Review – Inside Out 2

Inside Out 2 (2024)
PG  ‧ Animated Comedy ‧ 1 Hour 36 Minutes
Written by Meg LeFauve, Dave Holstein, and Kelsey Mann
Directed by Kelsey Mann

THE CAST

Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Diane Lane, and Kyle MacLachlan reprising their roles from the first film with Tony Hale (replacing Bill Hader as Fear), Liza Lapira (replacing Mindy Kaling as Disgust), Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Paul Walter Hauser, and Kensington Tallman (replacing Kaitlyn Dias as Riley) joining the cast.

JOY AND ANXIETY – © 2023 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

THE STORY

Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust have been running a successful operation. However, when Anxiety shows up, they aren’t sure how to feel. The film takes place about a year after the original Inside Out, as the “puberty button” goes off inside of Riley, leading to the construction of a new control center and the emergence of new emotions like Anxiety, Embarrassment, Envy, and Boredom.

THE BEST

The BEST things about the film:

  • Emotional Accuracy and Depth:

    • The film brilliantly captures the complexity of teenage emotions, particularly the heightened sensitivity during puberty. The portrayal of anxiety and its interaction with other emotions felt incredibly real and visceral, providing a psychologically sound depiction of a teenager’s inner world.

  • Humor and Heart:

    • Inside Out 2 excels in its humor, seamlessly blending it with heartfelt moments. The jokes are well-timed, and the emotional beats are perfectly balanced, making the audience laugh and reflect simultaneously. The film engages children and adults, appealing to many viewers.

  • Innovative Animation:

    • The animation in Inside Out 2 is stunning, featuring a mix of traditional and new styles that keep the visuals fresh and engaging.

THE WORST

The WORST things about the film:

  • Upon my initial viewing, I found nothing to dislike about the film. It’s a flawless sequel that captures the essence of the original while adding new dimensions to the story and characters.

NEW EMOTIONS — Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” returns to the mind of newly minted teenager Riley just as new Emotions show up. Embarrassment (voice of Paul Walter Hauser), Anxiety (voice of Maya Hawke), Envy (voice of Ayo Edebiri) and Ennui (voice of Adèle Exarchopoulos) are ready to take a turn at the console 2024 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

THE COMMENTS

  • Cast Changes: One notable aspect of Inside Out 2 is the change in voice actors for certain characters. Tony Hale replaces Bill Hader as Fear, and Liza Lapira takes over for Mindy Kaling as Disgust. These changes were reportedly due to a pay dispute, where the original actors were offered significantly lower compensation than Amy Poehler, who was receiving $5 million. While it’s unfortunate that the original cast couldn’t be retained, the new actors did an excellent job, bringing their own unique flair to the characters. This casting switch did not detract from the overall enjoyment or continuity of the film.
  • Audience Reception: During the special preview showing I attended, it was clear that both children and adults thoroughly enjoyed the film. The laughter, engagement, and occasional questions from the younger audience indicated that the film captivated them. This reception bodes well for its performance with family audiences, reaffirming that Inside Out 2 manages to appeal to a broad demographic.
  • Emotional Impact: Inside Out 2 doesn’t have a singular villain, which makes the story unique and focuses more on internal struggles. Anxiety acts as the antagonist, representing a realistic and relatable challenge that many people, especially teenagers, face. This nuanced approach allows the film to explore emotional depth without resorting to traditional conflict, making it both innovative and impactful.
  • Relatability for Parents and Teens: The film’s depiction of teenage emotional turmoil is both accurate and relatable, especially for parents who have or had teenagers. The representation of emotions like envy, embarrassment, and boredom during adolescence is portrayed with such authenticity that it resonates deeply with viewers who have experienced or are experiencing similar situations.
  • Cameo Appearances: Ron Funches, one of my favorite actors and a fellow nerd, makes a delightful cameo in the film. His distinctive voice adds a fun element to the story, and it’s great to see him getting roles in major films like this. As a comedian and actor who has made a name for himself, his inclusion in Inside Out 2 is a personal highlight and adds to the film’s charm.
  • Comparison to the Original: While comparisons to the original Inside Out are inevitable, viewing this sequel as a continuation rather than a direct competitor is important. Inside Out 2 builds on the foundation of the first film, expanding the emotional landscape and introducing new concepts that enrich the story. It’s a testament to Pixar’s ability to evolve and deepen their narratives while maintaining the charm and appeal that made the original a hit.
  • Educational Value: Inside Out 2 offers educational insights into emotional intelligence and mental health. It provides a valuable tool for parents and educators to discuss emotions with children, helping them understand and articulate their feelings. The film’s portrayal of the prefrontal cortex development and its impact on decision-making and emotional regulation is particularly enlightening. It serves as a reminder of the complexities of growing up.

