By Tony Beal
“Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood”
A man recalls his childhood in 1969, which seems to be more fantastical than others. Richard Linklater uses his rotoscope animation style again, appropriate as it gives the film a feeling of a memory or a polaroid come to life. That’s the best way to sum up this movie—one long memory recount of a childhood that seems too insane to be true. It’s sort of an aimless movie, with its big selling point merely taking up less than a quarter of the film and its focus could be seen as boring or stretched out into a feature length. But there’s still enough charm from the actors to bring out the sincerity in it and of memories of a nostalgic time. And when it gets into the fantastical, it still fits and is entertaining. A nice, short ride.
Two brothers find themselves being chased across Los Angeles after stealing an ambulance with two hostages. A film full of pure adrenaline, “Ambulance” is Michael Bay’s strongest work in a decade. This is an empathetic piece, one that explores what happens to people forced by desperation into a terrible situation, eloquently shown in performances by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Eiza Gonzláez. Even so, the film doesn’t forget to be the thrill ride it promised, where Bay’s kinetic and fast editing is complemented by a more unhinged performance from Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s two hours of continuous chaos, with some of the most impressive action of Bay’s career where we feel the isolation of the ambulance while also getting the impression that the entire city is after these two. In an age where action films underdeliver on their most important aspects, this film is a real triumph.
“Everything Everywhere All At Once”
A woman discovers that a multiverse with several versions of her exists and she is its last hope at survival. It’s rare to see a movie that pushes every limit that film can have, and yet, here it is. This film is a symphony of colors, chaos, and love for people who are broken and keep going. In a movie where every character must play different versions of themselves, each actor delivers on the promise, particularly Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu, who go back and forth between hilarious and heartbreaking in their performances. This is a movie where you can watch fantastic fight sequences with impeccable choreography followed by some immature humor that brings the laughs, followed by one of the most crushing sequences in a film this year that happens to be between two rocks. And somehow, it all comes together and makes for what may be the best picture of the year. It’s not often we see something like this, and everyone should experience it.
“You Won’t Be Alone”
A witch travels between various bodies to see the human experience. Sometimes, you come across a film that you want to admire but can’t. “You Won’t Be Alone” starts out well, with one of the most quietly nerve-wracking scenes of the year. But after that, we experience a very dull film; one that comes off as aimless. For a film that’s all about the experience of being human, none of the bodies our lead inhabits deliver a three-dimensional feeling and even the usually great Noomi Rapace seems bored. Its biggest sin though is that, despite its claim as a horror film, there’s no tense nature to be found and it can’t even hide behind the “slow-burn” handle. Goran Stolevski’s directing is impressive and he shows some genuine promise for future films, but as a writer, it is what causes the whole film to collapse.
• “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness”
• “Firestarter” (In theaters and Peacock)
• “Pleasure” (Limited)
• “Downton Abbey: A New Era”
• “Men” (Limited)
• “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” (Disney+)
• “Top Gun: Maverick”
• “The Bob’s Burgers Movie”