• Mangoshake



    Hard to even know where to start with this! Such a specific mood, filled to the brim with characters straining for significance, straining to make something of their lives, to attach some greater meaning to the war between Mangoshake Stand and Noodle Stand. Captures suburban ennui gloriously well - I could have watched these characters wander around an abandoned, eerie world of endless houses and empty fields for hours.

    Thrillingly amateur, a term I use with affection. Very funny. Occasionally…

  • The Convent

    The Convent


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

    My brother's gonna be the new antichrist?!
    'Fraid so.
    Mom's gonna be pissed.

    My kinda bullshit. The Convent is essentially Night of the Demons starring millennials, but since I like that movie you won't catch me complaining too much about lack of originality. Mostly, I really dig the vibes, which are trashy and exploitative and mostly very fun. I mean, this movie ends with Adrienne Barbeau shooting up a satanic ritual with a shotgun, and on the way there we…

  • The Taking of Deborah Logan

    The Taking of Deborah Logan


    Forgot to log this when I watched it, so the date is arbitrary. Anyway, this was okay. A pretty forgettable found footage movie that falls into the worst traps of its genre (e.g., why are they still filming?). Plotting is also a bit repetitive, and the attempt to link up possession with Alzheimer’s feels half-hearted at best. There's still some arresting images - one in particular - but overall, a standard found footage horror makes for a substandard exorcism horror. It's just a really, really hard genre to get right - the good ones are exceptional, pretty much everything else is The Taking of Deborah Logan.

  • Blood Flower

    Blood Flower


    Hmmm... this has some strong visuals, but that's about it. The plotting is all over the place, and the protagonist is deliberately passive and ineffectual for almost the entire runtime. Occasionally felt like stuff was just happening because someone thought it would look cool. I'm fine with crazy if you have a pace to match, but Blood Flower is also pretty slow for relatively little payoff. Not for me.

  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me


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

    Fun fact: I have never made it through the pilot of Twin Peaks. I don't think this is a particular problem with that show -- I've never made it through the pilot of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine either (something about a feature-length TV pilot just turns me off). But it does mean that I'm coming to Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me with no context except what I've gleaned via cultural osmosis. To give an example, I already knew…

  • Massacre at Central High

    Massacre at Central High


    Bizarre horror/social commentary/drama/exploitation pic that I like more and more the more I think about it. Takes a little bit to get going, for sure, and I wasn't even sure I'd like it at about the halfway point, but the last act of the film is absolutely wild and saved the whole thing for me. Kind of a slasher, but it's probably better to think of it as a progenitor of Heathers. That movie has a surer handle on its…

  • Witness for the Prosecution

    Witness for the Prosecution


    The great irony of course is that Leonard was charged for the wrong crime. He should, of course, have been tried, convicted, and hanged for talking during a movie!

    Jokes aside, this is a first-rate courtroom drama that is elevated immensely by the presence of an outstanding Marlene Dietrich, who - and I couldn't believe this when I checked - wasn't even nominated for an Academy Award. (The insult would not be so insufferable, except her substantially less impressive costar…

  • Red, White & Royal Blue

    Red, White & Royal Blue


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

    Watched with friends, all of whom had either read the book or already seen the movie. I'd done neither - all I knew was that it was a gay romance. Turns out it was a lot of fun, but there are some big issues that kept impeding my enjoyment.

    I actually, for some reason, had the idea that this was one of those "make up a fake country for romance purposes" movies, like A Christmas Prince, but in fact, it…

  • The Relic

    The Relic


    Fun! Honestly my kinda 90s creature feature, with a great setting (museum decked out for a "Superstitions" exhibit) and solid monster effects. Mostly takes place at night in the dimly-lit museum, which is precisely my kinda jam. Character work is pretty perfunctory - there's barely an attempt to invest the characters with an "arc," and the only attempt to give them a personality is making the detective superstitious - but most likely you're not coming to these things with high…

  • Andor: A Disney+ Day Special Look

    Andor: A Disney+ Day Special Look


    let's just pretend this is an entry for Andor okay, I even changed the poster and everything, and it feels good to give something from Star Wars five stars again, because Andor was fucking extraordinary

  • Don't Let the Riverbeast Get You!

    Don't Let the Riverbeast Get You!


    Feels like the kind of movie my brothers and I would have made if we'd ever graduated from home-made short films based on existing IPs and into full-length original features. Has that kind of demented kid energy, where the logic of the film and the characters is just off-kilter enough to be consistently surprising. Come for the indecorous aquatic menace, stay for the subplot about a vagabond torn between her love of the road and her love of pop-and-locking for…

  • Freaky Farley

    Freaky Farley


    Loved this. Extremely independent, ultra low-budget, not the kind of thing everyone would dig, but it hit all the right notes for me. Does something I love, which is populate a slightly off-kilter world with a bunch of weirdos and just treat it more or less as a matter of fact. Yeah, there's a town witch, and a guy who dresses up as a ninja, and monsters called Trogs living in the woods, so what? As I write, I'm reminded…