Believe the hype. Everything Everywhere All At Once is that good: I am flabbergasted, amazed, thrilled, and over the moon with this picture. The Daniels have delivered an extraordinary work of art. A combination of genres and emotions bursting through the screen. Actors Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu are marvelous throughout. We are thrown into this multiverse of wonder, and I didn’t want to leave. Everything Everywhere is the very definition of a masterpiece. 5-stars.
There's a great evil spreading throughout the many verses. And you, may be our only chance of stopping it.
Where do I even begin with this gift of a movie? Everything Everywhere is a joyous experience of wonder and ecstasy overflowing throughout the theater. The directing duo simply known as the Daniels (Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) have created a richly rewarding experience that overloads the senses. Known for their quirky 2016 directorial debut (Swiss Army Man), the sophomore film from this duo has grown in all levels of filmmaking. What weird or absurd concepts that started within Swiss Army Man have been dialed up to 11 in Everything Everywhere. This is a movie that I saw last Thursday, and I am still trying to process it. Everything Everywhere is a movie that moves fast and talks fast, throwing our viewers right into the experience. Everything within this movie felt incredibly refreshing and undeniably imaginative. The scope and scale of this picture was enormous.
Yet, this is also a picture that felt strangely intimate and emotionally resonate. Everything Everywhere is a film from an Asian American perspective, putting a Chinese American family front and center. Actress Michelle Yeoh (Tomorrow Never Dies, Sunshine, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) is our fierce protagonist, who just desperately wants to pay her taxes. Evelyn Wang (Yeoh) and her husband (a charming Ke Huy Quan) own a laundromat and are currently being audited by the IRS after Evelyn incorrectly filed her taxes. Evelyn and Waymond (Quan) have a daughter named Joy (a knockout Stephanie Hsu), who has been trying to get her mother to accept her girlfriend, Becky (Tallie Medel). Evelyn's father (the legendary James Hong) also lives with them. I won't go much farther into the plot, but things escalate, and the fate of the universe rests in Evelyn's hands. It was a delight to see Yeoh as our main action protagonist in a Hollywood picture.
So, even though you have broken my heart yet again, I wanted to say, in another life, I would have really liked just doing laundry and taxes with you.
Quan, who is best known for his childhood roles as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Data in The Goonies, has made his comeback return to acting with Everything Everywhere. Quan took a break from acting and spent many years behind the camera for Hong Kong and Hollywood. Seeing Quan back on the big screen again was a real joy. He was the film's heart and soul. I also cannot forget about the additional supporting cast, which consists of Jamie Lee Curtis, Harry Shum Jr., and Jenny Slate. What was also refreshing to see was how the Daniels blended a multilingual story into the script. Everything Everywhere used three different languages (English, Mandarin, and Cantonese) throughout the movie. The blending of these languages came off as authentic and natural. Many people and many families are multilingual. My sister, Tatiana, is bilingual and can easily jump back and forth between Spanish and English. The representation in this movie is also important. Here we have multigenerational stories from the perspective of Millennials, Boomers, and LGBTQ characters. On top of that, the Daniels brilliantly mixed multiple aspect ratios into the different storylines. It was a meditative experience.
The humor was also a sensation throughout this film. The Daniels' zany and quirky humor blossomed, and I laughed multiple times during the 139 minute runtime. The emotional core and the story's heart shine brightly throughout, leaving one a little choked up at the end. The Daniels' directing is a force unmatched. Their keen filmmaking skills and craftsmanship that went into this picture are worthy all on their own. In addition, the camerawork and editing were spectacular scene after scene. I also cannot get over the superb mixing of genres into this film. It was a combination of action, drama, comedy, science fiction, and martial arts. What an electrifying film that's one for the ages. As of right now, this is the best movie I have seen this year. And it will be hard to top this one. Everything Everywhere is a sensational picture that is beautiful, imaginative, and bold. I hope people are talking about this movie until the end of time. In the end, Everything Everywhere All At Once is everything I wanted from a movie and more, googly eyes and all.
Across the multiverse, I've seen thousands of Evelyns. If you imagine it, somewhere out there it exists.
Everything Everywhere All At Once is rated R (Restricted) For Some Violence | Sexual Material | Language.
Experience this masterpiece only in theaters.
Directed by Daniels
Starring Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Review: Windfall and The Outfit
A Double Feature Review!
I found director Charlie McDowell's (2014's The One I Love) minimalist thriller to be pretty effective and intriguing. Actors Jason Segel, Lily Collins, and Jesse Plemons all showcased some strong acting chops throughout. An on location set, a dazzling score, a zany script, and even a little Hitchcock. Windfall is a deep slow-burning film that will get underneath your skin. In the end, Windfall is short, sharp, and mostly satisfying. This might not be everyone's cup of tea, but for those who are intrigued at the beginning, Windfall will reel you in. Our film follows a desperate man (Segel) who breaks into a tech billionaire's (Plemons) empty vacation home to steal money. Unfortunately for the robber, things go sideways when the arrogant tycoon and his wife (Collins) arrive to the home for a last-minute getaway. McDowell delivers a stripped-down thriller between three people stuck together on a property. All of the actors, especially Collins, deliver superb acting chops throughout. Windfall is tense, comical, and engrossing scene after scene. McDowell's picture might not land on every note, but it continues to try. In the end, Windfall showcases three flawed people along with their fears, hopes, and dreams.
Windfall is rated R (Restricted) For Language Throughout | Some Violence.
Stream it now on Netflix.
Directed by Charlie McDowell
Starring Jason Segel, Lily Collins, Jesse Plemons, and Omar Leyva.
