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Thursday, October 11, 2018

The GeekRex Podcast: Reviewing FIRST MAN and THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN

This week we take a look at the new Neil Armstrong biopic FIRST MAN, and the Robert Redford swan song THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN.

How'd they fare? Take a listen below:


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Thursday, October 4, 2018

The GeekRex Podcast: Reviewing A STAR IS BORN, THE SISTERS BROTHERS, and VENOM

























We're back! At least for now, and this week is our latest review episode where Kyle and Hannah discuss this weekend's big releases: A STAR IS BORN, THE SISTERS BROTHERS, and VENOM


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Monday, October 1, 2018

Best Covers of the Week, Vol. 247

Batman #56
by Tony S. Daniel


Border Town #2
by Ramon Villalobos


 New Lieutenants of Metal #4
by Ulises Farinas


Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader's Castle #1
by Francesco Francavilla


Tomb Raider: Inferno #4
by Hannah Templer


Barbarella #10
by Cliff Chiang


That's it for this week. What did I miss? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!
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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Review: COLETTE

The Buzz: One of this week's smaller releases, Colette is a biographical look at the life of the famous French novelist/actress/journalist and her rise to fame. Keira Knightley plays the author in the early years of her career, where she's catapulted into the French literary world through her marriage to the famed writer and music critic Henry Gauthier-Villars aka Willy (Dominic West), and is eventually enlisted into the roster of ghostwriters that are in his employ, chugging away at stories that will bear his name in exchange for needed income. Colette, in her first go, writes, under some mentorship from Willy, the Claudine sequence of novellas that become a sensation across France. With success comes immense wealth for the couple, as well as new admirers that eventually lead them down various amorous paths. Colette begins to discover new facets of her own self, while Willy aims to create a literary and media empire. It doesn't end well. This is the filmmaker Wash Westmoreland's first solo film since the passing of his husband and longtime collaborator, Richard Glatzer.

What's Great About the Movie: The script itself is a crisp affair, and often quite uproariously funny. Often stuffier biopics can drag along with a sense of overly important, almost liturgical, drama, but Westmoreland keeps things fairly light and breezy while painting both Willy and Colette as rather charming and likable protagonists; a difficult task given some of the rather underhanded deeds the former gets into, but it's a testament to the both Knightley and West, who are an imminently watchable duo who bounce off the filmmaker's dialogue with a flair and keeps with the pacing Westmoreland seems to be making one of his key goals throughout. It's a film you'll never be bored watching, despite some of its occasional tired genre trappings.

More interestingly though, it seems as if the central theses of Colette center around the concept of authorship, a central struggle for both the real life couple, as well as their big screen counterparts, as well as portraying the idea of what happens when your creation spins completely out of your control. This happens in a pair of ways that borders on quite astute: from the growth of the Claudine character and how young women emulate her to a degree that is wholly unforeseen by both Colette and Willy to how Willy attempts to shape Colette into a star all her own and she completely slips out of his grasp. That latter point also addresses Westmoreland other key area of interest, which is an examination of feminism and gender fluidity in the early turn of the 20th century. This evolution of Colette is a slowly growing, subtle shift from scene to every scene, but Knightley perfectly encapsulates this self-actualization in a performance that approaches some of the best work of her career. 

What's Not-So-Great About the Movie: As stated, it's a broad biopic, and a slightly more innovative filmmaker might have been able to avoid just a few of the tripwires that Westmoreland gets tangled in here, but as you watch, there are a number of scenes where you can easily predict what's going to happen just because you've seen films of this same stripe before (ex: "I bet he's not going to burn those book pages!"). Luckily, those moments are fewer than the usual, and while it might very well be a movie you forget about the moment you leave the theater due to its formal familiarity, it's a rather pleasant near two hours.

Final Verdict: Of everything opening this weekend in Atlanta, this is definitely the way to go. Don't expect a reinvention within the genre, but it's a strikingly fascinating story and told pretty darn well.





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Monday, September 24, 2018

Best Covers of the Week, Vol. 246

Beyonders #2
by Wesley St. Claire


Gamma #1
by Ulises Farinas


 Wonder Woman #55
by Jenny Frison


Batgirl #27
by Joshua Middleton


That's it for this week. What did I miss? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!
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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Review: LIFE ITSELF

The Buzz: Dan Fogelman, the successful creator of the acclaimed and meteorically popular tv show This Is Us makes his return to the big screen in an attempt to recapture some of that same cross-generational formula that has captured the rapt attention of so much of Middle America on a weekly basis. Life Itself is his sophomore effort following 2015's Danny Collins, and was the subject of a big bidding war between Paramount, Universal and Amazon, the latter of which won the rights to the film to the tune of $10 million dollars. Life Itself spans several decades within two families, both centered on a shared tragedy, and studies the intricacies of their relationships and the impact trauma has had on their familial lines.

What's Great About the Movie: A third of Life Itself is set in Spain, and stands apart from the rest. Captured almost fully in Spanish and subtitled, there's something to be admired about how Fogelman has seemingly tricked his intended audience into watching a "dreaded foreign language film". When Antonio Banderas first arrives on screen, and he immediately involves you in a monologue regarding the circumstances in which his character has found his fortune, there's a level of genuine pathos and emotional investment that is instantly sated within the viewer. Perhaps it's his years of starring in subpar projects, but there's a confidence in his line deliveries, and his ability to formulate a living, breathing character out very little that speaks volumes about what a powerful and undervalued performer he actually is. Thankfully, much of the rest of this sequence (approximately 1/3rd of the film), while veering into melodrama a little too sharply at times, is equally co-anchored by Laia Costa and Sergio Peris-Mencheta, whose story is handled with a defter touch and built around strong-enough chemistry that the all too brief sojourn into their lives is when Life Itself isn't actively painful to watch.

What's Not-So-Great About the Movie: Everything else. The first third of the film feels like tragedy porn, trying its best to both pontificate over and over on the concept of an "unreliable narrator" and pull at the viewer's heartstrings, while competently achieving neither. The final third of the film feels basically like a (poor quality) Lifetime movie, but not in a fun and satirical way. It's hard to understand how the middle portion of the film is so much more watchable than what leads and follows it, but perhaps some of the credit is due to the fact that I wasn't hearing the dialogue in English. There are good ideas buried in this film, but they're completely washed away by the poor dialogue, the asinine philosophizing, and the way the actors wrestle with the script. Oscar Isaac, usually one of the more reliable performers in any film he's in, is completely drowned by this material. He looks uncomfortable and feels, at the very best of times, completely inauthentic. Olivia Wilde fares no better. Fortunately we don't have to spend the full running of the film with these characters, but they manage to tank the movie before it even gets out the gate.  

Final Verdict: If you like This is Us.... just go watch that. 

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Best Covers of the Week, Vol. 245

Black Badge #2
by Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins


 Coyotes #6
by Caitlin Yarsky


Ether: The Copper Golems #5
by Jen Bartel


 John Wick #3
by Ben Garriga


 Mister Miracle #11
by Nick Derington


The Wildstorm #17
by Jon Davis-Hunt


That's it for this week. What did I miss? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!
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