Skip to content

Review: A Thousand and One

March 31, 2023

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Writer-director A.V. Rockwell’s debut feature A Thousand and One, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in January, is a mother-son drama defined by its complex lead character, with the filmmaker eschewing easy emotion for something far thornier.

The film, which begins in the 1990s, centres around Inez (Teyana Taylor), a young woman in New York who is in and out of the city’s shelter system, and has recently been released from prison when she decides to kidnap her six-year-old son Terry, to rescue him from growing up in foster care.

Named for the number on the door of their rundown apartment in Harlem, A Thousand and One is a stripped down drama that unfolds around the relationship between Inez and Terry (whose name gets changed to Darryl) at key points in his life; when he is six (played by Aaron Kingsley Adetola), thirteen (played by Aven Courtney), and then seventeen (played by Josiah Cross).

The first part of Rockwell’s film focuses on Inez trying to secure housing and rebuild a life with her young son, while the second part shifts to focus on Terry as an older teen, who is starting to think about trying to make his own way in the world. This is where the story reveals itself to be far more complicated and thus more interesting, as Rockwell raises fascinating and emotionally challenging questions about how Inez’s drastic choices as a mother continue to impact her son years down the line.

The film, which unfolds from the mid-1990s to the post-9/11 mid-2000s, is set against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving New York City, as mayors change and the city continues to gentrify around them. This provides a larger context for the film’s ground-level portrait of the bond between a mother and son who are stuck trying to navigate the city’s neglectful social systems. The often handheld camerawork by cinematographer Eric K. Yue captures the sights and sounds of Harlem as well as the more intimate character moments, as Gary Gunn’s jazz score adds appropriate accompaniment.

A few elements of the screenplay do feel a little underdeveloped as the film keeps jumping ahead in time, giving the drama an episodic feel in places. But the film is grounded by Taylor’s nuanced performance, with Cross as 17-year-old Terry ultimately doing a lot of the emotional heavy lifting for that character in a true standout role. William Catlett also delivers tender supporting work as Lucky, the new man in Terry’s life. These strong performances allow for a number of stirring moments throughout the film.

(L to R) Teyana Taylor stars as “Inez de la Paz” and Aaron Kingsley Adetola stars as six year old “Terry” in writer/director A.V. Rockwell’s A THOUSAND AND ONE, released by Focus Features. Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features

A Thousand and One opens exclusively in theatres on March 31st.

Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

March 31, 2023

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a movie based on the classic fantasy roleplaying game, and it offers a surprisingly enjoyable mix of comedy and adventure that has a fun, playing with a group of friends feel to it that I imagine will be quite appealing to fans of the game.

The main characters are Edgin (Chris Pine) and his friend Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), a pair of petty thieves who escape from jail so that Edgin can reunite with his daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman), whom Holga helped him raise after the death of his wife.

Kira was sent to live with their old partner Forge (Hugh Grant), but he has seized power over their village of Neverwinter since they have been gone, and doesn’t want to give her up. So Edgin and Holga hatch a plan to get his daughter back, and are helped are their quest by the young wizard Simon (Justice Smith) and the shape-shifting Doric (Sophia Lillis), as well as storybook hero Xenk (Regé-Jean Page).

The main draw of the film is that it’s directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the same team behind the pleasantly surprising 2018 action comedy Game Night. Where as that film found the sweet spot between action and comedy, one of the main draws of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is the way that Daley and Goldstein are able to inject humour into the film without sacrificing its place in the fantasy adventure genre. The directors are able to bring a necessary lightness of touch to the material, without sidestepping moments of peril and heart.

The film does take a little while to get going in its first act, and it is a touch long at 134 minutes. But once the quest becomes clearer and the players reveal themselves, it settles into being an entertaining fantasy adventure that is buoyed along by enjoyable performances from its ensemble cast. Pine brings his usual charm to the role of a thief who prides himself on being able to talk his way out of any situation, while Rodriguez adds the right mix of toughness and nurturing to her character. Grant also manages to steal scenes, and has fun with his campy supporting role.

Along with the multiple side-quests and playful set-pieces, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves also features some good messages about the importance of building confidence, which seems to be what the game is all about for its players. But the film’s ultimate selling point might be that, while it offers a lot of Easter Eggs and callbacks for DnD players, it also works just as well for those of us who aren’t as familiar with the game.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves opens exclusively in theatres as of March 31st.

