Welcome back to my Home Movies! This week, we kick off 2023 with Armageddon Time as easily the top pick hitting shelves. What else is dropping this week, in addition to Black Adam and a new Criterion Collection release? Read on to find out…
James Gray has long been a filmmaker I’m quite fond of. So, it was great to see him look even more inward than usual with Armageddon Time, his most personal movie to date. The film details no less than the cost of the American Dream, with top notch acting, to boot. I spoke to co-stars Banks Repeta and Jaylin Webb about that here, while I had this to say about the flick out of the Telluride Film Festival:
The American Dream is an elusive one. Throughout history, many have sought it out, though as much as anything, many have sought it out for their children. That focus, as well as what shapes a young person, for better and worse, is the subject of Armageddon Time, the latest movie from auteur James Gray. Playing at the Telluride Film Festival, after a positive reception earlier on this year at the Cannes Film Festival, the flick definitely played better in the box canyon of Telluride. For my money, this is one of Gray’s stronger films, with an added emotional quotient that helps to separate his best works. Count this amount them, to be sure.
Armageddon Time sees Gray looking inward. Clearly an autobiographical work, it’s also his most emotional movie. The filmmaker has a lot on his mind, but keeps a strong focus at the same time. For a film that intertwines antisemitism, racism, class status, when your view of the world begins to shift in youth, and even features the Trump family, there’s never a sense that he’s bitten off more than he can chew. If anything, it’s just more material that his excellent cast can sink their teeth into.
On The Line
Prey for the Devil
Star Trek Prodigy: Season One, Volume One (TV)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
From The Criterion Collection: “The boundless imagination of Terry Gilliam yields a dazzling fantasy of epic proportions. Inspired by the extravagant exploits of the fabled Baron Munchausen, this spectacle—born of a famously turbulent production—follows the whimsical eighteenth-century nobleman (John Neville) as he embarks on an outlandish quest that takes him from faraway lands to the moon to the belly of a sea monster and beyond, meanwhile waging battle against a vengeful sultan and the tyranny of logic. Packed frame to frame with special effects, mischievous wit, and colorful performances—including a young Sarah Polley as the Baron’s no-nonsense sidekick—the Oscar-nominated The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a lavish celebration of the triumph of make-believe over reality.”