• Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

    Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

    ★★½

    Funny, more loose and unpredictable than Bridesmaids, but still showing up with the same deficiencies. That Star gets life advice from a talking crab and plays it straight is funny; that the crab is voiced by Morgan Freeman, and makes a joke about being voiced by Morgan Freeman, and then makes jokes about Morgan Freeman’s filmography, and then keeps talking, is less so. That Jamie Dornan (who’s getting graded on a pretty steep curve, let’s relax) gets a musical number…

  • Chinatown

    Chinatown

    ★★★½

    It sure is. Love a great deal of this, when it’s all humid noir trappings—a number of scenes just involve watching Jack Nicholson move and stalk about silently, setting small traps that don’t make sense until a minute or two later, and they’re intoxicating. Faye Dunaway isn’t even acting in the way we understand it, she appears to have been beamed in from the genre itself, atmosphere and timbre combined to create one Perfect Icon, incredible stuff. Once it settles…

  • Twister

    Twister

    ★★★

    Watched this with the guy I'm interested in right after he told me he wasn't looking for anything exclusive. A twist! Anyway I may as well mark this as "I've watched this film before" because in high school my dad took my brother and me to Disney World and we went on Twister...Ride It Out (closed in 2015 it looks like) when Bill Paxton tells you, in his Bill Paxton voice, "You are about to experience the same harrowing conditions…

  • A Quiet Place Part II

    A Quiet Place Part II

    ★★½

    Hack work. With the mysteries set up in the first film mostly solved, we’re in for just a lot of rhyming and wheel-spinning. John Krasinski’s goofy-ass premise is still suspenseful on immediate terms, and he’s got he’s got some knockout actors selling it, and he still has a knack for good old-fashioned workmanship “set up A and slide it into B” plotting; that knack, however, frequently devolves into hey-look telegraphing, and sometimes it devolves further into what we in the…

  • Drop Dead Gorgeous

    Drop Dead Gorgeous

    ★★★½

    An embarrassment of riches and also sometimes a bit of an embarrassment—it slaps. Allison Janey showed up to the set of I, Tonya and just did this again. Completely bottoms out after the parade unfortunately, but moves fast enough for you to live with it. Genuine lump in my throat any time Brittany Murphy’s on screen.

  • Being John Malkovich

    Being John Malkovich

    ★★★½

    Was ready to throw out my previous review entirely, since it’s a) only just barely, and b) I was so debilitating stoned the first time I saw this that I didn’t really register the movie at all (could only recall its most striking images, forgot the existence of both the puppets and Cameron Diaz entirely, was convinced Maggie Gyllenhaal played Maxine, etc). Turns out there’s still much to coherently think about! I appreciate the slow build of absurdity and think…

  • Spiral: From the Book of Saw

    Spiral: From the Book of Saw

    ★★

    Having only seen Saw II and whatever popped up on Google Images when I looked up “worst saw traps” in seventh grade, I can only shrug and say that I truly hate this shit—I find the entire conceit of Saw deeply unpleasant in unrewarding ways, and watching Chris Rock pile onto the (what I assume is) de rigueur overcooked line readings and totally asinine music-video editing is just absolutely not my thing. Needed something to do on a free Sunday; at the…

  • Happily

    Happily

    ★½

    I want to be impressed, or at least even a little interested, in the way this scatters potential plot developments and questions about its characters and then doesn’t cash in on a single one of them—keeps it totally unpredictable, just refusing to slide into place. It’s also got one of the laziest scripts and most poorly-cast ensembles I’ve seen in a good while. It’s actively painful to sit and listen to these unpleasant people just bicker, unfunny insults landing with…

  • The Woman in the Window

    The Woman in the Window

    ★★★

    Bad, but veers into earnest nonsense so often that I found myself kinda charmed by it anyway. It’s not so nuts that it’s fun but it is still nuts, totally dead inside and also exhaustingly over-the-top, never not cooking on high heat. What I’m trying to say is that Julianne Moore walks though this movie looking like she has absolutely no idea what she’s supposed to be doing or where she’s supposed to hit her mark and, you know, my mirror…

  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

    Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

    ★★★★½

    Unfortunately the edible I took had a major delay and kicked in right around the moment the pace has always flagged for me—Ramona breaking up with Scott for Gideon—which just served to amplify one of the Big Problems, which is that the moment the car slows down we’re pretty much out of gas. That’s okay though! That’s the difference between All-Time Masterpiece and A Movie I Really Really Love. Got to see it on the big screen and cried during the opening credits a bit, it’s true.

  • Mortal Kombat

    Mortal Kombat

    ★½

    “I have risen from Hell to kill you.”

  • The Devil Wears Prada

    The Devil Wears Prada

    ★★★½

    You guys really should check this one out, Meryl Streep is very good in it.