Review: Rye Lane (Disney+)

March 30, 2023

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Dom (David Jonsson) and Yas (Vivian Oparah), the two protagonists of British filmmaker Raine Allen-Miller’s directorial debut Rye Lane, have their initial meet-cute through the dividing walls in the unisex bathroom of a South London art gallery.

Dom is crying in one of the stalls after a bad breakup, and Yas goes into the one next to him and asks if he is ok. They don’t see each other, but she clocks his pink sneakers under the stall door so she can re-introduce herself later on. This is the setup for an enjoyable and highly stylized modern rom-com, one that breezes by at just 82 minutes.

The Searchlight Pictures film (which made waves when it premiered at Sundance in January), proceeds to follow Dom and Yas as they spend the day together, getting to know each other as they go on a series of misadventures that involve confronting exes and trying to retrieve Yas’s A Tribe Called Quest record from her ex-boyfriend’s place.

The strangers falling in love over a day story is somewhat familiar, and Rye Lane doesn’t have quite as much depth to it as other staples of the genre like Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise or Barry Jenkins’ Medicine for Melancholy. But Jonsson and Oparah inject life into the material, bringing a modern, youthful energy to it. The two leads have charming chemistry together as they bounce off each other, developing an easy rapport in the earlier scenes that gives way to more emotional moments later on.

The film’s broader, more predictable moments and quirkier flourishes are balanced out by its strong sense of place and cultural specificity. The vivid South London setting adds a lot of character to it, with cinematographer Olan Collardy capturing the vibrancy of the area through his bright, stylized work on the film, including the use of fish eye lenses and off-kilter framing choices that make use of negative space. The film’s bright and colourful pop aesthetic is one of the most appealing aspects of it. The quick editing keeps the story moving at a snappy pace (including some heightened reality flashbacks), as does the eclectic soundtrack.

The short running time does give the film a bit of a flash-in-the-pan feel, but this is part of the point; Rye Lane is meant to capture the fleeting feeling of meeting someone new and spending the day with them, with the potential for it to blossom into something more. It’s a confident debut from Allen-Miller that builds with a few pitfalls to a satisfying conclusion, and serves as a fine new addition to the romantic comedy genre.

Rye Lane will be available to stream exclusively on Disney+ in Canada as of March 31st.

Canadian Film Fest Review: How to Get My Parents to Divorce

March 30, 2023

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

The 2023 Canadian Film Fest runs from March 28th to April 1st, with films screening in-person at Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto and virtually on Super Channel Fuse.

In How to Get My Parents to Divorce, a family movie from Quebec that plays like a clever inversion of The Parent Trap, adolescent Justine (Charlotte St-Martin) is tired of her lawyer parents Julie (Isabelle Blais) and Martin (Pierre-Luc Brillant) fighting all the time, and thinks it would be better for everyone if they ended their marriage.

After a trip to youth court doesn’t pan out (she is gently told she has no legal authority to dissolve her parents’ marriage on their behalf), the sixth grader decides to hold her own “real” trial at the school’s end of semester talent show, by putting her mom and dad on the stand. Justine enlists the help of her best friends Theo (Liam Patenaude) and Claudia (Charlie Fortier) to assist with the trial, and they audition other students to play the roles of witnesses, lawyers, and a judge to hear her case.

Directed and co-written by Sandrine Brodeur-Desrosiers in her feature debut, How to Get My Parents to Divorce is a consistently entertaining family movie that finds a good balance between being quirky and sweet. While the story is built around Justine’s child-like misinterpretation of the law, what works about the film is that there is a cleverness to it as well in how it shows the kids attempting to build a case and recreate an actual courtroom, and the youngsters do show a precocious savviness through their own (albeit basic) understanding of how the judicial system operates.

The kids take their roles very seriously as they try to gather enough evidence to build their case for why divorce is the best option for Justine’s parents, leading to some delightfully awkward moments of cringe comedy that also scratch at harder truths. The story, of course, allows for deeper life lessons as Justine confronts the real reasons why her parents have been fighting, and the conclusion is appropriately heartwarming.

With a solid cast of child actors who all nicely fill out their roles, How to Get My Parents to Divorce is a real charmer, that is the perfect length at just over eighty minutes. It’s a rare but welcome middle school movie that is good for kids in how it raises conversations about serious topics in an age-appropriate way, and very enjoyable for adults as well.

Charlotte St-Martin in How to Get My Parents to Divorce

How to Get My Parents to Divorce screens on Thursday, March 30th at 7:00 PM ET, at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto and on Super Channel. Tickets and more information can be found right here.

