Alan has written 26 reviews for films during 2022.

  • The Iron Giant

    The Iron Giant

    ★★★★★

    “…Superman.” Waterworks. Every time.

  • 12 Angry Men

    12 Angry Men

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A perfect movie, and one that played like gangbusters to the new generation here despite the black and white photography, a bad transfer and no subtitles. 

    I remember the remake for Showtime 25 years ago did some updating so that, for instance, the racist juror was now a Black Muslim. (And the jury overall was less white.) I can’t even imagine a version set in the present day, because both the racist and the Lee J Cobb character would never change their votes, and never feel shamed by the response of the other jurors. 

    But Jesus, the direction, the performances, all of it… perfect.

  • Thor: Love and Thunder

    Thor: Love and Thunder

    Some fun moments and Bale was great, but the seams are even more apparent than in Ragnarok. The Gorr story and the Jane story are both taken from very intense comics arcs, and Taika’s jokey tone really didn’t mesh with them. The comedy wasn’t as funny and the dramatic stuff mostly didn’t land as hard. Pleasant, but a disappointment considering how entertaining Ragnarok was despite its own shagginess. 

    And if they do make another of these (as opposed to Thor…

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    This was my first time watching this in over 20 years, and it’s one of those cliched “It hits differently when you have kids” kind of films. Still technically brilliant, still full of awe and joy, Dreyfuss is still incredible. But it’s just hard for me to watch any of it without focusing on Roy scaring away his wife and kids, and then blithely abandoning them, perhaps forever, to go on a star voyage. It’s not that the movie can’t…

  • Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

    Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

    Super charming two-hander. Emma Thompson remains the best.

  • RRR

    RRR

    Tired: can't they make the whole plain out of the black box?

    Wire: can't they make every movie out of RRR?

    What a joy. It is every movie all jammed into one, beautifully.

  • My Favorite Year

    My Favorite Year

    ★★★★★

    Fathers Day pick, went over smashingly. Peter O’Toole plays an astonishingly funny screen drunk and then turns around and gives you epic pathos and even some heroism. Mark Linn-Baker is his perfect foil, and every line of the script is quotable. “I’m not an actor! I’m a movie star!”

    A perfect perfect movie.

  • Hustle

    Hustle

    A fun movie that delivers exactly what it promises. And also, Tobias Harris is third-billed?!?!

  • The Kid Detective

    The Kid Detective

    Have been revisiting The OC recently and got curious about this Adam Brody vehicle. It’s very good, committing to the absolute tonal weirdness of its concept — basically, “What if Encyclopedia Brown was still a private eye in his 30s, but was haunted by a kidnapping he never solved as a boy?” — in ways that are both funny and immensely sad.

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★★★★

    Man, that was incredible. Put Dr Strange to shame for multiversal hijinks and creativity (and somehow also gave its hero a third eye for a crucial sequence). Fantastic action, funny, smart, emotional, and a wonderfully elaborate homage to the weirdest part of Ratatouille. What’s not to love?

  • Chariots of Fire

    Chariots of Fire

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I have not seen this movie in 41 years, since it was in theaters on its way to winning Best Picture over Raiders of the Lost Ark and Reds (still on the bucket list). My main childhood memories were of two things: Vangelis' awe-inspiring synth score, and my disappointment that the movie seemed to be building to a big Abrahams vs. Liddell race in the Olympics, only for it not to happen because that's how events played out in real…

  • Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    Two things can be true: Maverick is the most shameless piece of pandering towards its star in the history of cinema, and it is also an enormously entertaining piece of pandering.

    That said, I came out of it most impressed by the three actors in the three most thankless roles: Jon Hamm as Lame Boss Who Thinks Maverick's Washed, Jennifer Connelly as Generic Love Interest Here To Make You Forget That We Didn’t Invite Kelt McGillis Back & Glen Powell as…