WHAT IS HAPPENING? – In Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2,” Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Tony Hale) and Disgust (voice of Liza Lapira) are awakened to an alarming reality: everything is changing now that Riley is 13. 2023 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

THE LESSON

Anxiety is Part of You, But Shouldn’t Control You: The film emphasizes that while anxiety can be helpful, it should not take control. It’s a part of who we are, but managing it allows our true selves to shine through.

IS IT REWATCHABLE?

Absolutely, Inside Out 2 is highly rewatchable. Its depth, humor, and engaging story make it a film that viewers will enjoy multiple times, discovering new nuances with each watch.

THE FINAL WORD

Inside Out 2 is an extraordinary sequel that delves deeper into the complexities of teenage emotions, blending humor and heartfelt moments with a psychologically accurate portrayal of anxiety and new emotions like embarrassment and envy. The innovative animation and stellar voice cast, including new members, enhance the engaging story. This film is not just fun, but also profound, making it a must-watch for families. It offers valuable lessons about managing emotions and understanding our minds, leaving a lasting emotional impact. Inside Out 2 is a beautifully crafted movie that celebrates the complexity of human emotions and is highly recommended for viewers of all ages.

THE VERDICT

My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It.

Inside Out 2 gets a Love It.

THE TRAILER

https://youtu.be/LEjhY15eCx0?si=StHDSGKAr2HyFu8r

THE MEME REVIEW

Video Review

https://youtu.be/t-ckb-DpEag

Audio-Only Podcast

Read More

7 Questions With Wild Eyed And Wicked’s Creative Team

In this episode of “You’re Watching A Movie With Silas Lindenstein,” Silas interviews the creative team behind the new horror film Wild Eyed and Wicked. Join writer/director G.S. Foxworth and cast members Michael X. Sommers and Stefanie Estes as they discuss the making of the film, and the allure of the horror genre, and share behind-the-scenes insights. Plus, hear their unique and entertaining answers to Silas’s famous “Seven Questions.” Tune in for an engaging and spooky conversation that will make you want to watch Wild Eyed and Wicked.

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe for more exciting interviews and movie discussions!

Video Interview

https://youtu.be/nrztmnMhht0

Audio-Only Interview

https://audioboom.com/posts/8522343-7-questions-with-wild-eyed-and-wicked-s-creative-team

Read More

Review – Atlas

Review – Atlas
Scroll to bottom of page for video review

PG-13 2024 ‧ Sci-fi/Action ‧ 2 hours
Written by Leo Sardarian, Aron Eli Coleite
Directed by Brad Peyton

THE CAST

 Jennifer Lopez, Simu Liu, Sterling K. Brown, and Mark Strong

THE STORY

(In their own words). A brilliant data analyst with a deep distrust of AI finds it may be her only hope when a mission to capture a renegade robot goes awry.

In a bleak-sounding future, an A.I. soldier has determined that the only way to end war is to end humanity.

Atlas. Jennifer Lopez as Atlas Shepherd. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix ©2024.

THE BEST

The BEST things about the film

  1. Special Effects: The visual effects are stunning, especially the realistic depiction of the mech suits.
  2. Jennifer Lopez’s Performance: Jennifer Lopez delivers a strong performance as the lead character, Atlas.
  3. Interesting Premise: The film raises thought-provoking questions about AI and its role in humanity’s future.
  4. Action Sequences: The action scenes are engaging and well-executed.
  5. AI-Human Relationship: The evolving relationship between Atlas and the AI Smith adds depth to the storyline.

