1) THE FANATIC – 2019 was a heavy year for discourse regarding how Hollywood should be casting potentially sensitive roles. Frankly put, certain types of performance just don’t fly anymore! Apparently those conversations never reached the ears of Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, who cast the increasingly bonkers John Travolta as an obsessed cinephile on the autism spectrum in this revolting and moronic “satire” of fandom and fame. Adopting a stooped, shuffling gait, obnoxious whine and patchy mullet, the fallen actor conjures up a genuinely mortifying creation; the living embodiment of a fiery train yard collision. Grotesque protagonist aside, though, this is just a deeply terrible and cruel study in posturing frat-boy nihilism with nothing insightful to say whatsoever. The Fanatic wants so badly to be this generation’s Misery, and while that word definitely springs to mind throughout it’s not in relation to the works of Stephen King.
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Thursday, January 09, 2020
1) ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD – Energetically rebounding back into audiences’ good graces after 2015’s polarizing underperformer The Hateful Eight, visionary virtuoso Quentin Tarantino’s passionate love letter to 1969 Hollywood is his most heartfelt and comical work to date. A wild, weird and uncharacteristically sweet cocktail of old time showbiz minutiae, bubbly nostalgia, killer tunes and obscure pop-culture nerdery, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood continues QT’s winning trend of kooky historical revisionism in fresh and occasionally startling ways. Fashioning iconic roles for Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt (the former in primo self-absorbed bumbling mode, the latter cool as Mr. Freeze) as struggling western TV veterans, Tarantino brings the crazy waning days of the 60s alive with a formidable cast and an obsessive attention to detail. Both an adoring deep dive into a bygone era, and a rapturously radical rewriting of Sharon Tate’s dreadful narrative, this fairy tale hang-out delight is a blissful escape of the highest order, and only grows more and more magical with each subsequent revisit.