Breeze-Courier says: Trio of films might steal the show
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Haven’t had a chance to catch up on film from last year? We got you. Here are reviews for the three best films of 2022 which will headline the 95th Academy Awards.
Netflix’s “All Quiet” plunges viewers into horrors of WWI
As I sat there watching “All Quiet on the Western Front”, comfortably in my pajamas I might add, the recurring word that kept popping into mind was “brutality”. Such a realistic take on gruesome battles featuring flamethrowers and hand to hand combat had me wincing at times convinced I was watching these young men give the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
All Quiet on the Western Front (2022) is directed by Edward Berger and stars Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch and Daniel Brühl. It headlined the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Sept. 12 and had a wider release to Netflix on Oct. 28 just in time for the Oscar season. The movie’s accurate depiction of World War I touched me and many others as it is nominated for 9 Oscars at the 2023 Academy Awards.
Now we all know how many outlets there are for information and stories taking place during the Second World War. Well, in recent years the boom of World War I content in different forms of media has been tremendous. Video games, books and (of course) movies have seen massive success with story telling from the 1910’s. The film “1917” is a prime example of this as it was commercially and critically acclaimed when it released just four years ago. Netflix saw this boom and decided to join in while it was still hot and dropped its biggest movie of 2022.
All Quiet is a retelling of the 1930 black and white film of the same name. The original film was adapted from the 1929 novel “Im Westen nichts Neues” which translates to “Nothing New in the West.” All three stories follow a young German boy named Paul Bäumer and is set just months prior to the end of the Great War. Paul, along with many classmates and friends, enlist in the military in 1917 and are instantly thrusted into the seemingly pointless conflict.
At the time of its release, All Quiet (1930), hit theaters a fresh 12 years after the end of WWI. It is considered to be one of the most important films in history due to the fact it didn’t shy away from the tragedy and hellish situations that helped shape the world as we know it today.
Both films (1930 and 2022) are incredibly psychological in their delivery. All Quiet may catch some viewers off guard if they aren’t prepared for what he/she are about to watch. Anti-tank grenades blasting the sides of vehicles, close up shots of gunshot wounds and knife gashes and even shovels plunging into forearms the film does not avoid any chance to hone in on the carnage. While this is true, it doesn’t comes across as over-the-top movie gore-fest. It remains grounded in reality and holds onto the point it set out to make, War isn’t pretty.
All this bloodshed isn’t what hit me the hardest however. Surprisingly enough, it was the mud. The subtle detail of a cloth boot taking a dive into a puddle or the dried up mud caked on our main characters face touched me deeper than any bullet ever could. Something about the cold, wet mud covering the shoes of these helpless soldiers as they marched into battle drove home the harsh reality of the circumstance.
The score, composed by Volker Bertelmann, creates an elegant yet jarring sound that perfectly matches the tone of the movie. That mixed with the cinematography edited in such a way that puts you in the drivers seat of the Western European frontlines.
All Quiet does a fantastic job at extracting every emotion the typical World War I soldier went endured and placing it directly on its viewer. Although it is a lengthy watch with its 147 minute run time the movie is worth the sit though.
Everything, Everywhere All at Once lives up to the hype
Everything, Everywhere, All at Once is the fast paced, multiverse movie the second Dr. Strange hoped it could be. The film is directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and follows a coin laundromat owner and her mission to save existence from evil.
EEAO is split into three separate parts, P1: Everything, P2: Everywhere and P3: (you guessed it) All at Once.
There’s no categorizing this movie into one specific genre. Calling it a ‘Science Fiction” or even “Action and Adventure” would almost be an insult to how its narrative is structured. Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu and Jamie Lee Curtis create a strong foundation for the wild ride ahead. One quick question…
Can you keep up?
The complexity of this film is only skimmed in the opening Part One as the main character, Evelyn, uses her newly discovered verse jumping powers to hop in and out of the many different lives she could have lead. Martial Artist movie star, singer, and even a piñata.
The film establishes the famous theory that every decision one makes creates a parallel universe. Every scene has such a strangeness about it but fits the movie tonally better than I could describe.
One of the film’s standouts is its editing. Everything, Everywhere, All at Once should be celebrated as the best this generation has to offer. Each leap is stitched together seamlessly without malfunction to tell the cohesive story. With so many edits to make it’s nothing short of astonishing this movie was made at all.
When this movie came out in March 2022 it was immediately praised and overhyped… or so I thought.
After waiting an entire calendar year I can say Everything, Everywhere, All at Once nailed the entire reason for cinema in the first place. A very modern movie indeed the film will define the year 2022 and the surrounding years for generations to come.
Brendan Fraser sparks a “Whale” of a comeback in his newest Oscar nominated film.
“The Whale” is directed by Darren Aronofsky and stars Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink and Hong Chau. The movie is a scene for scene adaptation from the broadway play by Samuel D. Hunter. Both forms of media tells a story of a 600-pound man who hides from the world in his apartment.
Aronofsky has cemented himself as one of the great storytellers of the twenty-first century with other works such as Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler and Black Swan. His use of strong emotional tones is apparent throughout his personal filmography and The Whale is no exception. The 2022 film uses simple situations to make the audience feel extreme emotion.
We follow a helplessly obese gentleman named Charlie captured brilliantly by Brendan Fraser. The 90’s movie star has quietly been making a comeback in the cinematic landscape after stalling in the late 2010’s due to various health problems, personal losses and deeper issues surrounding his life. Fraser has already won multiple awards in his long waited return to the spotlight as Charlie.
As the movie progresses we watch as he attempt to form a bond with his only child, Ellie.
Sadie Sink’s character, Ellie, is a rebellious teen who opposes any sort of guidance from everyone in her life. Sink got her start as a child actress in smaller indie films and eventually landed a role on Netflix’s hit T.V. series Stranger Things. Her role as the estranged High Schooler in The Whale proves she can act with the best of them.
For the first half hour of the film we are confined to Charlie’s living space. The rooms are messy and unkept, couch is dirty and permanently imprinted with his giant figure and candy litters the cabinets and drawers. The production crew does a fantastic job of recreating the environment of a man so deprived of human connection.
The writing is superb and extracts every last drop of emotion from its actors and actresses. It is no wonder the film is nominated for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and many more.
Even though the story is as slow and heavy as the main character “The Whale” will leave a lasting imprint on the hearts of anyone who takes time appreciate its message.