THE WORST

The WORST things about the film

  1. Underdeveloped Villain: The main villain needs more depth and clear motivation, which weakens the overall impact.
  2. Script Issues: The writing needs to fully develop the characters or the plot, leading to a less compelling story.
  3. Plot Holes: Several plot holes can detract from the viewing experience.
  4. Pacing: The film’s pacing is uneven, with some parts feeling rushed and others dragging.
  5. Forgettable: Despite its strengths, the film lacks staying power and may not leave a lasting impression.

Atlas. Sterling K. Brown as Colonel Banks in Atlas. Cr. Beth Dubber/Netflix ©2024.

THE COMMENTS

Netflix has become a powerhouse in film production, but its output varies significantly in quality. “Atlas” is a prime example of this inconsistency. While Netflix has delivered some cinematic gems, it has also released many forgettable films. “Atlas,” unfortunately, falls somewhere in the middle. Despite its captivating special effects and intriguing premise, the film only partially lives up to its potential. The variability in Netflix’s film quality can make it difficult to approach new releases with clear expectations, and “Atlas” exemplifies this challenge.

Jennifer Lopez’s involvement in “Atlas” immediately piqued my interest. As a celebrity, she has a magnetic presence, and her filmography, though mixed, includes some standout performances. In “Atlas,” Lopez delivers a commendable performance, but the film’s flaws overshadow her efforts. Her role as Atlas, a data analyst with a deep distrust of AI, adds a layer of complexity to the narrative, yet the script does not fully explore this potential. Lopez’s choice to participate in this sci-fi project reflects her willingness to take on diverse roles, though the film sometimes matches her caliber.

As a fan of the sci-fi genre, “Atlas” initially seemed promising. The film’s concept of a future where AI soldiers pose a significant threat to humanity is compelling. The central premise, involving a protagonist who must rely on the technology she distrusts, sets the stage for an engaging narrative. However, the film struggles to maintain this intrigue due to script issues and underdeveloped characters. The sci-fi elements are present, but they do not merge into a cohesive and intellectually stimulating experience, which is often a hallmark of the genre.

Atlas. Jennifer Lopez as Atlas Shepherd. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix ©2024.

One of the more intriguing aspects of “Atlas” is its potential for discussion. The film raises important ethical questions about the role of AI in society and its potential impact on humanity. These themes are timely and relevant, especially as discussions about AI become more prevalent in real life. However, “Atlas” is more interesting to talk about than to watch. The film’s execution does not fully explore these ethical dilemmas, leaving viewers with more questions than answers. While this can spark conversation, it also highlights the film’s shortcomings in storytelling.

It is refreshing to see a female-led film that does not center around romance. “Atlas” focuses on Atlas’s mission and her internal struggle with AI, avoiding the common trope of a romantic subplot. This focus on her professional and ethical challenges is a strength of the film. However, the lack of strong supporting characters, particularly a compelling villain, detracts from the overall impact. The film’s attempt to balance action and depth results in an uneven narrative that fails to engage the audience fully.

In summary, “Atlas” showcases the best and worst of Netflix’s film production capabilities. While it offers stunning visual effects and a thought-provoking premise, it is hampered by underdeveloped characters, script issues, and an uneven narrative. Jennifer Lopez’s performance is a highlight, but it is not enough to elevate the film to greatness. “Atlas” ultimately serves as a conversation piece about AI and ethics rather than a memorable cinematic experience.

THE LESSON

“Atlas” warns about the potential dangers of AI and raises important ethical questions about its role in society. It emphasizes the need to consider the implications of advanced technology on humanity’s future and highlights the importance of films that provoke discussion and reflection on significant issues.

IS IT REWATCHABLE

Yes, but only so I can discuss it. 

Atlas. Sterling K. Brown as Colonel Banks in Atlas. Cr. Ana Carballosa/Netflix ©2024.

