Editor’s note: MovieSlay presents the 41st episode of its video series Take Two, in which Pete Hammond and Todd McCarthy tackle the artistry of films just opening in theaters every weekend. Each has reviewed and written about the craft for decades and built a remarkable breadth of knowledge of films past and present. What we hoped for when we asked them to do this was a concise, mature and thoughtful conversation comparable to what we saw from Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel.
Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, moviegoers get a wide variety of films to choose from and we attempt to steer you in the right direction with three of them that couldn’t be more different. First up we tackle Netflix’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery which is making some history of its own this week as it is the first Netflix film to play in several hundred screens at each of the three major exhibition chains, AMC, Regal, and Cinemark. It is just for one week, then the film goes dark until it hits Netflix streaming on December 23. We not only bat around our opinions of this Rian Johnson followup to his smash 2018 hit, Knives Out, we also go point for point on the release strategy.
Then it is on to Sony’s Devotion which deals with Navy fighter pilots in the Korean War and stars Glen Powell, who you might remember from another kinda similar sounding movie, Top Gun: Maverick earlier in the year which went on to become the year’s biggest grossing movie. We are willing to bet Devotion would be happy with just a piece of the box office action for that monster smash. But rather than compare them, we point out what sets them apart, particularly the other lead role played by Jonathan Majors (check out Pete’s interview with him on The Actor’s Side) as the first Black Navy pilot, the much decorated Jesse Brown.
Finally we have a split verdict on writer/director Florian Zeller’s The Son, the second in a trilogy of films dealing with mental health (the first The Father was nominated for 6 Oscars and won two for star Anthony Hopkins and Zeller’s adapted screenplay). It stars Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Zen McGrath, and Vanessa Kirby (with a brief but piercing role for Hopkins again, but far from his dementia-stricken character in The Father). Find out what we have to say, and why we agree to disagree.
Click above to watch our conversation.
Hammond has been MovieSlay’s Awards Columnist for the past decade, covering what now seemingly is the year-round Oscar and Emmy seasons. He is also MovieSlay’s Chief Film Critic, having previously reviewed films for MovieLine, Boxoffice magazine, Backstage, Hollywood.com and Maxim, as well as Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, for which he was a contributing editor. In addition to writing, Hammond also hosts KCET Cinema Series and the station’s weekly series Must See Movies.
McCarthy is a veteran trade publication film critic, columnist and reporter who has also written several acclaimed books and documentary films. He served two stints on the staffs of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and extensively covered film festivals internationally for both publications. His film Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography won the best documentary prizes from the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics associations, and he won an Emmy for writing the documentary Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer. He also directed the documentaries Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient and Forever Hollywood.
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