Very rarely do I come across a movie that I so dearly want to be better. Not that this is a bad film, by any means, but it could have been something special, an all-timer. But in its search to mean something big, to have huge and earned emotional beats, in having lessons, in wanting to not just be good but be necessary, it falls flat in disappointing ways. Sure, there are things to be learned from this tale, and…
A love letter to DFW (which is fine, the man was an immense talent who changed lives with his writing) made ever so slightly knotty by including a jealous sycophant to bounce off of. But, no bones about it, the star of the show is DFW and his words and while I’ve only seen a few of DFW’s actual interviews, Jason Segel does an impressive job of maintaining his intelligent, magnetic presence. That’s the basis on which this movie exists,…
Stunning. This might be a 10 on another viewing just because it is so knotty and there’s no way I caught everything that is wonderful about this film. But I caught a lot. Best blocking of any film ever? Probably. Best sunglasses? Definitely. This is a goddam motion picture, folks. And please, my God, anyone who is planning to make a movie that makes use of space (every movie ever), please study how this film makes sure that we know exactly where everyone is in relation to everyone else at all times. Study that tailing scene in the streets! Study it!
[review of festival cut]
Suddenly not so angry that there are multiple cuts to this film as it is clearly a case of a really good movie struggling to be told. The shots are there, I think, but there is something off about how it is put together, rhythmically and otherwise. It wants to be about Ip Man, it wants to be about Gong Er, and revolutionary/civil war China, and the golden age of Chinese martial arts, but by doing…