Canadian Film Fest Review: When Time Got Louder

March 29, 2023

By John Corrado

★½ (out of 4)

The 2023 Canadian Film Fest runs from March 28th to April 1st, with films screening in-person at Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto and virtually on Super Channel Fuse.

The debut film from writer-director Connie Cocchia, When Time Got Louder is a Canadian family drama that explores how a tight-knit family unit changes when older sister Abbie (Willow Shields) goes away to art school in California, leaving her 17-year-old non-speaking autistic brother Kayden (Jonathan Simao) with their parents Mark (Lochlyn Munro) and Tish (Elizabeth Mitchell).

The film is largely built around the close bond between Abbie and Kayden, and Cocchia does try to explore their unique sibling dynamic with a handful of sweet moments between them. But the overall execution of When Time Got Louder unfortunately turns it into a dreary melodrama about disability, told mostly from the perspective of the neurotypical family members.

One of the biggest issues lies in the fractured narrative framing device; the story is told in flashbacks as Kayden is in the hospital, with the family being interviewed by a social worker who expresses concerns for their safety. This means that, for large stretches of the film, Kayden is barely even given his own agency, with him passed out in a hospital bed as Cocchia’s screenplay tries to weave a mystery out of how he got there. The problem is not only that this centres the narrative around his family, but this framing device also feels exploitative, with the film doing a somewhat gross bait-and-switch to keep us questioning what Kayden has done.

The main subplot involves Abbie’s burgeoning relationship with Karly (Ava Capri), a girl at her school, which is complicated by the fact that Abbie is not out to her family. The overly sappy romantic scenes between Abbie and Karly clash somewhat with the rest of the film, with dialogue that tries too hard to be cutesy and clever but falls into the uncanny valley of not sounding natural. While Abbie is away, Kayden starts to have more frequent meltdowns, with his father trying to push him out into the world on his own or put him in a group home, as Abbie is the only one who can calm him down. Despite good intentions, the handling of these storylines can feel somewhat stereotyped.

While Shields, who is probably best known for playing Primrose Everdeen in the Hunger Games films, does show some dramatic promise in the lead, Munroe and Mitchell deliver overwrought performances as the parents. Simao delivers the strongest performance and is able to believably portray Kayden, with the film getting points for authentically casting an autistic actor in the role. The main problem is that this is a film built entirely around tropes (the not out to family trope, the dad pushing his disabled son too hard trope, the mother struggling to cope but not ready to let go trope), and it ends up feeling outdated in several regards.

The film’s questionable storytelling devices and often downbeat tone (many scenes are overscored by depressing, minimalistic music), undercuts any positive attempts at representation. The film also drags somewhat at nearly two hours. There are better options out there for stories about autistic characters, including the Netflix show Atypical (which this film seems to borrow several elements from), and the even better series As We See It.

Willow Shields and Jonathan Simao in When Time Got Louder

When Time Got Louder screens on Wednesday, March 29th at 7:00 PM ET, at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto and on Super Channel. Tickets and more information can be found right here.

The film will also be opening in limited release in Toronto and Vancouver on March 31st.

DVD Review: Blue’s Big City Adventure

March 28, 2023

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

Blue’s Big City Adventure is a new feature-length Blue’s Clues movie from Nickelodeon that branches off from the 2019 reboot series Blues Clues & You, and mainly exists to have new host Josh (Josh Dela Cruz) meet up with the show’s old hosts Steve (Steve Burns) and Joe (Donovan Patton).

The second feature after Blue’s Big Musical Movie from 2000, Blue’s Big City Adventure opens with Josh in the familiar lo-fi digital environment with his animated friends, including dog Blue (Traci Paige Johnson) and a variety of anthropomorphized household items.

When Josh gets invited by Rainbow Puppy (Brianna Bryan) to audition for a Broadway musical in New York, he leaves his home in Storybook Land and heads to the city with Blue. But Josh has forgotten his Handy Dandy Notebook at home, forcing him to look for paw prints and play a game of Blue’s Clues in the big city in order to find the theatre. This simple, goal-oriented story features a handful of musical numbers, and lets Josh visit a variety of guests including the old hosts, with Steve now running his own amateur detective agency (a nice touch).

