by Armando Vanegas
It’s not a surprise that 2021 has been a trash ass year. It’s unanimously ties with 2020 as the worst years in human history. Seriously, has anyone said 1990 or 1979 was trash? No, because coronavirus didn’t exist then. So therefore, those are wrong answers. Licorice Pizza comes at a great time where we need an escape. This year hasn’t exactly been as exciting or as satisfying when it comes to movies personally because art is in a weird place right now and emotionally, a lot of movies didn’t hit as hard as I would’ve liked. Licorice Pizza, though, is one of the few movies that actually delivered for me this year. It worked for me precisely because it’s a movie that refuses to live in the now and instead recognizes the joys of being young when you didn’t have as many worries in the world in a time when things just felt less complicated. I’m not going to be all hyperbolic and say that it was so thrilling that the edge of my seat needed an edge of the seat or that it’s going to bring movies back because movies never left. What are you talking about? But I did enjoy it a lot due to its clear inspiration from films like American Graffiti and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Paul Thomas Anderson has crafted a gratifying coming of age story that feels like a great return to the vibe of Boogie Nights.
by Armando Vanegas
The 90’s independent film boom was quite a ride as there were so many unique voices that would be hard to replicate. Not only that, a lot of these filmmakers and their works just carried so much swagger to them that you had to impressed by how confident they came across. Many of them seemed to stay with made them work, but Paul Thomas Anderson seems to always want to challenge himself in a way that sets him apart from the pack as he seems to have a tendency to get out of his comfort zone. While I wasn’t crazy about his last movie Inherent Vice, it was still one of those movies that you had to admire for its weirdness even if it doesn’t totally come together. This was in some ways a return to form for him in some ways even if this isn’t a movie I can say that I totally could embrace. When I first saw this in the theater earlier this year, I remember being really impressed by how well made it was, but that’s to be expected from Anderson. This is still apparent on a second viewing. It’s also different and unpredictable in some ways so it had that going for it in addition to excellent performances from Daniel-Day Lewis and Vicky Krieps.
by Kevin Muller
“…When I was a boy, I used to hide things in the linings of the garments. Things I only knew that were there…..secrets.”
Reynolds Woodcock utters that line to his lover Alma. It is a simple one that both describes his secretive way of life and the tone of this film. Many people have dismissed this thing for its appeared smugness and esoteric nature. Oh, it is also a story about a dressmaker in the 1950’s too! Who wants to watch that? Those qualities are just what is on the surface of Paul Thomas Anderson’s incredible new film that reunites him with his There Will Be Blood actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, who has said this will be his curtain call from the cinematic world. For film lovers, that is enough reason to both get our asses in the seats, and sit through a movie about a dressmaker.