I love Paddington 2. I love Mission: Impossible – Fallout. So of course, what better way to express my love for two of my favorite 2018 releases/major hyper fixations than to combine them both in a trailer recut? This took a few weeks of editing, but I can proudly say it’s one of my favorite videos I’ve ever edited. How long until a bear like that, has had enough?
On Monday night, I was invited to the IMAX Headquarters to attend a screening of Mission: Impossible – Fallout followed by a Q&A with director Christopher McQuarrie, hosted and moderated by Collider’s Steven “Frosty” Weintraub. Fallout has been a major hyper fixation with me this year, so of course, I was dying to make that quick hop to L.A. for my last time viewing the film in a theater. After a quick check-in, the attendees were seated and left alone to witness the halo-jump scene in glorious laser-projection.
There’s no official review of Fallout on the site, but I can personally vouch for it. If you managed to avoid seeing it this whole summer, just know that it’s a rollercoaster ride of a blockbuster that never slows down. For popcorn action flick standards, the direction of this spectacle film is so artful and distinct that it made for one of the most memorable and thrilling cinema experiences all year.
After the screening, Christopher McQuarrie showed up in the flesh to respond to Weintraub’s questions and then opened the floor to our own. A lot was discussed in those two hours. The full transcript can be found on Collider, but I’ve compiled a few of my favorite moments from the Q&A here:
From a cultural perspective alone, there’s a lot about Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade that fascinates me. To put it lightly, it’s simply surreal to witness Burnham – a classic YouTube star turned musical stand-up comedian known for his edgy humor – make his first foray into the film medium as a writer and director. It’s perhaps even more surreal that his debut, an indie dramedy about a pre-teenage girl’s last week of middle school, also happens to be one of the best films of 2018 thus far. Burnham’s behind-the-camera presence is more than just a marketing gimmick, his identity is embedded in the DNA of the narrative. It goes without saying that this film is one that could not have been made even ten, maybe even five years ago.
Whether in consequence of A24’s clever marketing or their inherent legacy as indie distributors, the film has been compared to the likes of Lady Bird. While the sentiment is nice, that implies an entirely different film than Eighth Grade is. Lady Bird and the coming-of-age genre are characterized by throwbacks, sweet self-reflective dramas following a character during a time of challenge, change, and transition in their life. While Burnham’s debut carries over some of those elements, make no mistake – for this is far from a nostalgic piece. In fact, Eighth Grade is a film about the everyday anxieties of the edge of fifteen, but its also about the daily horrors the current generation of kids are living in. While the past and even future are still part of its thematic journey, the predominant focus of Eighth Grade is what is happening now.
I’ll watch Oscar Isaac in anything. Despite his poor choice of roles in the last few years (excluding some stellar Alex Garland collaborations), he genuinely remains the best part of any hot mess he takes part in. Knowing that such a powerful on-screen presence hasn’t been landing the leading roles he deserves to have, it was really exciting to see Isaac get behind the camera and do some production work on his latest film, Operation Finale. To see an artist I admire take action and create roles for himself is admirable to me, so it’s all the more disappointing to tell you that once again the pieces just didn’t fall into place. Operation Finale boasts two powerhouses in Isaac and Kingsley and possesses a poignant tale at its core, but the direction by Chris Weitz feels all too pedestrian and at times, even too incompetent to be substantial.
Set fifteen years after WWII, this period drama follows the true story of Peter Malkin and his Israeli crew who traveled to Argentina to find and extract Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi officer responsible for the transportation of millions of Jewish people to concentration camps. Legally forced to get a signature out of Eichmann in order to transport him out of Argentina to Israel, Malkin must bargain with Eichmann to bring him to trial. It’s an important story about civility, wickedness, suffering, and urgency that Operation Finale presents in an unimaginative fashion – all while stumbling on its message along the way.
Basically, it awoke a burning need inside me. I love film dads. You hopefully love film dads as well. So, why not use my position as a writer on a well-respected film site to rank film dads and distract myself from the existential despair around me? For the sake of brevity (and so I’m not just regurgitating the beautiful tweet above), I chose to focus on 2018 film dads in a specific and simple list, ranked on a lot of different factors. I limited it down to one dad per movie, from movies I have seen and at least superficially enjoyed. There also may be spoilers for any film included on the list, so beware!
Well, girls, gays, and all other dad loving individuals – let’s get to it!
At a superficial, base-level understanding of Crazy Rich Asians, the film might come across as nothing new. It’s a modern take on Pride and Prejudice,a quirky romantic comedy about a man and a woman from two different worlds coming together – but where the magic resides is in its vast love and dedication to the celebration of contemporary Asian culture, and the tremendous amount of care from the cast and crew of this film to make it as much of a classic Hollywood spectacle as possible. There is so much glitz, glamour, Chinese covers of Coldplay and genuine pride radiating off of this flick that its fantastical charm is absolutely irresistible. In the age of whitewashing and orientalism in Hollywood (COUGH Doctor Strange COUGH Ghost in the Shell COUGH), finally getting a mainstream film to represent my culture behind and in front of the camera feels revolutionary in itself.
Based off of Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novels, Crazy Rich Asians follows Rachel Chu, a professor who unknowingly happens to be dating Nick Young – who comes from one of the richest families in all of Singapore. They go on a summer trip together to a family friend’s wedding, and antics ensue as word of mouth quickly spreads about their relationship through an impressive text and social media sequence. Torn between her American roots and trying her best to impress Nick’s cold and disapproving mother, Rachel learns the value of her own modern values and self-worth.