• The Rickshaw Man

    The Rickshaw Man

    ★★★½

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

    The social wheel keeps spinning with the poor driven under the spokes. Another one for the best shoulders in the biz, Toshiro Mifune, as the most kind, noble, bumptious, and brazen man in town who will as soon pick a fight with an entire theater over roasting stinky garlic in his seat as dedicate the rest of his life to raising a widow’s son to be a decent man. Hideko Takamine plays the warm widow he’d like to fuck but…

  • Clifford

    Clifford

    Diegesis, that thinnest of scrims. Somehow this comic conceit makes the very act of watching Clifford something other than simply its narrative, as if every actor is swimming against going over the waterfall of reality – a comic frustration that’s sublimating through – a struggle and losing battle; there’s really no one funnier in a losing battle against their temper than Charles Grodin. Hilarious. Short and Grodin are fantastic. The Larry the Scary Dinosaur climax is passingly a metaphor for the movie itself.

  • Wrath of Man

    Wrath of Man

    ★★★

    Maybe it was the presence of raspy Babs Olusanmokun, but I got the distinct impression Guy Ritchie saw and enjoyed Too Old to Die Young and was doing his own kind of riff, especially in the “Scorched Earth” section. Same for the overall grave tenor, which I thought lended itself well in that Holt McCallany monologue in the final chapter the actor underplays so well

  • Raya and the Last Dragon

    Raya and the Last Dragon

    ★★★

    very inauspicious return to the multiplex after a 15 month absence. like I never left.


    Some of the best action you’re liable to get in the Disney princess cycle; soul calibur-esque, also in design. Broadly, computer animated features appear to be in a renaissance of simulated textures. In Raya’s case, taken on the whole, the illusion holds up, but when you start to focus on smaller portions of the frame or anatomy it can become vaguely irritating. Small screen audience in mind, perhaps

  • Undine

    Undine

    ★★★★

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

    “Can anyone show me the spot where the palace stood?”

    The “gaping, almost surreal wasteland in the center of the city, at least to western eyes, and one sensed the phantom pain of a violent amputation.” 

    A 21st century museum in simulation of an 18th century ruler’s palace. Form does not follow function. “Progress is impossible.” 

    Couples stories that hinge upon a third perspective. The behavior reciprocates when closed in on the two. Christoph and Undine’s blissful romance is preceded…

  • Mad Max 2

    Mad Max 2

    ★★★★

    What Road Warrior gains in polish, scale, mayhem, and moral delineation, it loses in the jagged bizarre twitchiness I found the original drove a tanker full; Mad Max nested like a beast in that fissure, this I found merely expanded and codified that particular well. But for direct effect and elegant simplicity, this is undoubtedly the superior product and needs no one to proclaim it great in its own right. Clearly the work of mad men happy to push their…

  • Army of the Dead

    Army of the Dead

    ★★

    “artisanal grilled cheese sandwich”

  • Single White Female

    Single White Female

    ★★★½

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

    might make for an interesting double bill with Perfect Blue provided it plays after Perfect Blue, even though it predates that film, as thriller frameworks for violent mimesis which incidentally snapshot the leaps in the 90s in home computers and internet access. 

    Jennifer Jason Leigh is doing such strong work in a supporting role I mistook this for a two hander at times. I would argue though her work is so strong this could have dispensed entirely with the shoebox exposition…

  • The Woman in the Window

    The Woman in the Window

    ★★½

    Rear Wine Mom (too easy, I know)

    Less comprehensive thriller, let alone film, than full on heedless object from Joe Wright. Impossible to care about what anyone is saying inside the first ten minutes because there is no terra firma – directorially, actorly, narratively – to dispense with, so when the expected reversals do come they have no investment to leverage from me. I confess though I am not immune to some of the bozo antics that are a non-stop, occasionally…

  • Those Who Wish Me Dead

    Those Who Wish Me Dead

    ★★★

    Let Sheridan write and it’s wet or dry. Let him behind the wheel and it’s Rocky Mountain fire or ice. There will be a conflict between hunting rifles and tactical firearms. Mace will be involved. Always stories of hardened, scarred people, made “lean” by their wounds, who only feel at home on the borders of civilization, the locus of Sheridan’s character-forward western violence. Couldn’t tell you the plot of Wind River to save my life but TWWMD at least is refreshingly…

  • About Endlessness

    About Endlessness

    ★★★½

    Brief, all things considered. Its opening image (also on the one sheet) is its most promising and is later revisited in scene form. The only one of Andersson’s tableaus to feature a transcendent incident, suggestively endless in its sole vision of a future with a European city in ruins. A man and woman in embrace float in the slow fog of ashes, moving in real time, perhaps even in a higher frame rate, against the background. Aesthetically, this is not…

  • License to Drive

    License to Drive

    ★★★

    logging as a rewatch because front to back I got reflex memories of whole lines and scenes likely from late night television in the 90s