While Blue’s Big City Adventure initially seemed somewhat targeted to millennial viewers who grew up with the original show (which ran 1996 to 2006) and might now have children of their own, it mainly plays to a younger demographic set. Yes, the film is theoretically made to bank on nostalgia by bringing back the original hosts (I do remember watching the show with Steve as a little kid, though had already outgrown it by the time Joe took over in 2002), but this is still very much a movie for little kids.

Despite a few moments of self-awareness, it doesn’t try to be a Blue’s Clues movie for adults who grew up with the series, which is probably a good thing. The story is very simplistic, and even at just over seventy minutes, it struggles to really maintain the interest of older viewers. But Josh is a charming and likeable enough host, the musical numbers are simple yet fun, and the story has some good messages about not giving up on your dreams. It’s a decent movie for younger kids, and adults who happen to see it will feel a few pangs of nostalgia at the sight of an older Steve Burns with a stripy green tie.

Bonus Features (DVD):

The DVD release of the Paramount+ film includes a few bonus features, including three sing-along songs and three vlog-style videos. There is no digital copy included in the package.

Sing-Along Songs: A trio of scenes from the film presented with on-screen lyrics.

Brand New Day (3 minutes, 42 seconds)

We’re On Our Way (4 minutes, 10 seconds)

How to Play Blues Clues! (5 minutes, 30 seconds)

Blue & Josh Skidoo to New York City! (4 minutes, 22 seconds)

Blue Finds a Clue in New York City! (6 minutes, 40 seconds)

Blue Plays Hide & Seek in New York City! (3 minutes, 7 seconds)

Blue’s Big City Adventure is a Paramount Home Entertainment release. It’s 74 minutes and rated G.

Street Date: March 28th, 2023

Canadian Film Fest Review: Babysitter

March 28, 2023

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

The 2023 Canadian Film Fest runs from March 28th to April 1st, with films screening in-person at Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto and virtually on Super Channel Fuse.

An absurdist comedy about gender politics that segues into being a psychosexual suburban fantasy, the Quebec film Babysitter is an entertaining and stylized portrait of a man’s life spiralling out of control as he is forced to confront his sexist ways.

Cédric (Patrick Hivon) is a brash, middle-aged engineer whose dumb and impulsive decision to kiss a female reporter on live TV during a drunken weekend out with his friends puts him at the centre of an online firestorm. This sets into motion a series of events that causes him to be fired from his job, leaving him at home with the young daughter that he has with his partner Nadine (Monia Chokri).

To help with childcare as he tries to get his job back through public apology, Cédric hires Amy (Nadia Tereszkiewicz), a young nanny who serves as an almost fantastical wish-fulfilment figure for the whole family. Meanwhile, Cédric and his brother Jean-Michel (Steve Laplante) embark on a grandiose, self-serving mission of writing a book apologizing to all women for their misogyny, to assuage their own sense of guilt.

Directed by Chokri, working from a screenplay by Catherine Léger who adapts her own stage play for the screen, Babysitter is a film that embraces a sense of heightened realism to explore these themes. The film’s opening sequence when the inciting incident occurs is shown in frantic closeups, which gives way to the more eccentrically composed wide shot tableaus of later scenes. Despite seeming loosely inspired by the unfortunate real life trend from several years ago of men shouting sexist comments behind female newscasters, the film plays out as much more of a surreal comedy than it is a social issue drama, but this doesn’t mean its observations aren’t sharp.

Within its exaggerated scenarios and increasingly hazy sense of reality, Chokri’s film does make some salient observations about sexism, traditional gender roles, and who gets to define misogyny, in its own roundabout, bizarro sort of way. The result is an often funny film that feels inspired by both European arthouse cinema as well as other sexually-charged camp classics, buoyed by Tereszkiewicz’s captivating and appropriately slippery performance as both temptress and sexually empowered young woman.

Nadia Tereszkiewicz in Babysitter

Babysitter screens on Tuesday, March 28th at 7:00 PM ET, at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto and on Super Channel. Tickets and more information can be found right here.

New This Week (03/24/2023): John Wick: Chapter 4, Riceboy Sleeps, & More!

March 24, 2023

By John Corrado

New releases for the week of March 24th, 2023.

