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New This Week (11/18/2022): Bardo, Holy Spider, Disenchanted, Spirited, & More!

November 18, 2022

By John Corrado

New releases for the week of November 18th, 2022.

Zar Amir Ebrahimi in Holy Spider

Theatrical Releases:

Holy Spider (TIFF Bell Lightbox): Director Ali Abbasi’s Holy Spider was one of the best movies I saw at TIFF this year. The Iranian serial killer thriller follows a journalist (Zar Amir Ebrahimi) chasing a killer (Mehdi Bajestani) through the streets of Mashad, as sex workers keep being brutally murdered in the city. In addition to being a tense, skillfully crafted game of cat and mouse, the provocative film also works as piece of scathing social commentary on how women are treated in a fundamentalist, theocratic society. It’s gripping, disturbing, and builds to a genuinely chilling final scene. (TIFF 2022 Review)

Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths (TIFF Bell Lightbox): Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s latest film is an ambitious, at times surrealistic epic that finds the Oscar-winning Mexican director telling the semi-autobiographical story of a documentary filmmaker (Daniel G. Cacho) returning to his home country. This is a polarizing film, but I found it to be fascinating as an artistic statement, with a lot of value in the cinematography and production design. It’s now playing in 70mm at TIFF Bell Lightbox, before coming to Netflix on December 16th. (Full Review)

More Releases: She Said (Wide), The Menu (Wide), Fisherman’s Friends: One and All (Limited), Stay the Night (Limited)

Streaming Releases:

Disenchanted (Disney+): Arriving fifteen years after Enchanted – a film that I loved – I’m sorry to say that the Disney+ sequel Disnechanted is a pretty major disappointment. Sure, Amy Adams does have some fun reprising her role as Giselle, and James Marsden is a scene-stealer, but the film itself struggles to recapture the same magic and almost everything about it feels like a pale copy of the original. It lacks the spark of the first film, and the new songs aren’t even very memorable. (Full Review)

Spirited (Apple TV+): A modern reimagining of the Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol starring Will Ferrell as the Ghost of Christmas Present and Ryan Reynolds as his latest subject, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. Sure, it’s a bit uneven in places and a little too long, but as I said in my review, Spirited “delivers exactly what you want as a fun, slightly cheesy, and appropriately heartfelt Christmas musical.” Ferrell and Reynolds have good comedic chemistry, and the songs by Benji Pasek and Justin Paul are catchy. A fun streaming option for the holidays. (Full Review)

More Releases: The Wonder (Netflix), Slumberland (Netflix), A Christmas Story Christmas (Crave), Mickey: The Story of a Mouse (Disney+), The Santa Clauses (Disney+)

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