THE FINAL WORD

“Atlas” is a visually stunning sci-fi action film featuring Jennifer Lopez as a data analyst forced to trust AI to survive. Still, it falls short due to underdeveloped characters and an uneven script. While the special effects are impressive and the premise is intriguing, the film’s lack of depth and a compelling villain make it ultimately forgettable. Despite these flaws, “Atlas” raises important ethical questions about AI, making it more interesting to discuss than to watch. Overall, it’s a film that sparks conversation but doesn’t leave a lasting impression.

THE VERDICT
My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It. 

Atlas gets a Like It.

THE TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jokpt_LJpbw

THE MEME REVIEW

VIDEO REVIEW

https://youtu.be/21ZWm6AgNZ8

AUDIO-ONLY PODCAST

https://audioboom.com/posts/8517922-review-atlas

Read More

Video & Podcast Review: Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

Title: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Review

Description: In this episode of “You’re Watching a Movie with Silas Lindenstein,” Silas dives into the latest installment of the iconic sci-fi franchise, “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.” As a long-time fan of the series, Silas shares his excitement and insights on the new film, discussing its storyline, special effects, and overall impact. Tune in to hear his thoughts on whether this movie lives up to its predecessors and his final verdict on whether it’s a must-watch.

Episode Highlights:

  • 00:00 – Introduction and overview of the episode.
  • 00:01:17 – Silas expresses his excitement about reviewing a new Planet of the Apes film.
  • 00:02:16 – General information about the film: runtime, rating, director, and main cast.
  • 00:03:17 – Silas discusses the plot and how it fits into the broader Planet of the Apes timeline.
  • 00:05:06 – Comparison with previous films in the franchise, particularly focusing on the absence of Caesar.
  • 00:06:09 – Commentary on the impressive special effects and motion capture technology.
  • 00:07:46 – Discussion on the film’s lack of deeper sci-fi messages compared to the original films.
  • 00:09:22 – Silas’s thoughts on the continuity and potential paradoxes within the franchise’s timeline.
  • 00:11:01 – Themes explored in the film: trust, power, and coming of age.
  • 00:12:25 – Final verdict: Silas gives the film a rqqating.
  • 00:13:29 – Call to action: Silas invites listeners to share their thoughts and experiences with the Planet of the Apes franchise.

VIDEO

https://youtu.be/tqeEYIAkHe4

AUDIO-ONLY PODCAST

https://audioboom.com/posts/8510581-review-kingdom-of-the-planet-of-the-apes

Read More

Review: Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes (2024)
PG-13 ‧ Action/Sci-fi  ‧ 2 Hours 25 Minutes
Written by Josh Friedman
Directed by Wes Ball

THE CAST

Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Kevin Durand, Peter Macon, and William H. Macy.

THE STORY

(In their own words). Many years after the reign of Caesar, a young ape goes on a journey that will lead him to question everything he’s been taught about the past and make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike.

THE BEST

The BEST things about the film “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” are:

  1. Outstanding Special Effects and Motion Capture Technology: The realism of the apes is incredible, making it easy to immerse yourself in their world.
  2. Thrilling Action Scenes: The well-paced and engaging action sequences that keep the audience on the edge of their seats throughout the 2-hour and 25-minute runtime.
  3. Continuity and Nostalgia: The callbacks to previous films in the franchise provide a sense of continuity and nostalgia for long-time fans.

THE WORST

The WORST things about the film are:

  1. Lack of Deeper Philosophical Messages: The film doesn’t delve as deeply into the human condition or societal issues as the original films, missing an opportunity for thought-provoking content.
  2. Predictable Storyline: The hero’s journey follows familiar tropes, which might make the plot feel a bit predictable.
  3. Limited Human Characters: The focus on ape characters means there are fewer human characters, which might not appeal to all fans of the franchise.

THE COMMENTS

One notable aspect of “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is its exploration of the new ape society. The film introduces viewers to different ape cultures, each with their own unique characteristics and customs. This adds a layer of richness to the world-building that fans of the series will appreciate. The film also excels in its pacing, seamlessly transitioning between intense action scenes and more reflective, character-driven moments. The cinematography and set design effectively create a believable post-Caesar world, enhancing the overall immersive experience. Additionally, the performances by the cast, especially Owen Teague and Freya Allan, bring depth and nuance to their roles, making the characters relatable and engaging.

