• Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    ★★★★

    “After all these years, after all you’ve suffered, I didn’t want to cause you any more pain. I cared too much about you.”

    Oh this is just so good. Easily the most underrated film in the series. It goes without saying that the longest book getting adapted into the shortest movie is kind of ridiculous, and to a large portion of the fandom (and most book-based fandoms in general, ugh) cutting this amount of material is unforgiveable. But to me,…

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    ★★★½

    “Personally, I’ve never had much time for heroes.”

    Interesting to watch this again after reading the book for the first time since childhood. As both a film and an adaptation of the book, this one is a lot weaker than I remembered, and whereas the previous film’s script actually improved on the book in numerous ways, this one struggles with the massive weight of the source material, resulting in awkward tonal shifts and a ton of things left unexplained and…

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    ★★★★½

    “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

    Absolutely dazzling, and the high point of a film series that feels more and more like lightning in a bottle the further away from it we get. This one is so important in the way it pushed the series to a more emotionally mature place, and it's a perfect example of how to do a novel adaptation right. The first two…

  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★★★★

    “Life is even more important than love.”
    “They're the same thing.”

    Such a stunning experience to watch a movie that feels like it was the movie a director was put on earth to make. You could say that about countless other Spielberg movies that have defined our collective consciousness as moviegoers and continuously raised the standard of filmmaking in mainstream American cinema. And it's not like this is even his best film. But in many ways, it feels like the…

  • The Master

    The Master

    ★★★★½

    PTA, PSH, Phoenix, Greenwood, etc. Just a bunch of generational talents in almost every discipline doing career best work. Simply unreal stuff.

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    ★★★½

    “Spooky how the time flies when one’s having fun.”

    It says a lot about the overall standard of quality in this series that this is the lowest rated instalment. It’s definitely the weak link of the first three, but it pretty much does hold its own compared to the two films before and after it, which is no small feat, especially given the ridiculously tight schedule that Chris Columbus had to work with on this one. There’s lots of great…

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    ★★★★

    “The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter. It is not always clear why.”

    I’ve watched this a million times, most recently for my Music and the Movies class. I hadn’t seen it for a while before then, and was dialled into the music and sound work, furiously taking notes, so I a lot of other things evaded me. On this watch (as I reread the books for the first time since childhood) I was blown away by how great this…

  • Eternals

    Eternals

    ★★★½

    Love how everyone online (myself included) absolutely ripped this one apart prior to release for the bland visuals and bad jokes, when this actually ended up being one of Marvel’s most visually stunning films, and one of the rare entries where the jokes almost never come at the expense of the drama and emotion. Anyway, I really liked this and it absolutely exceeded my expectations. There are definitely numerous issues, but personally it was just so refreshing to watch a Marvel film as sensitive and comfortable with emotion and slowness as this was.

  • Last Night in Soho

    Last Night in Soho

    ★★★

    Edgar Wright is the coolest and it was so refreshing to watch a filmmaker under 50 actually use the directing toolbox the way he does. But the clever shot choices, gorgeous visuals, and *incredible* soundtrack only worked for so long before I started wondering what on earth he was actually trying to say with all this. The climax is so thematically vapid and even devoid of thrills or intensity that I almost forgot how much I enjoyed the first half. Oh well! I liked the good parts.

  • No Time to Die

    No Time to Die

    ★★★★

    “It’s a good life, isn’t it?”
    “The best.”

  • Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard

    Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard

    ★★½

    First time at the theatre in almost a year and a half, and the lights came back on twenty seconds before it ended. The movies are back baby!!

  • The Nest

    The Nest

    ★★★★½

    I expected to love this after I saw what Matt Zoller Seitz had to say about it, but I absolutely adored this and it was so up my alley. Carrie Coon might have given the best female performance of 2020 and awards bodies just ignored it. Loved the quasi-horror vibe and the dreamy 80s soundtrack. So many moments in this that just hit me like a ton of bricks.