The new to Apple TV documentary Boys State is at once a major achievement and a dystopian, nightmare hellscape. Why? Well, because it’s the clearest indication yet of the damage we’ve done to our children with our ugly, thoughtless and needless political rhetoric. This documentary that should be an inspiring look at politically engaged young people seeking to become the future leaders of this country turns a harsh, unforgiving, light on the bankrupt and corrupt version of politics and leadership we are passing down to the next generation.
A cold war based horror thriller in this day and age had better hope an audience is educated enough to understand the tropes at play. Perhaps in Russia the trope of a government capable of murdering astronauts to protect a secret new weapon might seem noteworthy and plausible. In America, the trope exists but it’s aged. The audience for a horror movie in this day and age is unlikely to be old enough to remember the intensity of the cold war and the dangers it posed, especially inside the Iron Curtain.
Max Reload and the Nether Blasters is a whole lot of fun. This silly little gamer comedy is just the right mix of goofy characters and familiar teen movie tropes. There’s nothing wrong with a little familiarity and nostalgia if you do it well and the directing duo of Scott Conditt Jeremy Tremp do it quite well. They’ve managed to keep a familiar story about a kid learning to be a team player fresh with good jokes and funny supporting performances.
I Used to Go Here strikes deep into the heart of those who’ve reached their 30s and 40s and have not quite figured out where you’re headed. Gillian Jacobs stars in the movie as a published author who feels like she may have blown her shot at the big time by compromising her art for commerce. Jacobs’ Kate Conklin knows she’s a good writer but when she wrote her novel she compromised and added elements that were more commercial and less specific or personal.
Director Atom Egoyan is known for pain and deep emotional trauma. I once watched a friend of mine descend into a despair so deep while watching Egoyan’s The Captive that I strongly considered hiding the cutlery. Egoyan lingers on trauma, meditates upon it and explores it in the same way Civil War doctors probed wounds searching for unseen shrapnel. Egoyan digs in with his fingers and offers only a minor sedative via his deliberate storytelling.
“This is where i f*** my soul” Charles Bukowski showing off his legendary typewriter