Welcome back to my Home Movies! This week, the latest season of Rick and Morty hits shelves, alongside a handful of early 2023 cinematic releases, including All Quiet on the Western Front in 4K. What gets top honors from me today? Read on to find out…
Joey’s Top Pick
All Quiet on the Western Front
Netflix’s big Oscar movie became an organic awards juggernaut simply due to the power of its story. This take on All Quiet on the Western Front may well be the definitive take, which is really saying something. I spoke to co-writer Lesley Paterson here about adapting the story, which is an interesting conversation. This here is some of what I said about the film itself in my review.
War is hell. That’s not a novel statement, but it is a cogent one. Most reasonable people understand that war, especially world war, is a terrible thing and meant to be avoided. It’s also something that presents a challenge to filmmakers attempting to depict the horrors of war. In the case of the 2022 incarnation of All Quiet on the Western Front, not punches are pulled in the effort. This movie drops you into all of its awful muck in order to hammer home the point that it’s a dehumanizing and ultimately futile endeavor. More challenging than your typical war flick, it manages to make its thesis largely effectively.
All Quiet on the Western Front presents an old story in a new and visceral manner. While not unbearable in any major way, the muck and the mud, as well as the general awfulness of war, is presented really well here. There’s a bit of a repetitive nature to the film, which at least in part is intentional, but its compelling nature ebbs and flows. It’s always a good movie, but only on occasion does it become a great one.
Also Available This Week
Chucky: The Complete Second Season (TV)
Gaslit: The Limited Series (TV)
Rick and Morty: Season 6 (TV)
Chilly Scenes of Winter
From The Criterion Collection: “The trailblazing Joan Micklin Silver—one of only a handful of women to direct a film for a major Hollywood studio in the 1970s—digs fearlessly into the psychology of a thorny relationship in this anti–romantic comedy, based on Ann Beattie’s best-selling novel, about lovelorn civil servant Charles (John Heard) and his married-but-separated coworker Laura (Mary Beth Hurt). Months after their affair has ended, Charles is haunted by memories as he desperately attempts to rekindle a love that perhaps never was. Switching deftly between past and present, Micklin Silver guides this piercing deconstruction of male wish-fulfillment fantasy beyond standard movie-romance tropes into something more complicated and cuttingly truthful.”
Stay tuned for more next week…