• Il Sorpasso

    Il Sorpasso

    ★★★½

    Cute road trip movie with cute Italian girls and I have to like that the trip is kicked off because law school is boring and dumb. Mostly pleasant and I did enjoy the gradual unveiling that both Bruno's carefree lifestyle and Roberto's straight-laced background are just fronts. But like a lot of foreign comedies I felt like there was some context going over my head and, most importantly, I'm just not laughing as much as intended. I would destroy these…

  • Babylon

    Babylon

    ★★★½

    "The man who puts gasoline in your tank goes to the movies why, why, why? Because it feels less alone there. Don't we owe him more than the same old shit?"

    I have strange Chazelle rankings where I think First Man might be a masterpiece, Whiplash is very good if maybe a little overrated, and while I respect it I highly doubt I'll ever be compelled to watch La La Land again. He's clearly an excellent craftsman and it's on…

  • Boiling Point

    Boiling Point

    ★★★½

    Generally not a fan of one take movies which I often find a distracting, unnecessary gimmick but for the most part it works very well here, obviously a great fit with the pressurized high-class restaurant setting. It maybe feels a little bit like a showcase for that concept rather than a story, but Graham carries as usual and it's pretty adept at bouncing between the characters' stories and giving a showcase scene to each of them. Good reminder that I need to watch The Bear too.

  • The Spook Who Sat by the Door

    The Spook Who Sat by the Door

    ★★★★

    "We force whitey to make a choice between the two things which he seems to dig most of all: there is no way the United States can police the world and keep us on our ass, too."

    Pointed, nuanced spy / blaxploitation flick about the CIA's "token" first black recruit who uses his government training to foment an actual revolution. Particularly in the first half, it's often very funny, wringing tons of comedy from bureaucratic hypocrisy and pandering, and their…

  • Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord 1980

    Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord 1980

    ★★½

    Ehhhh the investigation is a little more interesting just by virtue of time passing and more wrinkles being added, but this is somehow blander stylistically than the last one and - though I very much like him in general - Considine's straight-laced inspector just isn't as fun to watch as Garfield. Might finish these off one day but I think I have to tap out for now.

  • Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord 1974

    Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord 1974

    ★★★

    Garfield, villain Sean Bean, and blonde Rebecca Hall (hot) save this from being a complete snooze, but aside from nifty period piece production design, the direction is just sort of bland and it never escapes feeling like the TV movie it is. I like serial killer shit though so I'm curious enough to watch the rest of the trilogy.

  • Catch Me If You Can

    Catch Me If You Can

    ★★★½

    "The reason the Yankees always win: nobody can keep their eyes off the pinstripes."

    "....the Yankees win because they got Mickey Mantle."

    Very different movies but generally I had the same reaction as with The Aviator - a perfectly pleasant and competent movie by a master that I know is capable of more interesting stuff and which hits a higher gear once Leo's character comes unhinged. The gradual change from lying to survive to lying becoming your entire, hollow being…

  • Cemetery Man

    Cemetery Man

    ★★★★½

    "At a certain point in life, you realize you know more dead people than living."

    Well this fucking owned. Absolutely glorious Friday night flick, a completely ridiculous zombie sendup with a smoldering, miserable, monologuing Rupert Everett at the center. I have no idea who Michele Soavi is but he directs the hell out of this, so many remarkable shots. Pretty much every scene is either funny or visually clever or gnarly or all three at once, with just enough meat…

  • One False Move

    One False Move

    ★★★★

    "I already look guilty. And looking guilty is being guilty for black people."

    Southern-fried noir with characters who go by "Beaver," Billy Bob Thornton playing a ponytailed criminal douche (also writing the screenplay), and Bill Paxton as a bigtime loser yokel detective - yeah, this is my shit. Occasionally gruesome crime thriller with some big personalities who are just fun to watch - Michael Beach also shines as Thornton's partner who is clearly too smart to be doing this -…

  • Crazy Heart

    Crazy Heart

    ★★

    Desperately wanted to give this a better score due to the presence of Bridges, Farrell, Maggie G and Duvall, who are all perfectly fine but just in service of painfully bland and cliche material. Those calling this a poor man's Star is Born are in the right as both the highs and lows are terribly muted for a movie about alcoholism and the romance with Maggie G is preposterous from the start.

    The music and concert scenes are pretty good…

  • The Rules of the Game

    The Rules of the Game

    ★★★

    This one's probably on me. Broadly I do appreciate the swipes at a pompous, facetious, and complacent bourgeois obliviously wasting their days away in the runup to WW2. But it turns out that even in the 1930s they were making ostensibly comedies that were more focused on being self-consciously clever than being outright funny. Witty enough for a dummy like me to appreciate but too old, too French, and too talky for the majority of its runtime for me to love.

  • The Happiness of the Katakuris

    The Happiness of the Katakuris

    ★★★½

    "Man is a weak and lonely thing / so until we finally close our eyes / let's live to laugh and dance"

    Wacky Japanese musical spoof replete with Celebrity Deathmatch-style claymation sequences about a misfit little family that just wants to run a bed-and-breakfast and maybe fall in love but everyone just keeps dying around them, as they tend to do. As a musical, the tunes are pretty great while the lyrics and dance numbers are so goofy and most…