Film Reviews | Salt Lake City Weekly

Circle of Lifeless

The Lion King demonstrates the difference between realism and vitality.

Nutty Buddies

Stuber finds most of the genre pleasures of buddy action comedies.

Fun Size

Spider-Man: Far From Home almost lets big ideas overwhelm charming comedy.

Circle of Lifeless

The Lion King demonstrates the difference between realism and vitality.
Director Jon Favreau's version of The Lion King is clearly an impressive technical achievement.

Nothing's Gonna Change My World

Yesterday posits a Beatles-free universe that hasn't changed nearly enough.
How would "Eleanor Rigby" or"Let It Be" land today? The Beatles' songs exist in a bizarre vacuum here, literally excised from the social and artistic environment in which they were written, performed and received.

Role Play

Toy Story 4 is still delightful, but in a strange and different way.
The way those three movies grew over 15 years just like Andy did was essential to their emotional resonance, to an extent that asking "which Toy Story movie was best" feels like missing the point.

The Walking Deadpan

Jim Jarmusch mocks the whole idea of a zombie movie in The Dead Don't Die.
Yet he's also someone who has managed to apply his distinctive sensibility to weirdly effective stories about samurai assassins (Ghost Dog) and centuries-old vampires (Only Lovers Left Alive).

Insubstantial Pageant

All Is True sacrifices narrative for Shakespearean trivia.
In case you haven't been paying attention for the past 30 years, Kenneth Branagh likes William Shakespeare. He likes William Shakespeare a lot.

His Song

Rocketman is not the film you think it is at all. Oh no, no, no.
"He's on his way to take the stage," you think with an internal sigh, "only he's going to pause and have flashbacks about his whole life first."

Refined Crude

Booksmart makes raunchy female coming-of-age into an actual movie.
As directed by actor Olivia Wilde, overseeing her first feature, it's a movie that feels like an actual movie, and not merely a receptacle for women being conspicuously R-rated.

Out in Africa

Rafiki explores a lesbian coming-of-age in a place where being gay is a crime.
They're part of a culture that still requires such a couple to euphemistically refer to a partner as a "friend" because the consequences of being open are too severe.

Hobbit Forming

A literary origin gets particularly literal in Tolkien.
Arts criticism has long been a place where people strive to understand a work by understanding its author, believing in the power of biographical information to unlock subtextual secrets.

The Banality of Evil

The Brink captures Steve Bannon as a depressingly familiar monster.
ForThe Brinkis a documentary portrait of Donald Trump's propagandist, chief strategist and architect of the Muslim ban, Steve Bannon—and, perhaps, a last-gasp attempt by its human-dumpster-fire subject to demonstrate his relevance and importance.

Starting a Revolution

Writer-director Van Ling on his unlikely involvement in the Greek Independence epic Cliffs of Freedom.
It would be a story that focused on a female protagonist.

A Dream Come True

After half a lifetime, Savannah Ostler's Twice the Dream becomes reality.
For Ostler, the process of getting the movie made has spanned more than 14 years; she first began working on the script in high school.

Past and Present

Transit presents a moral tale that's part history, part warning.
Or is it the present day, as suggested by cars, graffiti and music of a more modern vintage—and nary a reference to Nazis?

Zero to Hero

Shazam! reduces comic-book heroism to its adolescent- male power-fantasy essence.
And what does he do with this unexpected boon? He mostlyshows up school bullies, buys beer, goes to a strip club and goofs around with his foster brother (Jack Dylan Grazer) exploring the extent of his superpowers, to the point where he sometimes putsinnocent people in danger.

Taking the Red Pill

On its 20th anniversary, a look at The Matrix as an awakening of trans identity.
And even more ironic, The Matrix is one of the easiest films by the Wachowskis to view through a transgender lens.

50/50

Gloria Bell retells a rare story of an older woman's life.
So considering that Lelio has opted to turn his English-language remake into virtually a scene-for-scene recreation of the original, it's fascinating to note what changes when the primary difference is the actors.

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