I have not seen either John Wick (the third one or either of the other two) or Aladdin, so this week I get to talk exclusively about The Dead Don’t Die (and also mention that Arbelos is releasing The Juniper Tree, featuring Bjork’s first screen performance). Dead Don’t Die was met with either shrugs or rage when it came out, but while I can’t go to bat for it being Jim Jarmusch’s best (though I’d rank it above at least one of his consensus masterpieces), it’s far better and more interesting than the consensus. It’s, on one hand, easily Jarmusch’s goofiest movie, with several gags and plot turns that are as likely to set people’s teeth on edge as they are to make people laugh (me, I’m an easy mark for shit like Adam Driver’s character having a Star Wars keychain). But it’s also his saddest movie, his own take on First Reformed where we can do good together but we’re still mostly fucked. At one point, RZA shows up to tell us “the world is perfect, appreciate the details”, a sentiment that Jarmusch has preached before (Paterson is all about it) but can’t find it in himself to believe in this movie. If that sounds unfathomably depressing, please note that it also has Adam Driver using his Paterson quiet for a stoic badass part, and he drives around in a tiny smartcar.
The Dead Don’t Die (Universal)
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (Lionsgate)
The Juniper Tree (Arbelos)
A Touch of Class (Warner Archive Collection)