What to Watch? Reviews of New Films, October 2018

Having a flick night? Check out the reviews of these recent releases – better be safe than sorry!

A Star Is Born

“[W] hile it’s not a perfect film — though the first hour just may be — A Star Is Born boasts more than enough passion to make up for some of its narrative hiccups. It swings from intimate drama to concert film and back again with a limpid pace and fluidity. And when it deviates from its predecessors on certain plot points, those choices feel both modern and perfectly natural. It’s hard to imagine watching the film and not being moved.” – Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

The main issue that prevents A Star is Born from being a full-blown grand slam is that it works better as a romantic drama than a cautionary tale about the fleeting cycle of fame and success in show business… In other words: A Star is Born is an excellent romantic drama that’s held back by the fact that it eventually has to be, well, A Star is Born remake.” – Sandy Schaefer, Screen Rant

 

Bad Times at the El Royale

“When all is said and done, there’s nothing to hold onto in this tale of paranoia and dark doings. It’s great to look at, nearly giddy with pop-culture love, and its particulars are intriguing. But those pieces — by turns weird, soulful and exhilarating — merely accumulate, when they should be generating magic.” – Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

“A beautifully staged film with everything is in its place, this is both an affectionate homage and a timely commentary, falling only slightly short of its own ambition. Classy pulp fiction.” – Alex Godfrey, Empire

 

Venom

“It’s a train wreck of a movie, mixing and matching wildly dissonant tones, bizarre plot contrivances, and a truly unique lead performance. It’s full of odd slapstick moments and computer-generated effects that look like they were pulled straight from the 1990s. Hardcore fans may just be pleased that the titular character has his own movie. But for everyone else, Venom is a mess.” – Bryan Bishop, The Verge

“Overall, just like a a lycra Spider-Man outfit on a 35-year-old man at a Halloween party, Venom is an awkward fit.” – Screen Queen, ABC

 

First Man

“Some films — La La Land, for example — feel light on their feet, effortless. First Man is laborious. That’s the point. Every knob, every hinge, every personality quirk of every astronaut or technician or overseer was liable to have shattering consequences. The moon was hard-earned and so was this movie. It’s a stupendous feat.” – David Edelstein, Vulture

“For an industry that’s been obsessed with showing the ingenuity, ambition and perseverance it takes to send man into space since Georges Melies’ Trip to the Moon 116 years ago, it’s marvellous that Chazelle has managed to make an epic story feel so intimate.” – Wenlei Ma, News.com.au

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