the site is home to…


Fans of Brandon Cronenberg have had to wait eight long years since Antiviral for a follow-up, but the wait is worth it with Possessor, antagonistic sci-fi that wants you to flinch. Cronenberg doesn’t pull any punches with his takedown of corporations, using white-collar business as the backdrop for some of the most shocking violence imaginable. Now, that isn’t to say Possessor spends its running time belaboring the points of late capitalism, it queries why a function of high society often demands us to be at our most animalistic.

Lives for profits.

Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough) is working too much. She…

Colin Biggs

Film critic w/ bylines in ThatShelf, Birth.Movies.Death, Little White Lies, ScreenCrush, and Movie Mezzanine (rip). LVFCS Member. Follow me at @wordsbycbiggs

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