THE LESSON

The LESSON in this film is that power can corrupt, regardless of whether one is human or ape. It also touches on themes of trust and the importance of questioning what we are taught about the past. The young ape’s journey is one of self-discovery and understanding the complexities of leadership and power.

(L-R): Noa (played by Owen Teague) and Raka (played by Peter Macon) in 20th Century Studios’ KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2024 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

IS IT REWATCHABLE

Yes, “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is rewatchable, especially for fans of the franchise. The action scenes and special effects are impressive enough to warrant multiple viewings. Additionally, there are many callbacks and references to previous films that fans might catch on a second or third watch.

THE FINAL WORD

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is a thrilling and visually impressive addition to the beloved franchise. While it may not offer the same depth of social commentary as the original films, it provides a captivating and action-packed story that fans will enjoy. The new characters and cultures within the ape society add fresh elements to the narrative, making it a worthy installment.

THE VERDICT

My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It. For “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” I give it a Love It. Despite missing the deeper messaging of its predecessors, the film’s stunning visuals, exciting action, and nostalgic callbacks make it a must-watch for fans of the series.

THE TRAILER

https://youtu.be/Kdr5oedn7q8?si=-qlpFhIZjVFSykPf

THE MEME REVIEW

VIDEO REVIEW

https://youtu.be/tqeEYIAkHe4

AUDIO-ONLY PODCAST REVIEW

https://audioboom.com/posts/8510581-review-kingdom-of-the-planet-of-the-apes

Read More

Interview: Stimson Snead & Samuel Dunning

It’s an interview episode! Silas had a chance to chat with Writer/Director Stimson Snead & actor Samuel Dunning from the new film Time Travers And The Time Traveler’s Paradox. They discuss how the film was made and they answer the world-famous 7 Questions. 

Available in Video and Audio-Only Podcast

About The Film

It is called the Time Traveler’s Paradox. In which a scientist creates a Time Machine and kills their younger self. So now a man who should not- can not- exist, somehow does. That is the Paradox, and Paradoxes are impossible. And the man who has created it, is Tim Travers. A reclusive mad scientist whose stated mission in life is to stand alone with God at the end of time, and tell the bastard off!!

In the course of his adventure, Tim Travers will take on the mercenary gang whose stolen plutonium powers his machine, challenge an Alex Jones esk podcaster to a battle of wits, create a black hole, meet the one woman alive crazier than him, clone himself, destroy the universe, make a new one, and maybe-just maybe- learn to love himself at last.

TIM TRAVERS AND THE TIME TRAVELER’S PARADOX was written & directed by Stimson Snead. The film was executive produced by Ben Yennie, Felicia Day, and Rich Cowan, and produced by Kylie Walchuk and Casey Cowan. The film has a running time 104 minutes and is available for sale in all territories. TIM TRAVERS AND THE TIME TRAVELER’S PARADOX premiered at 2024 Cinequest where it won Best Comedy Feature. It also just screened at BIFFF, Phoenix Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival

Video

https://youtu.be/MCi3WKiL2a8

Audio-Only

https://audioboom.com/posts/8507531-7-questions-with-stimson-snead-samuel-dunnings

Read More

Video & Podcast Review – Sasquatch Sunset

Join Silas Lindenstein on “You’re Watching a Movie with Silas Lindenstein” as he delves into the quirky and unconventional world of “Sasquatch Sunset,” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Riley Kao. In this episode, Silas explores the film’s unique approach to storytelling and its standout performances, all while pondering the broader themes it subtly presents.

Check out the trailer then listen or watch my review:

FILM TRAILER

https://youtu.be/KgfkthLpeXw?si=0rLG-4sB1-H4Jr-8

VIDEO REVIEW

https://youtu.be/3ZH5MqPrNVs?si=T_br-FI2xdxNkBWg

AUDIO-ONLY REVIEW

https://audioboom.com/posts/8493591-review-sasquatch-sunset

Read More

Review – Sasquatch Sunset

Sasquatch Sunset (2024)
R  ‧ Comedy/Drama ‧ 1 Hours 30 Minutes
Written by David Zellner
Directed by Nathan Zellner, David Zellner

THE CAST

 Riley Keough, Jesse Eisenberg, Christophe Zajac-Denek, and Nathan Zellner. 

