• Ghostbusters: Afterlife

    Ghostbusters: Afterlife

    Well it's not shit; that surprised me. In my opinion there has only been one good Ghostbusters movie and I don't even rate that so high. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is mostly just okay, but it easily becomes the best of the sequels and reboots. The filmmaking is uninteresting, but it's serviceable and the film is entertaining enough. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is very dependent on nostalgia, filling up its runtime with so many callbacks and cameos. However it does a better job than…

  • The Mitchells vs. The Machines

    The Mitchells vs. The Machines

    ★★★½

    As a whole I didn't particularly care for The Mitchells vs the Machines, however so many individual elements of the film are great.

    The weaknesses of The Mitchells vs the Machine mostly come down to the bland premise. The story of a dysfunctional family learning to love and accept each other is about as basic as you can get. Similarly the apocalyptic robot takeover is not exactly fresh either. In broad strokes, this is an uninteresting and unadventurous movie, with…

  • The Last Picture Show

    The Last Picture Show

    ★★★★½

    Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show is a film of tears. It is one of youth in a town with limited opportunities. The lives we see are quite sad, without a direction in life. However the film is more complex than that. Everything here is only the start of adulthood, and there is plenty of life still to live. This small town in Texas is the entire world within The Last Picture Show, but characters do leave it. Mostly though…

  • The Tender Bar

    The Tender Bar

    The Tender Bar has little to offer, remaining an uninspired take on growing up despite its fixation on the idea that this story is so unbelievably special. Sure, the real life plot has some oddities and coincidences that few people experience, but a chaotic family life and gradual self-discovery are not particularly unique. The Tender Bar is just pretty dull and fails to really capture attention. There isn't a lot of naturalistic dialogue, though the film pretends to be grounded.…

  • Like Someone in Love

    Like Someone in Love

    ★★★★½

    Immaculate. Like Someone in Love is a reminder that cinema can be gentle, simple, and without extravagance, yet can also remove that comfort with fear or awkwardness. This is a highly emotional movie and yet its feelings are often emphasised in casual scenes or still moments. Driving between places is as emotive here as the largest melodrama. We sense trepidation, tiredness, unease, relief, and panic, all at different points. It wouldn't be a Kiarostami movie without scenes set in cars,…

  • In Front of Your Face

    In Front of Your Face

    ★★★★½

    Hong Sang-soo's unique brand of artifice is just so enticing. His films are like little bubbles of the world, stuck in a small, structured, domestic realism, and yet quietly playful. In Front of Your Face is a straightforward film, though it has Hong's usual dual structures, this time with sisters, repetitive scenes, and a narrative shift midway through. It is a film of food, long talks, and even a little music. Hong only makes unassuming, incidental cinema, which is why…

  • Holy Beasts

    Holy Beasts

    I don't quite get what Holy Beasts was going for, but as it's a tribute to Dominican filmmaker Jean-Louis Jorge, perhaps the issue was that I'm unfamiliar with his work. The plot of Holy Beasts centres on the filming of an unfilmed screenplay by Jorge. The lead character is trying to honour and remember him. I found it rather interesting how the film played with perceptions of legacy, focusing on a filmmaker not by recreating his style but imagining how…

  • Army of Thieves

    Army of Thieves

    Army of Thieves is not original, nor very creative, but it's fun enough and is executed with a sense of humour. The plot is ludicrous, but that's the charm of this goofy film. It works best when it's just being weird and silly about cracking safes. Visually it's a bit bland, but I did like how the lead was emphasised with brighter colours than the drab world around him. There are quite a few shots that just want to show…

  • Green Snake

    Green Snake

    Green Snake is a rather baffling film. It is a sequel to White Snake, which I found to be a decent but uninspired animated flick, and yet it is so far removed from that film. White Snake had a romantic, historical, natural vibe, whereas Green Snake is grim, futuristic, and urban. I'm no expert, but this feels so very far from the folklore that inspired White Snake. I doubt a series of car chases was part of the original legend.…

  • Fight Club

    Fight Club

    ★★★★½

    What is it to be a man? What makes someone know they are a man? As the world slowly moves away from rigid notions of gender and patriarchy, there exists a disconnect between our reality and the expectations of manhood. I am a man, but I don't fight to show my strength, and I don't work a tiring job as my family's sole breadwinner, and I definitely couldn't hunt or shoot if I needed to. I just work at a…

  • The Garden of Words

    The Garden of Words

    The Garden of Words isn't great overall by any stretch, but I think it's hard to deny the beauty of its animation. The rain, the city, the leaves, they are all stunningly drawn and animated. They're real, in their colours and reflections, but it's an elevated reality, so clearly drawn and heightened. It's just a shame that the story isn't as good. Makoto Shinkai makes films that resemble the real world visually, but the people within them do not act…

  • American Beauty

    American Beauty

    ★★★★½

    I don't really get the backlash for American Beauty, which now seems to dominate every conversation I see about it. I went into this rewatch expecting it to be my time to hate it, but no, I still think it's a great film. Obviously Kevin Spacey playing a predatory guy has dated poorly, but it's a breezy watch that has some profound moments too. There are chunks of this film I could rewatch over and over. It's really funny, ultimately…