The Outfit is a solid crime drama: it’s slow-burning, tightly woven, and old-school. Actors Mark Rylance and Zoey Deutch are both great throughout. Graham Moore's (Oscar winner for 2014's The Imitation Game on Adapted Screenplay) directorial debut is a meticulously crafted film that kept all the cards in its hand. It was a lot of fun and kept me guessing. The Outfit is another stripped-down thriller that will hook you in from the first to the last scene. Moore's film is another one location set that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Our film stays inside the walls of a tailor's shop located in the heart of Chicago. Leonard Burling (a cunning Rylance) is an expert "cutter" who has mastered the craft of clothing. Along with his receptionist, Mable Shaun (a wonderful Deutch), they keep the business rolling.
Yet, their shop is also located in the neighborhood of an Irish mob boss — meaning that there is a certain amount of dirty money trickling in and out of the shop. From there, I won't dare spoil how the plot escalates, but our "cutter" (Rylance) must outwit a dangerous group of mobsters to survive one fateful night. It's a game of cat and mouse, with a dash of Hitchcock sprinkled in. Moore knows how to keep the ball rolling, while leaving viewers anxious for the next scene. Both Rylance and Deutch deliver strong performances that are the very heart and soul of this picture. Yes, there will be blood in this slow-burning crime drama that latches itself onto you, never letting go. The Outfit is an exciting picture that oozes with tense and suspense.
The Outfit is rated R (Restricted) For Language Throughout | Some Bloody Violence.
See it in theaters or rent it on VOD | Click Here.
The Outfit had its world premiere at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival back in February.
Directed by Graham Moore
Starring Mark Rylance, Zoey Deutch, Johnny Flynn, Dylan O'Brien, Nikki Amuka-Bird, and Simon Russell Beale.
Review: The Bubble
No joke, The Bubble is the worst thing I have watched this year. Judd Apatow's newest comedy is absolutely terrible. I am exhausted after watching it.
Where Will You Be When Disaster Strikes?
I can tell you. I was sitting on my couch watching this movie.
Judd Apatow's (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Funny People) latest comedy feature is a disaster from the beginning until the end. Watching The Bubble was frustrating because it wasted its incredible cast, consisting of Karen Gillan, Fred Armisen, Maria Bakalova, David Duchovny, Keegan-Michael Key, Leslie Mann, Pedro Pascal, and Iris Apatow. For a film that presents itself as a satire and meta-comedy, The Bubble is mostly unfunny throughout. A cringe-worthy script that is overlayered with no real plot or structure as we clumsily move from scene to scene. After the TickTock sequence 20-minutes in, everything took a turn for the worse. We are now three years into this pandemic, so the fact that The Bubble spent so much time with early COVID (when it was still new) that it made it feel incredibly outdated and tiresome. We all felt the pains and anxieties of this virus, the lockdowns, and quarantining for so long. Going back to parody when it all started was not enjoyable due to the film's poor execution.
Our movie throws us into the midst of the pandemic, where a group of actors travel to a closed film set somewhere in England to film the sixth installment of Cliff Beasts. The fictional film of Cliff Beasts has become a wildly successful dinosaur-themed blockbuster franchise during the pandemic era because Hollywood is struggling to create, and people want a distraction from their misery. Yet, the jokes on us because the real misery is not the pandemic, it's watching this film. There was no comedic flow to this picture, and every joke felt forced or outdated with COVID because we are already in 2022. There are some great actors in this movie like Gillan, Bakalova, Mann, and Pascal. But, their talent is squandered throughout, leaving us defeated and drained. There have been few movies or TV shows that were able to successfully capture the anxieties and fears of COVID from an artistic and comedic level. The best example is Bo Burnham: Inside, which I selected as the best movie of 2021.
Inside was funny, claustrophobic, and experimental. Burnham's one-man comedy-drama special is an immersive experience full of strong humor, dense commentary, and technical splendor. Inside is the must-watch Netflix special of the pandemic era. One brilliance of Inside was that Burnham never mentioned COVID, lockdowns, or quarantine. But, the very nature of those things is present and artistically captured throughout. This is due to Burnham's masterful skills and craftsmanship as a writer, director, and editor. Inside never outstayed its welcome, clocking in at 87 minutes. Inside knew when it was the right time to wrap it up. I have always been a big fan of Apatow's past work, including films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Trainwreck. So, watching his latest film crash and burn so fast was painful for me. That also includes the agonizing runtime of 126 minutes. No comedies should really feel the need to be over 2-hours long and especially not this monstrosity.
In the past, the long runtimes for comedies are something I have criticized Apatow for doing. All of Apatow's films either get close to or go over the 2-hour mark, and they begin to outstay their welcome. Most notably 2009's Funny People, which clocked in at whopping 146 minutes. I am not saying that all comedies cannot be long, but they need to have a good reason for going over the 2-hour mark. Otherwise, things begin to become very repetitive. In The Bubble's case, not only are things repetitive but they are also tormenting. In theory, the premise of The Bubble is not that bad — sadly — the execution in both the writing and directing falls flat. So, if you are craving a comedy that actually captures the fears and anxieties of COVID in a comedic way, then turn your attention to Burnham's Inside, which is also streaming on Netflix. Or, you can watch The Bubble. But, you have been warned. If only a meteor could take out this movie as it did to the dinosaurs millions of years ago.
The Bubble is rated R (Restricted) Some Violence | Drug Use | Sexual Content | Language Throughout.
Stream it on Netflix, if you dare.
Somehow directed by Judd Apatow
Wasted talent consisting of Karen Gillan, Iris Apatow, Fred Armisen, Maria Bakalova, David Duchovny, Keegan-Michael Key, Leslie Mann, Kate McKinnon, Pedro Pascal, Peter Serafinowicz, and Guz Khan.
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