THE STORY

(In their own words). In the misty forests of North America, a family of Sasquatches find themselves on a collision course with the ever-changing world around them.

THE BEST

The BEST things about the film

  1. Acting and Character Portrayal: The actors, including Jesse Eisenberg, perform exceptionally, deeply immersing themselves into the roles of sasquatches. Their extensive physical training to master their characters’ body movements and non-verbal communication are major strengths of the film.
  2. Makeup and Practical Effects: The film’s use of practical effects, especially the makeup, is praised. This choice adds authenticity to the portrayal of the sasquatches, enhancing the viewer’s immersion into the film’s world without relying on CGI.
  3. Unique Concept: The film’s premise and execution are incredibly unique. The idea of a narrative told entirely through “sasquatchese” without any English dialogue or subtitles presents a fresh and innovative challenge to conventional filmmaking.
  4. Physical Comedy and Absurdist Elements: The film’s physical comedy and absurdist tone are effective in delivering humor and entertainment, making it stand out in the comedy genre.
  5. Engaging Performances: The cast’s commitment to their roles, particularly in their nonverbal acting and interaction, is identified as a highlight, making the characters compelling and memorable despite the lack of understandable dialogue.

THE WORST

The WORST things about the film

  1. Lack of Deep Engagement: While unique and humorous, the film reportedly struggles with not being deeply engaging. This could be attributed to its unconventional storytelling and minimalistic plot, which might only resonate with some viewers, particularly those unfamiliar or unappreciative of absurdist humor.
  2. Niche Appeal: The elements that make “Sasquatch Sunset” stand out—its absurdist tone and non-traditional narrative—make it challenging for the film to find a broad audience. Its appeal is likely limited to niche cinema fans with specific tastes, potentially alienating mainstream viewers.
  3. Minimalistic Plot and Pacing: Despite the film’s short duration, there’s a feeling that not much happens throughout its runtime. This issue, combined with the film’s experimental nature, might lead some viewers to perceive it as slow or lacking in substantive content, which could affect its overall pacing and viewer satisfaction.
  4. Absence of Subtitles or Understandable Dialogue: The decision to use “sasquatchese” without subtitles is bold but might also hinder viewer understanding and engagement. This choice requires viewers to pay close attention to non-verbal cues to follow the story, which could be demanding or frustrating for some.
  5. Divisive Humor: The film’s humor, which leans heavily on absurdism, might not be universally appreciated. Scenes intended to be funny could be seen as bizarre or off-putting to those not accustomed to or fond of absurdist comedy.

THE COMMENTS

“Sasquatch Sunset” is not without its challenges. The film’s lack of a conventional narrative and its reliance on absurdism might not resonate with all viewers. Its pacing, while brisk for a 90-minute film, occasionally feels slow due to the minimalistic plot. Yet, these same qualities make the film a fascinating study for those interested in method acting and physical theater.

Despite its potential niche appeal, “Sasquatch Sunset” offers a refreshing break from mainstream comedy, using its bizarre premise to subtly touch on themes of environmentalism and the impact of human encroachment on nature. It’s a film that might require a particular taste to appreciate its humor and artistic choices fully, but it’s undeniably a bold experiment in filmmaking that some will find delightful.

In conclusion, while “Sasquatch Sunset” may struggle to find a broad audience, its unique approach and standout performances make it a worthwhile watch for those seeking something out of the ordinary. It’s an interesting film that, while it might not make it to everyone’s favorites list, certainly deserves a watch in a theater for its collective humor and the communal experience it aims to create.

