Search a Film Thing
Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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Fresh Thoughts on Film
Archived Thoughts on Film
Who’d have guessed a legacy sequel to TOP GUN would be this damn good? MAVERICK sees, well, Maverick (Tom Cruise) reluctantly return to the Top Gun flight school to train the next generation of superior naval aviators, including the son of his tragically departed copilot Goose, for an impossible mission. The flight scenes, achieved as close to real as is possible with actors, are jaw-dropping, the character interplay, particularly between Cruise and Miles Teller’s Rooster, not to mention a poignant scene for Iceman that acknowledges Val Kilmer’s real-world struggles, packs an incredible punch and the whole thing is pitched just right between throwback and leap forward. The final act may just be an extremely polished homage to the Death Star attack in STAR WARS, but it still goes out on an irresistible high with every subsequent visually spectacular sequence in the film inspiring pure joy. SSP
Remember the first time you saw THE RAID? Remember that feeling of being completely floored by the sheer artistry of its ultraviolence? Well, Taiwanese horror THE SADNESS conjures up that same feeling, but with even more extreme imagery and through the prism of a sort-of zombie movie. Young couple Jim (Berant Zhu) and Kate (Regina Lei) are separated and must find each other in the middle of a rapidly-spreading epidemic, a virus that turns ordinary people into rictus-grinning maniacs drive to give in to every primal instinct. The depraved gore in this on a level where you frequently find yourself making a noise halfway between an incredulous laugh and a pained yelp, but strong character work, constant momentum and the smarts to satirically skewer the real world’s uninspiring response to the still ongoing pandemic makes this a treat for those with a real taste for this kind of stuff. SSP