Phantom Thread

January 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Kiko, Reviews

Starring: Daniel-Day Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville
Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson (“The Master”)
Written by: Paul Thomas Anderson (“The Master”)

As elegant and stunning as the couture dresses three-time Oscar winner Daniel-Day Lewis’ character designs in the film, writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s period piece is a work of art. In what he is calling his final acting performance, Lewis stars as Reynolds Woodcock, a renowned and pedantic English dressmaker whose life is upended when he meets a young muse who is far more strong-willed than he anticipated. Anderson expands his exploration on relationship dynamics (he touches on it in “The Master” with Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s characters), to reveal a wickedly humorous newfound romance that is both suffocating and Machiavellian. Watching that play out for 130 glorious minutes with a remarkable score by Johnny Greenwood hovering above it is sensuous and sublime.

Ep. 82 – Independence Day: Resurgence, Finding Dory, the tragic death of Anton Yelchin, the terrible new Ghostbusters song from Fall Out Boy, and a quick NBA Finals wrap-up

June 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Podcast

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This week on The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod talk “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Finding Dory,” the tragic death of actor Anton Yelchin in a freak accident, that awful new “Ghostbusters” song from Fall Out Boy, the fellows give their hot takes on the NBA Finals and preview our “Boogie Nights” screening at Alamo Drafthouse Park North.

[00:00-19:10] Intro/”Boogie Nights” screening tease

[19:10-29:24] R.I.P. Anton Yelchin

[29:24-45:00] That awful new “Ghostbusters” theme song

[45:00-1:01:03] “Independence Day: Resurgence” review

[1:01:03-1:14:36] “Finding Dory” review

[1:14:36-1:30:19] Wrap-up/tease/NBA Finals recap

Click here to download the episode!

Inherent Vice

January 8, 2015 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson
Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson (“The Master”)
Written by: Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood”)

It’s always gratifying to be able to go back and revisit the work of auteur filmmaking genius Paul Thomas Anderson, especially when his narrative sprawls into something your head is unable to put together after only one viewing. Truth be told, it took me a handful of screenings of “Magnolia,” “Punch-Drunk Love,” and “The Master” to fall madly in love with each of them (it was love at first sight with “Boogie Nights” and “There Will Be Blood;” “Hard Eight,” his first film, is good but not great). With his seventh feature film “Inherent Vice,” Anderson has done something that I honestly didn’t think he was capable of doing as a storyteller. After only experiencing the film twice, very little of it absorbed me emotionally in the way any of his past six films have done and, for the first time, I don’t feel like any amount of times I see the film to discover all the nuances of it will make me like it much more.

Maybe it’s because Anderson adapted “Vice” from the novel of the same name by reclusive and complicated author Thomas Pynchon (the first time Pynchon has ever allowed his work to be made into a film) and decided to capture the essence of what the writer put on the page no matter how convoluted it might turn out. Maybe it’s because, like Anderson always does, he wanted to show audiences something they had never seen before and prove just how vast his range really is by making a comedy neo-noir film with a dash of slapstick. Whatever the case, “Vice,” unfortunately, is the first Anderson film I cannot recommend. It’s highly inspired filmmaking and Anderson recreates the haziness and hippiness of 1970s Los Angeles with appeal, not to mention all the characterizations are extremely unique, but that screenplay (oh, that frustrating, confusing screenplay) is not something I’d consider a triumph no matter how close to Pynchon he was able to get. As eccentric as some critics might call his past work, it doesn’t get close to the off-tempo mess that is “Vice.” Anderson plays to the beat of his own drum (and I love that about him), but he’s influenced here by a higher power. Pynchon is in his head and it shows for better or worse. That might be great for Pynchon’s diehard fans, but he uses Anderson as a link to the outside world and it’s Anderson who is the one that comes out with the short end of the stick.

The Master

September 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams
Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood”)
Written by: Paul Thomas Anderson (“Magnolia”)

Pornography as a cultural influence in “Boogie Nights;” the squeaky sound of an abandoned harmonium in “Punch-Drunk Love;” frogs falling from the sky in “Magnolia.” The works of auteur director/writer Paul Thomas Anderson over the last decade and a half might be some of the most challenging films to dissect for the average moviegoer, but none have been as demanding, ambiguous, and dreamlike as his latest offering “The Master.” Inspired and loosely based on the early teachings of L. Ron Hubbard (although the word Scientology is never uttered), Anderson has once again proven why he is the most intelligent and distinctive filmmaker working today. This time, however, it does come at the price of alienating audiences with a drama not nearly as narrative-driven as his others and one that will easily take multiple viewings to pin down and decipher all of Anderson’s lofty and visionary concepts.

Coming four years after his full-fledged masterpiece “There Will Be Blood,” which earned Daniel Day-Lewis a decisive second Academy Award, Anderson returns with another bizarrely compelling character study of a man who has “wandered from the proper path” and found himself under the guidance of a leader he strongly admires and later questions. Freddy Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a mentally unstable, alcoholic drifter lost in a tiresome post WWII existence. He finds solace when recruited by Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) to join his flock and partake in the unconventional therapies meant to help individuals expose their past lives by what seems like slow-burn brainwashing.

Hoffman’s performance is beyond words, as always, but it is Phoenix’s take on the animalistic nature of man that speaks volumes to the core elements of what makes the film such a devastating one to shake.