THE LESSON

  1. Environmentalism and Human Impact: The film appears to convey messages about human activity’s intrusion into natural habitats and its effects on native wildlife, represented here by the sasquatches. As the Sasquatch family encounters elements of human civilization for the first time, such as a paved road, it highlights human development’s profound impact on previously untouched natural environments.
  2. Discovery and Innocence: “Sasquatch Sunset” also explores themes of discovery and the innocent wonder of encountering the unknown. This is reflected in the sasquatches’ child-like curiosity and their process of learning and understanding new concepts, akin to young children or beings not as advanced as humans. This can be seen as a commentary on the universal nature of discovery and learning, regardless of one’s level of sophistication or intelligence.

IS IT REWATCHABLE

Yes, but only in the sense of research. If I was directing or acting in a play or movie that was non-verbal or wanted to show an example of good physical acting work. I wouldn’t watch this because it was on the tv and I wanted to enjoy a movie.

THE FINAL WORD

“Sasquatch Sunset” dives into the absurdist genre with its unique portrayal of a sasquatch family navigating life in the North American forests, communicated entirely through “Sasquatchese.” The film’s standout aspects include remarkable method acting and impressive practical effects that bring the sasquatches to life. However, its experimental nature and sparse plot might limit its appeal to a niche audience. Despite these challenges, “Sasquatch Sunset” offers a whimsical, if sometimes perplexing, exploration of environmental themes and the innocence of discovery, making it a curious piece of cinema that might be best enjoyed with a group for its full comedic effect.

THE VERDICT 

My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It. 

I rank “Sasquatch Sunset” as “Like It.” While I didn’t fall in love with the film, I definitely didn’t hate it either. Its unique qualities, and the performances are noteworthy, but it’s admittedly niche with its absurdist elements, which might not resonate with everyone. It might be better appreciated in a theater setting to capture its humor and artistic flair fully.

THE TRAILER

https://youtu.be/KgfkthLpeXw?si=0rLG-4sB1-H4Jr-8

MEME REVIEW

VIDEO REVIEW

https://youtu.be/3ZH5MqPrNVs

AUDIO-ONLY REVIEW

https://audioboom.com/posts/8493591-review-sasquatch-sunset

Read More

Video & Podcast Review – Challengers

Video & Podcast Review – Challengers

In this episode of “You’re Watching A Movie With Silas Lindenstein,” Silas dives into the 2024 sports romance drama “Challengers,” directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist. Silas unpacks the film’s innovative narrative structure and bold cinematography that set it apart in the sports genre. He praises the standout performances, especially Zendaya’s compelling portrayal of Tashi, a tennis prodigy turned coach dealing with complex personal and professional challenges. Join Silas as he explores how “Challengers” intertwines intense sports action with deep personal drama, and discusses the key lessons about passion, love, and growth that viewers can take away. Whether you’re a film buff or a sports enthusiast, this episode offers insightful commentary on how “Challengers” redefines the boundaries of sports cinema and the impact of its storytelling choices.

VIDEO REVIEW

https://youtu.be/6TYRCfyTHEw

AUDIO-ONLY PODCAST

https://audioboom.com/posts/8492967-review-challengers

Read More

Review: Challengers

Review: Challengers

Challengers (2024)
R  ‧ Sports/Romance ‧ 2 Hours 11 Minutes
Written by Justin Kuritzkes
Directed by Luca Guadagnino

THE CAST

Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist.

THE STORY

(In their own words). Tashi, a tennis player turned coach, has transformed her husband from a mediocre player into a world-famous grand slam champion. To jolt him out of his recent losing streak, she makes him play a challenger event — close to the lowest level of tournament on the pro tour. Tensions soon run high when he finds himself standing across the net from the once-promising, now burnt-out Patrick, his former best friend, and Tashi’s former boyfriend.

THE BEST

The BEST things about the film

1. Narrative Structure: The non-linear storytelling approach is one of the film’s strongest aspects. This method isn’t just for show—it crafts a more intricate and engaging viewer experience, allowing the audience to piece together the characters’ pasts and present, thereby deepening the emotional and psychological complexity of the narrative. It helps frame the personal histories and motivations in a way that a linear narrative might not manage as effectively.

