Movies of the Week #28-29 (2022)

Heikos Welt (2021): You’d think this movie about German pub culture is set for a beaten path, but an enigmatic romantic interest, a daring heist and some German schalgers ensure your expectations will be surpassed. Director-writer Dominik Galizia has a steady hand and put together a well-tuned story about a likable lead, portrayed with flair by first-timer Martin Rhode. It’s just so great to find real escapist experiences, movies that transport you to a safe haven, where you can just forget about those pesky, festering existential wounds. Heikos Welt is a great specimen in this regard, nothing more, nothing less, which also gifts a zippy original song from Rocco Vice. Full review here. 7

Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022): Cooper Raiff’s follow-up to the excellent Shithouse (2020) is a solid, if more wayward exploration of young adulthood. It tells of Andrew, who is struggling to adapt to the demands of post-college life and stumbles into a job as a party starter at Bar Mitzvahs. There, he connects with Domino (ugh, what a name) and her autistic daughter Lola, the latter portrayed beautifully by Vanessa Burghardt. It’s a soulful connection about all the intricacies finding your station in life and even if the movie veers into sappy territory by the end, its good nature shines through to make it a recommended viewing. 7

Father of the Bride (2022): This second remake of the 1950s classic is both faithful to the original, as well as everything you’d expect of a 2022 movie about family – diverse, non-traditional, yet somehow still reassuringly mainstream. The plush production values offer a good platform for all the familiar character types and the movie works because…the casting works. Andy Garcia in particular provides healthy depth to the titular father, portraying a conflicted, frustrated, yet fundamentally loving pater familias. Good for an easy Sunday watch. 6

Thor: Love and Thunder (2022): Well, even Taika Waititi seems to have reached the end of his creative runway. After the standout Ragnarok, Thor, like most Marvel franchises, find that it’s difficult to keep reinventing itself. So it simply ends up delivering more of the same, but while being less compelling, less funny and less coherent – not unlike our recently released Dr. Strange. Maybe Thor is a bit easier to follow because it’s lighter, but it sparks little joy beyond its villain, portrayed with gusto by Christian Bale. Is it time to official announce the end of the “golden” Marvel era? 5

Jurassic World: Dominion (2022): As a decently-sized Jurassic Park fan myself, watching this latest entry in the series was a particularly painful experience. What could have been a solid nostalgia trip with the reemergence of Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, turns into a lackluster, nonsensical, mirthless romp through the corporate Jurassic era. This is actually two (bad) movies into one, as the old trio barely gets to meet the new duo, with Chris Pratt having a surprisingly reduced role. It takes a certain kind of failure to make dinosaurs boring, but that is what has been achieved with this movie. 4