Not posting for one day is just One Of Those Things, not posting for two days starts to get me nervous, but not posting for three days is the point where I fear that you’ll all abandon me and I’ll return to find the blog a desolate wasteland.
That being said, I’m not going to be writing a review this day. It is that magical time of year called Holy Shit, Papers Are Due Week. However, not having enough time to review movies isn’t the same as not having enough time to watch movies, and I do have a bit of a backlog that I’ll be carving my way through. Here, mostly so you all know that I’m not dead, is a little preview of some of the full-length reviews coming soon to an Antagony & Ecstasy near you:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
So it looks like everybody fits into one of two camps: “Best since The Empire Strikes Back“, or “weaker than the Original Trilogy and The Force Awakens, but better than the prequels” (there is the third camp of people who like or love the prequels, but these people are demented and needn’t concern us here). I’m on team “Best since Empire“. Everything else I have to say about the movie has been said someplace, but I still look forward to sharing my particular version of that stock review sometime soon, hopefully tomorrow night. 8/10
Manchester by the Sea
The best movie of the year that I was still somewhat disappointed by. I think it’s Kenneth Lonergan’s third-best film, and a little too inclined to trot out misery for the sake of misery, but the Affleck-Williams-Hedges trio is every bit as good as the hype claims. A phenomenal depiction of guilt and grief that dares to suggest that those emotions aren’t things that you can quickly resolve thanks to a pat movie narrative. 9/10
Baraka – part of the ACS Fundraiser
A clear descendant of Koyaanisqatsi that’s simply nowhere near as good (it has the insurmountable handicap of lacking Philip Glass, for one). It is, however, at least on par with Powaqqatsi. The imagery is mind-blowingly beautiful and the overall mode of spiritual meditation is quite something, but I can’t help wishing it had just a little bit more of a clear-cut point of view. Rating TBD.
A miracle: bitterly satirical social commentary mashed together with a goofball comedy in a wantonly indulgent 162-minute frame, and the result is one of the most trenchant and sweet-hearted movies of the decade. It also has the funniest scene of full-frontal nudity ever. The Cannes hype was, if anything, insufficiently rapturous. 10/10.