Theatrical Releases:

John Wick: Chapter 4 (Wide Release): This fourth entry in the very good John Wick franchise is, for my money, the best one yet. The film continues the mission of Keanu Reeves’ titular assassin to take down The High Table, with director Chad Stahelski crafting it into a nearly three-hour, globe-trotting action movie symphony that more than delivers by offering a series of staggering extended set-pieces backed by incredible cinematography and production design. The result is an electric, visually stunning, and at times darkly beautiful action epic. (Full Review)

Riceboy Sleeps (Limited/TIFF Bell Lightbox): Anthony Shim’s Canadian drama, which won the Platform Prize at TIFF last year and is up for six Canadian Screen Awards, is expanding to TIFF Bell Lightbox this week after opening in limited release last Friday. I just watched this one last night, and it’s something of a knockout. Shim’s deeply personal film follows mother So-Young (Choi Seung-yoon) who moves to Canada from South Korea in the 1990s to provide a better life for her son Dong-Hyun (Ethan Hwang), and it’s a remarkably tender drama that is beautifully acted and beautifully filmed. (Review coming soon!)

The Lost King (Limited Release): Sally Hawkins stars in this based-on-a-true-story British drama as Philippa Langley, an English writer who is determined to find the grave of Richard III. I saw this one when it premiered at TIFF last year, and it’s an enjoyable, slightly quirky British crowdpleaser, that is anchored by Hawkins’ very good performance. (TIFF 2022 Review)

More Releases: A Good Person (Limited), You Can Live Forever (Limited), Where the Wind Blows (Limited), The Five Devils (TIFF Bell Lightbox)

Streaming Releases:

Tenzin (CBC Gem): I reviewed this one last week when it opened in limited release, and it’s now available to stream for free on CBC Gem. Set in Toronto’s Tibetan community, the moody, minimalistic drama from co-directors Michael LeBlanc and Josh Reichmann centres around Tenzin (Tenzin Kelsang), a young man dealing with the self-immolation of his older brother. (Full Review)

More Releases: 88 (Digital/VOD), The Night Agent (Netflix), Rabbit Hole (Paramount+), Up Here (Disney+)

Review: John Wick: Chapter 4

March 24, 2023

By John Corrado

★★★½ (out of 4)

Keanu Reeves returns to the titular role of John Wick in John Wick: Chapter 4, which doubles as the best entry yet in this already very good action movie franchise.

This fourth instalment puts Reeves’ former assassin Wick, who is now a marked man, at the centre of a globe-trotting action movie as he tries to finally take down the international consortium of assassins known as The High Table, and it’s interesting to witness the operatic grandeur of what this franchise has become.

The first film from 2014 worked as a gnarly and fairly straight-forward little revenge thriller about a man taking on the Russian mobsters who took his car and killed his dog. But the pieces were always there to lay the groundwork for something even bigger involving the world of the Continental and The High Table, and John Wick: Chapter 4 fully delivers on this promise, as it builds off of parts 2 and 3.

At 169 minutes, this fourth film is over an hour longer than the first instalment, with the focus being on staging a variety of phenomenal-looking extended action set-pieces that truly take the series to another level. The appeal of John Wick: Chapter 4 lies not so much in the story itself (it is very much a direct continuation of previous chapters in that regard), but in the way that returning director Chad Stahelski allows the action sequences to breathe, fully settling into being something akin to The Raid movies or Mad Max: Fury Road as pure action spectacle.

Wick is given a variety of new foes, including the addition of martial arts star Donnie Yen in an incredible supporting role as a blind assassin, and Shamier Anderson as a young tracker who is strategically waiting for the price on John Wick’s head to increase before taking him out. The film embraces slight elements of camp with its main bad guy the Marquis, who is played by Bill Skarsgård and is essentially an old-school Bond villain, and Scott Adkins appears in a scenery-chewing extended cameo. Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane and the late Lance Reddick also reprise their roles.

The film does feel a bit long with its nearly three hour running time, and some of the more exposition-heavy scenes before and between the action do drag the pacing down slightly. The result is a movie that doesn’t reinvent the John Wick formula, but has simply perfected it, understanding that we mainly come to these movies to see Reeves kick ass in a variety of neon-bathed action scenes set to techno music that look cool as hell. In this regard, John Wick: Chapter 4 delivers on every imaginable level.

The film embraces being set in a pseudo-serious version of the real world where international assassins roam the streets of New York and other cities trying to do each other in. As usual, the action unfolds on a variety of eye-popping, neon-coloured sets, with the film’s incredible production design captured by Dan Laustsen’s excellent cinematography.

Laustsen’s camera smoothly follows the action choreography, turning the near-relentless carnage on display into a sort of dance, as Reeves lays waste to baddies with guns and fists against these staggering, beautifully lit backdrops. This includes an early set-piece at the Osaka Continental in Japan, and a jaw-dropping shootout showing the action from above, tracking the characters moving between rooms as if they are in a diorama.

