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Filtering by Tag: NPR

Continental Drift: "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Unretired assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) still mourns his wife (Bridget Moynahan).

Unretired assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) still mourns his wife (Bridget Moynahan).

In one of these John Wick movies we’re going to learn he killed that dead spouse he’s been pining away for, aren’t we?

Forgive my cynicism. On the day I saw the new, double-punctuated John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, I walked past the taped-off scene of one violent crime on my way to the subway that morning, and past the taped off scene of another violent crime on my way home from the movie 12 hours later. So I’m not sure it’s correct to call this celebration of ultraviolence escapism.

I sure did enjoy it, though. You can read about my enjoyment and my hand-wringing in my NPR review.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: "Shazam!" and What's Making Us Happy"

Chris Klimek

Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in an enthusiastically punctuated superhero comedy.

Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in an enthusiastically punctuated superhero comedy.

I had a nice time joining the Pop Culture Happy Hour crew this week to discuss Shazam!, a lighter, brighter DC Comics movie that is also… a nice time. Doubtless I got invited on this episode because of the profile I wrote for the Ventura County Reporter waaaaaay back in January 2003 of Shazam! star Zachary Levi, a Local Boy Made Good for whom God has opened many doors, such as co-starring with Bob Newhart and the modern rhythm-and-blues singer Sisqo ("The Thong Song," peak position No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100). He admires men of integrity like Tom Hanks and Mel Gibson. The Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Three, friends.

Shazam! is the polar opposite of The Shield, the early-aughts post-Sopranos, pre-Breaking Bad cop show I’m currently revisiting, which is what’s making me happy this week and shall be for many weeks to come, because I bought the big doorstop blu-ray set with all 88 episodes.

Only the Elephants Will Remember: "Dumbo," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Colin Farrell and some kids in  Dumbo . (Disney)

Colin Farrell and some kids in Dumbo. (Disney)

No critique of a long-lived artist is lazier or more boring than “I liked the early shit.” What can I say? I’m enough of a partisan of enough of the movies Tim Burton made back in the prior century that I’m always rooting for him to get his groove back. Alas, his new Dumbo shows no evidence of groove restoration. It’s fine, but any number of hacks like the ones who make Dwayne Johnson vehicles might’ve made this movie for all the personality it’s got. My NPR review is here.

How Do You Talk to a Battle Angel: "ALITA," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Rosa Salazar is  Alita , an amnesiac cyborg super-soldier in the 26th century. (Twentieth Century Fox)

Rosa Salazar is Alita, an amnesiac cyborg super-soldier in the 26th century. (Twentieth Century Fox)

Panzer Kunist is, as I’m sure I need not tell a cinephile and aesthete as refined and discerning and educated as you are, an ancient cyborg martial art that has largely died out by the mid-26th century. More importantly, Panzer Kunst has the satisfying hard consonants of words that were forbidden on 20th century television. It seems like it could work as any part of speech, which makes it especially panzer to kunst as kunst as possible. Panzer Kunst!

On the new Alita: Battle Angel. My full review is here.

Raging at the Sea: "Serenity," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

“Remember when we were in  Interstellar  together? That movie was underrated.”

“Remember when we were in Interstellar together? That movie was underrated.”

Serenity is a soapy, dopey thriller from Steven Knight, who's made some very good ones. Nolanesque ambition, Shyamalanesque skill. With Matthew McConaughey as Baker Dill, a fisherman/tour guide/gigolo who lives in a shipping container and dreams of tuna. Here’s my review.

It's True, All of It: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

It takes all kinds of spider-beings to make a spider-verse. (Sony)

It takes all kinds of spider-beings to make a spider-verse. (Sony)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the first good Spider-Man movie in, uh, 18 months! But it's more than that: A fun, warm, visually astonishing omnibus of Spider-lore that elegantly rebukes reactionary fans whose minds are stuck in 1963. I rarely get worked up over animated films—a blind spot I can neither defend nor explain—but I loved this. Here’s my NPR review.

Dancing With Myself: "Suspiria," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Tilda Swinton plays three parts in Suspiria; she’s most recognizable in this one. (Amazon)

Tilda Swinton plays three parts in Suspiria; she’s most recognizable in this one. (Amazon)

Luca Guadagnino's new reimagining of the vibrant Dario Argento Italian cult classic Suspiria is is vulgar, shamelessly pretentious, and frequently opaque. But there were also things about about it that I didn’t like. My NPR review is here.