Did I Wolf Down ‘Wolf’?

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Wolf (CREDIT: Focus Features)

Starring: George MacKay, Lily-Rose Depp, Paddy Considine, Eileen Walsh

Director: Nathalie Biancheri

Running Time: 98 Minutes

Rating: R

Release Date: December 3, 2021 (Theaters)

Wolf is basically what I’ve been waiting for ever since I started reviewing movies by asking myself if I wanted to do what’s being offered in the title. This is a movie about a human man who believes that he’s a wolf! Do I also want to be a wolf, even if only for a little while? That might be fun, but that’s not exactly what this movie is really about … or is it? Jacob (George MacKay) sure looks like a Homo sapien, as do all of his fellow patients at the facility where they’re being treated for species identity disorder. But there are moments that really make you wonder if a lupine soul somehow did find its way into a human vessel. Alas, the abusive tactics reminiscent of troubled youth programs practiced by the facility’s director aren’t likely to help us find any answers. Anyway, I quite enjoyed Wolf introducing me to a whole new world and would have liked to have been able to explore it even more (the ending’s a little abrupt).

Grade: 7 Howls out of 10 Whiskers

This Is a Movie Review: The Death of Stalin

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When it comes right down to it, people are just people. This is the thought I have when watching the scene in The Death of Stalin in which a group of officials bumblingly drop the body of the dying Soviet Premier onto a bed. No matter how despotic things get, we are still beholden to our embarrassing physical realities. Alas, when the film starts to regularly show people shot in the head without a second thought, it is hard to remain Zen about the situation.

I saw Death of Stalin at the Alamo Drafthouse, and the pre-show programming included parts of the Monty Python’s Flying Circus episode “The Cycling Tour,” which features Michael Palin bungling his way into being the target of a Russian firing squad, who famously misfire at him from only a few feet away. As I prefer my gallows humor with plenty of goofiness, “The Cycling Tour” is definitely more comfort food for me than The Death of Stalin. That is not to say the latter is unsuccessful. I see what Armando Iannucci is doing, I acknowledge that he has met his goals, I laugh where I can, and then I move on, newly grateful that I live in a society that is not quite so dangerous as 1950s USSR.

I give The Death of Stalin 4 Impossible Promises out of 5 Buggings.