The Manic Pixie Dream Girl has been popularly relevant for long enough to inspire an entire sub-genre of romantic comedy deconstructing it, of which The Big Sick is the latest entry. Based on the true story of writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon’s relationship, The Big Sick contributes to the conversation around the trope by – and it isn’t a spoiler because it’s in the title – putting the budding MPDG in a coma by the second act, and following the boy as he’s forced to confront how much he wants to invest in this relationship despite having broken up with her just before she went under, and having absolutely no guarantee of the relationship working out should he stay.
The best thing I can say about Transformers: The Last Knight is that, because of Michael Bay’s trademark awful directorial style, I have already forgotten most of it. Surprising absolutely nobody, this movie is a pile of hot garbage featuring entirely too many needless characters, settings, and plot elements taped together haphazardly with transitions of military hardware at sunset. I honestly couldn’t even begin to recap the plot of this movie without a guide, and even then, it would read like a transcript of Donald Trump trying to describe a fever dream he had – constantly interrupting itself and going on tangents.
So, in leu of a traditional review, please enjoy a list of the most egregious things I unfortunately still remember about Transformers: The Last Knight:
As Okja will eventually remind you, sausage does not come from any single part of the pig, but is made from a bunch of spare parts all blended together and stuffed up its own intestine. Unfortunately, Okja feels somewhat similar, cobbled together from many disparate ideas all squished together inside a single two-hour movie.
Starting off, it really isn’t worth my or your time to compare Wonder Woman to the previous movies in the DC cinematic universe (DCEU), because, well…Wonder Woman blows them completely out of the water. The first woman of comics gets the big screen adaptation she’s always deserves, with director Patty Jenkins and the entire cast and crew taking the opportunity to show the boys how it’s done with style and grace.
So, instead, allow me to compare Wonder Woman to a superhero film in the same league, Captain America: The First Avenger.
It is almost impossible to overestimate how unescapable Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus still is in contemporary culture. Frankenstein is the first story of what would become the science-fiction genre, and established not only an aesthetic, character archetypes, and the basic template of what makes a story science fiction; but it’s themes, which still provide the center around which so much other science fiction orbits.
I want to get this out of the way first. There is a Cat Stevens song in this movie too. It is not as poignant a moment as when one is used in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but I noticed it.
That out of the way, Hounds of Love is the most viscerally disturbing movie I’ve seen this year, in spite of not showing anything truly graphic, rather, taking advantage of just implications. First time director Ben Young is smart enough to know you don’t have to actually show rape; showing a girl chained to a bed and bloodied sheets gives enough for the audience to put together themselves. Much of what actually disturbs in this movie is character-centric rather than action-oriented. Hounds of Love gives its villains so much room to become monsters that are also so scarily human in their monstrosity.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the first Marvel Studios movie to make me cry, and while – yes – a lot of that is thanks to Cat Stevens’ Father and Son, a song which listening to from my mom’s cassette copy of The Very Best of Cat Stevens is one of my earliest childhood memories, (fun personal fact: Wild World is the first song I ever sang in public); that the movie was able to use the song as effectively as it does is testament to how director James Gunn is able to bring a pathos to his rag-tag group of heroes, including the raccoon and the tree.