Stahelski and company take what could have been a simplistic chase picture and elevate it to cinematic artistry, including a literal match cut paying tribute to Lawrence of Arabia, and the Spaghetti Western-inspired final showdown. If you choose to look for it, there is also an underlying, Eastern-influenced philosophy to these movies about cycles of violence continuing to repeat themselves, with Reeves’ Wick showing a few moments of vulnerability that make the payoff to this one surprisingly bittersweet.

The whole thing builds to an incredible final act launched by an insane chase through the streets of Paris set to the song choices of a radio DJ, with the extended sequence continuing to top itself as we question how many times Wick can get hit by cars and fall down the stairs. Pound for pound, this is the best film in the series, offering an electric, visually stunning, and at times darkly beautiful action epic.

John Wick: Chapter 4 opens exclusively in theatres on March 24th.

4K Ultra HD Review: Babylon (SteelBook Edition)

March 21, 2023

By John Corrado

Please note that this is a review of the 4K Ultra HD release of Babylon. For my full thoughts on the film itself, you can read my original review right here.

Damien Chazelle’s Old Hollywood epic Babylon is being released on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray this week, including in a limited edition 4K SteelBook set.

Chazelle’s entertaining, party-fuelled film is set at the end of the silent film era at the dawn of the “talkies,” and centres around a cast of characters, including a production assistant (Diego Calva), an aspiring starlet (Margot Robbie), and a fading silent star (Brad Pitt).

Nominated for three Oscars (Production Design, Costume Design and Score), all of which it lost, the film received somewhat mixed reviews and was a box office flop, but seems poised for critical reappraisal in the future.

While I did find the film to be a bit uneven and at times tonally inconsistent, I have to say that I admired the effort behind Babylon when I reviewed it back in January, and the film has gained a passionate fanbase. It’s an ambitious and never boring swing-for-the-fences from Chazelle, backed by solid performances from its ensemble cast (Pitt would have deserved an Oscar nomination), and set to an incredible jazz score by Justin Hurwitz that I haven’t stopped listening to since. I have a feeling this one will age quite well.

I was sent the 4K SteelBook for review, which is the most attractive set for both collectors and fans of the film. The shiny black case (though prone to fingerprints) boasts some nice artwork, with a kaleidoscopic collage of characters on the front, an exploding champagne flute on the back, and an image of Robbie’s Nellie LaRoy crowdsurfing across the inside panels behind where the three discs are held. The 4K disc itself offers the best presentation of Linus Sandgren’s captivating 35mm cinematography in 2160p.

Film Rating: ★★★ (out of 4)

Bonus Features (Blu-ray):

The 4K set boasts over forty minutes of special features, which are held on a separate Blu-ray disc. A regular Blu-ray containing the film and a code for a digital copy are also included in the package.

A Panoramic Canvas Called Babylon (30 minutes, 50 seconds): A solid overview of Chazelle’s vision for the film, from depicting the hedonism of the 1920s, to the production design, costumes, and Justin Hurwitz’s incredible musical score. We also get to see a bit of the screen test that he shot on his phone in his backyard with Robbie and Calva.

The Costumes of Babylon (2 minutes, 51 seconds): A closer look at the authentic period costumes by Mary Zophres, who had to dress seven thousand actors, with the film containing over a hundred speaking parts and thousands of background extras.

Scoring Babylon (1 minute, 50 seconds): Expanding slightly on what we see in the longer featurette, this is an all-too-brief closer look at Hurwitz’s music, with the composer talking about crafting a horns-heavy, jazz-influenced score that is true to the time period, while also hinting at later musical genres like rock and roll.

Deleted and Extended Scenes (Play All – 9 minutes, 15 seconds): A selection of moments that were trimmed from the film, which don’t change the overall plot.

Manny Drives Jack – Deleted (54 seconds)

Elinor Chats With Extra – Extended (2 minutes, 26 seconds)

Cutting Room – Deleted (41 seconds)

Dressing Room Fight – Deleted (2 minutes, 21 seconds)

Powder Room – Extended (1 minute, 41 seconds)

Passport Search – Deleted (1 minute, 7 seconds)

Babylon is a Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment release. It’s 188 minutes and rated 14A.

Street Date: March 21st, 2023

%d bloggers like this: