Director Heidi Yewman does a lot to conjure up awareness of gun violence and has contributed to injecting the reality of gun violence in the public consciousness. With ”Behind the Bullet” she continues that tradition for better and for worse. While “Behind the Bullet” is a documentary that everyone should watch, it’s a documentary people will only be able to see once, as it’s often difficult to endure. It shows us the stark reality of gun violence in four forms, but it’s also so incredibly depressing and soul crushing, and at rare times feels like its intent on shocking us more than informing us.
I saw a ton of movies in 2018, and thankfully I didn’t see too many awful films in the theaters. 2018 was a pretty great year for film, and while I didn’t have enough time to see everything, the share of films I checked out were mostly passable. Even the really alleged awful films people complained about were just disposable junk, and not worth complaining about, or even reviewing. That said I did find ten particularly bad films in 2018, and these had the dishonor of making the list.
“Bad Reputation” is less the life of Joan Jett, and more a publicity movie for Joan Jett fans. If you want to come to this documentary looking to learn about Joan Jett, warts and all, and how she turned music on its ass, then you’re going to walk away from this disappointed. If you want to celebrate everything about Joan Jett, and ignore all the nasty stuff, you’ll love “Bad Reputation” which very clearly has Joan Jett looming over it and calling the shots. “Bad Reputation” isn’t a disaster like “Bohemian Rhapsody” when all is said and done.
For years, satirists pin pointed Dick Cheney as the man behind George W. Bush, a man who was much too smart for the man running the country, he was the man often depicted as the grouchy old grandfather, or stern dad watching over his under achiever son and pulling the strings behind the scenes while junior basically had no idea and was wiser for not knowing, and “Vice” doesn’t shy away from that common message. “Vice” is an engrossing often pitch black comedy that is so much more complex than that now infamous gag. But Adam McKay makes it clear what kind of person Dick Cheney is from the minute we see him. Upon the bombings of 9/11, he’s swept away in to a safe room and decides to commit to swift political, consciously and visually keeping Bush oblivious to the scenarios unfolding.
Hayao Miyazaki has reached a point in his life where there is so much change but he doesn’t know what to do with any of it. He’s reached an old age and has barely any strength any more to sit down and draw all day, but he has no idea what he’d be doing without a pencil or paper in his hand. At his old age he’s still a very curmudgeonly individual who demands perfection and treats his protégés with harsh criticism when they fail to deliver storyboards that meet his pitch perfect idea of what life is. Miyazaki has lived a full life, and in a way he’s ready to go.
The best thing I can say about “Bohemian Rhapsody” is that it aims to become a surefire Oscar contender, and the only aspect deserving of an Oscar is Rami Malek (bad fake teeth and wigs be damned). If you have to absolutely see “Bohemian Rhapsody” see it for Rami Malek, whose portrayal of Freddie Mercury is heartfelt, sublime, and much too fantastic for a movie that’s pretty much a sanitized version of the story of Queen and Freddie Mercury. When you have a biopic of the group that’s been authorized by the surviving members and is PG-13, there’s only so much flexibility allowed, and Malek thankfully rises to the occasion. And then there’s the rest of the movie.
Vivienne Westwood is not only a Dame by title, she is by action. This documentary shows her involvement in fashion, culture, and activism. It shows how she came up, how she made a name for herself, and how much she cares about all aspects of her life and image.
A look at director Jean-Luc Godard during the late 1960s through his then wife Anne’s eyes, this film takes an irreverent look at the idol of many and makes him human through how he lived with his wife.