2. Cinematography and Visual Style: The film employs bold and experimental cinematography that sets it apart. Particularly notable is the use of the tennis ball POV shots during match scenes, which not only intensify the gameplay but also metaphorically represent the back-and-forth dynamics of the characters’ relationships. This creative decision enhances the immersive quality of the film, making the tennis matches not just a sport to be watched but a lens through which interpersonal conflicts are explored.

3. Acting: Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist deliver phenomenal performances. Zendaya, in particular, should be praised for her nuanced portrayal of Tashi, who transitions from a tennis prodigy to a coach, grappling with her own past glories and current challenges. Her ability to convey deep emotional undercurrents—her passion for tennis, her complex relationships, and her own regrets and aspirations—anchors the film. O’Connor and Faist also deliver compelling performances, adding to the film’s emotional depth.

4. Engagement and Pacing: Despite its runtime of over two hours, the film does not feel its length, indicating effective pacing and engagement. This aspect is crucial in maintaining audience interest and speaks to the director’s skill in crafting a narrative that is both absorbing and brisk, keeping viewers hooked from start to finish.

THE WORST

The WORST things about the Film

1. Frustrating Character Choices: Some characters in the film make decisions that could potentially frustrate or perplex viewers. While integral to the plot and character development, these choices might not align with what the audience feels would be the ‘right’ or expected decisions. This can lead to dissatisfaction or disconnect with the characters, potentially impacting the viewer’s overall engagement with the story. However, it’s important to note that these choices also add to the realism and complexity of the narrative, as real-life decisions and relationships are often messy and challenging.

2. Polarizing Cinematography: The film employs innovative cinematography techniques, including very close-up shots and slow-motion sequences that might not appeal to everyone. Specifically, using the camera point of view from a tennis ball, could be distracting or disorienting for some audience members. While these techniques are designed to enhance the immersive experience and reflect the characters’ psychological and emotional states, they risk being perceived as overly stylized or gimmicky, potentially pulling some viewers out of the narrative rather than drawing them deeper in.

3. Specific Taste Required: The narrative and visual style of “Challengers” demands a certain appreciation for artistic filmmaking and a tolerance for non-traditional storytelling methods. Audiences looking for a straightforward sports drama might find the film’s approach too unconventional or challenging, which could limit its appeal to a broader audience.

THE COMMENTS

The film employs a daring approach to its cinematography and narrative structure that sets it apart from typical sports dramas. It challenges traditional storytelling norms in the sports genre, making it a topic of interest for discussions on film technique and character development.

THE LESSON

  1. The Importance of Passion for Success: The film illustrates how essential genuine passion and love for what you do are for achieving success. This theme is evident in the portrayal of Tashi’s character, whose deep love for tennis drives her and highlights the contrast with characters who may lack the same level of dedication. This passion is shown to be a crucial factor in overcoming obstacles and achieving personal and professional goals.
  2. The Complexity of Relationships and Growth: “Challengers” delves into how personal relationships can profoundly impact an individual’s growth and success. The characters’ interactions and history demonstrate that our connections with others can both challenge and propel us forward. The film suggests that navigating these relationships with honesty and resilience is key to personal development and fulfillment.

IS IT REWATCHABLE

Yes, “Challengers” is rewatchable. The layered narrative and intricate character dynamics make it a film that could offer new insights on subsequent viewings. The technical aspects of the film, like its cinematography, also make it worth revisiting to appreciate the artistic choices more fully.

THE FINAL WORD

“Challengers” delivers a potent mix of intense sports action and deep personal drama, elevated by standout performances from Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist. Luca Guadagnino’s daring narrative techniques and bold cinematography turn this tennis story into a compelling exploration of ambition, love, and the personal costs of greatness. Engaging, emotionally charged, and visually inventive, it’s a film that redefines the boundaries of sports cinema.

THE VERDICT 

My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It. 

For “Challengers,” I definitely “Love It.” It’s a film that entertains and engages on an intellectual and emotional level, prompting reflection and discussion.

THE TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXEK7y1BuNQ

THE MEME REVIEW

VIDEO REVIEW

https://youtu.be/6TYRCfyTHEw

AUDIO-ONLY REVIEW

https://audioboom.com/posts/8492967-review-challengers

Read More