• In the Bedroom

    In the Bedroom

    Hadn't seen this in years and was really knocked out by it this time. Classic example (or what should be considered a classic example, in my opinion) of that old adage (which I think is credited to Roger Ebert but I could be wrong) that it's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it. IN THE BEDROOM's is a fairly standard story, but it's one of incredibly quiet and consuming detail. The way that Ruth's eyes…

  • Soul

    Soul

    Loved this to pieces. It bounces around the same playground of worlds inside of worlds that Pete Docter has previously explored, and it'll no doubt get knocked around for structural similarities to INSIDE OUT, but I'd make the case that it could easily be viewed as a sequel or at the very least, a natural extension from it rather than a kind of copycat. If that film is about the reconciling of sadness and the vital role it plays in…

  • Mank

    Mank

    A fascinating and thoroughly engrossing portrait - and, in very typical Fincher fashion, a cynical take that's far less about the wonder and magic of moviemaking and far more about the manipulating power of propaganda wielded by those sitting in la la land's ivory towers. Genuinely surprised at just how inside baseball it is - there's a moment early on where a big to-do is made over introducing Ben Hecht in a writer's room at Paramount which I can only…

  • Wolfwalkers

    Wolfwalkers

    As if we needed any reassurance, WOLFWALKERS further solidifies Cartoon Saloon's stake as one of the most exciting animation studios in the world. It's a bright and bold adventure, and very likely the studio's most experimental film yet, at least in terms of its visual aesthetic. Instead of THE BREADWINNER's sharp, clean lines, WOLF's characters are composed like loose bristly sketches which - combined with the film's smudgy watercolor backgrounds - creates not only a flowing expressionism that reminded me…

  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

    The Trial of the Chicago 7

    Easy to see why Spielberg was interested in the story way back in 2007. It's the kind of project that's tailor-made for him, and very reminiscent of what he went on to do with LINCOLN, BRIDGE OF SPIES, and THE POST. As it is now, it's perfectly fine - definitely a step-up from MOLLY'S GAME - pretty didactic and grandstanding but not as saccharine as it could've been (minus that final scene though). Kinda wish it was as radical and…

  • Tenet

    Tenet

    Wildly ambitious and admirable, but ultimately frustrating and exhausting. This is very much the director of THE DARK KNIGHT and INTERSTELLAR doing his own version of PRIMER. Take that however you'd like.

    Like INCEPTION, it's a film of mechanics and logistics, and like MEMENTO, there's a vague structural resemblance to an ouroboros, but it lacks the energy and mystery of either of them -- especially the way that INCEPTION piecemeals out the various machinations of dreamsharing without losing the forward…

  • What's Up, Doc?

    What's Up, Doc?

    Been listening to Karina Longworth's podcast series on Polly Platt and had never seen this early Bogdanovich film. Just delightful through and through, madcap and zany in the best of ways - it felt like watching a live-action Looney Tunes cartoon.

    Can someone please bring screwball comedies back? The world could really use one right now.

  • Lake Mungo

    Lake Mungo

    Deeply unsettling horror in the vein of PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK about the overwhelming nature of grief and the endless search for hidden (or more likely, just non-existent) answers. There's an alternate reality where this blew up and made hundreds of millions of dollars instead of those trashy PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movies.

  • Hannibal

    Hannibal

    Re-watched SILENCE OF THE LAMBS on Netflix recently and had never seen this sequel before. I admire Scott and co. for going in a different tonal direction - this isn't so much horror as it is black comedy - but boy, I'd be lying if said this thing didn't trudge along like a generic police procedural on the Friday night death slot.

    I cheated by reading the synopsis of the novel before watching the film so I was aware of…

  • Da 5 Bloods

    Da 5 Bloods

    Spike Lee's THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE
    Spike Lee's TRIPLE FRONTIER
    Spike Lee's LAST FLAG FLYING
    Spike Lee's THREE KINGS
    Spike Lee's THE WORLD'S END

    Like Marty Scorsese, age hasn't at all diminished the vivacity and veracity with which Lee directs - the same fiery energy and formal experimentation we saw in his earliest works remains and remains as interesting as ever. The elements he plays with here don't always coalesce into something succinct, but when they do, the…

  • Outbreak

    Outbreak

    Good lord, this is so much sillier than I remember it being.

  • Onward

    Onward

    Definitely lower-tier Pixar. Swaps the “What if ___ had emotions?” core question of their early films for the dreary one-note “What if our modern world was occupied by ____ instead of humans?” that ZOOTOPIA used as a kind of theatrical mask in support of its socio-political underbelly, but with ONWARD, the fact that the characters are mythical creatures is less a theatrical mask and more a bland eccentricity with little abstraction, doing awfully little in service of anything. Yes, there…