Film Review: “A Simple Favor” (2018)

“That was very cinematic.”

A super stylish and composed neo-noir comedy that has a lot of fun with the tropes of the genre and a killer French pop soundtrack. So high-tone.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “I know, above all else, that life is better and filled with more intrigue when there’s a French pop soundtrack behind it. It’s a shame, then, that I’ve had ‘Kiss From a Rose’ by Seal from Batman Forever on repeat since 1997.”

Film Review: “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (2018)

“I have a really good feeling about this.”

Solo is a fun enough space Western with charming leads, plenty of betrayals and heists, something of an identity crisis, and some of that old school Star Wars flair. Not bad!

My VHS cover pull-quote: “Did we need to know the origins of a character whose very hook was his mystery and roguish charm? No. Do we need any movie? Probably not. Do we need anything? Or do we just want? Want to eat, want to breathe, want Star Wars movies to live up to some nebulous standard we’ve built up over years of fortifying the original series with impenetrable nostalgia? I suppose.”

Film Review: “Chappaquiddick” (2018)

“History usually has the final say on these things.”

Ted Kennedy is portrayed here by Jason Clarke as a man who fought against his better nature (and the moral whispers of Ed Helms) to appease a crippled father and escape the shadows of his dead, Great brothers. It’s a bit heavy-handed (like the whole movie), but there’s a scene where Ted is in his old bedroom flipping through the channels on his TV past coverage of the moon landing, past coverage of his car wreck/involuntary manslaughter, eventually landing on an episode of “Davey and Goliath.” He settles there and a sort of peace comes over him, as if this is where he belongs: in his room, watching cartoons and throwing a football in the air. Living a non-serious life. I can get behind more of these art-house leaning political films like this and the horror-tinged/more effective “Jackie” from a couple years ago. They lift the genre of political thriller above its station and give it some much-needed life.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “I drove Oldsmobiles for ten years and I always saved my passengers from drowning when we drove into a lake. Ted was not only a cowardly snake but a bad Oldsmobile owner as well.”

Film Review: “Annihilation” (2018)

“Is that what you think we’re doing out here? Committing suicide?”

It plays fast and loose with the source material, but Alex Garland and company have still crafted a challenging, remarkable piece of science fiction that digs into humanity’s sense of self and asks substantial questions.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “Replicates your cells and doesn’t stop until you are something new! -Nick Perilli? Natalie Portman? Who are we? Who are any of us? What is next?”

Film Review: “Early Man” (2018)

“You haven’t eaten your primordial soup.”

Despite the American marketing team’s attempts to convince everyone otherwise, this is 100% a football/soccer sports movie about a primitive Manchester United. Even so, Early Man still has all the heart, stop motion artistry, absurdity, British tomfoolery, and general lovability of any of Aardman’s other films.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “*Various British noises*!”

Film Review: “The Post” (2018)

“No shit.”

One of Spielberg’s stirring serious swells of strings pictures, but still an important story to be told, especially right now. It often plays like an episode of The Newsroom, wearing its message on its really long sleeve that it keeps slapping you with the way kids used to do because they had small arms and their shirt used to be their big brother’s, but the film still hits the right spots at the right moments.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “Halfway through the movie, Meryl Streep broke character and addressed me personally, saying ‘Nick, literally everyone else at this theater is seeing Black Panther tonight. What are you doing here seeing this milquetoast country club shit?’ Only when I assured her and, later, Bob Odenkirk that I’d be seeing Black Panther this weekend did the picture continue. I’ve contacted Mr. Spielberg about this event during the 10:15pm showing of The Post at the United Artists’ King of Prussia, but received only a recorded message from him about how incredible Kendrick Lamar’s work on the Black Panther soundtrack is. Needless to say, I’m excited to see Black Panther in a couple days.”