• Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    ★★★★★

    I got this on bluray for $5 and then found out it had a reversible cover, with a nice sketch of Alma in a dress on the front and the hidden "never cursed" thread exposed on the back. The Master has a reversible cover too, with detailed paintings of Freddie on one side and Lancaster on the other. Now I feel like I should really buy all the other PTA movies on bluray, I mean beyond the fact that they're…

  • Unpregnant

    Unpregnant

    ★★★½

    It's kind of crazy to think of how subversive and bold this movie is in 2020.

    People always call Hollywood "leftist," but a critical glance at its treatment of real life topics such as abortion - a common, important experience in so many lives - shows that the movie industry in America is largely conservative. I honestly cannot recall a single other movie to so frankly and maturely address the issue, especially not with such warmth and empathy. And fun.…

  • Ruby Sparks

    Ruby Sparks

    ★★★½

    This was one of the first movies I ever watched with my wife, back when we were just a couple fucked up young folks finding comfort in each others' arms. I remember so clearly how we both connected with it, maybe the first "weird" movie we picked out as a couple, after the initial just-putting-something-on-to-chill-with-you selections gave way to genuine interest in what we were watching. Perfect timing, really - both of us struggling through depression to perform the rituals…

  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    ★★★½

    What can I even say about this now, in the wake of the stupidest election season of my entire life? Borat was the perfect antidote to all the anxiety and doom that'd been swirling around my environment - physical and digital - for the entire long buildup of this grand American spectacle. When the world you inhabit is so mind-bogglingly over the top dumb, so incredibly immune to satire that it embodies every headline The Onion ever dropped without a…

  • The Vanishing

    The Vanishing

    ★★★★★

    Essentially airtight murder mystery, a perfect ouroboros of grief and obsession. The Vanishing is the kind of crime thriller that transcends any genre trappings, rising to spiritual heights as it renders an aching, deeply layered tragedy through a understatedly poetic lens.

    2010: The first time I watched, its ending felt like a cruel gut punch, and it hung around in the back of my mind for seemingly months. I couldn't shake it; I was haunted.

    2016: The second time I…

  • The Faculty

    The Faculty

    ★★★

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers + Scream + The Thing + The Breakfast Club = The Faculty

    Sorry for the movie math again, but the equation just popped into my head while watching.

    Cynical teenage me wasn't very impressed by this movie at the time, but watching now I've gotta hand it to Rodriguez. It's tightly edited, the Kevin Williamson script is unpretentious and arguably more fun than Scream, and there are just loads of weird connections to Twin Peaks - from the Laura Palmer secretly-alien lookalike to Piper Laurie's post-conversion Catherine Martell makeover to the whole every-archetypal-high-schooler-is-something-they're-not-showing vibe. I definitely didn't catch that before!

  • Cargo

    Cargo

    ★★★½

    Cargo is a total Dad Mode take on post apocalyptic zombie stories, something I hadn't really seen before. The best thing about it is that creators Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke really follow through on the core ideas presented: learning to let go and stop trying to control for every risk, subsuming one's ego for the greater good, and choosing to trust in community versus going it alone - all in service of providing a real future for your child,…

  • It Chapter Two

    It Chapter Two

    ★★½

    First off: y'all were right, this isn't as good as the first chapter. But wasn't that the case with the earlier adaptation too? Is that maybe the case with the book, one of King's that I have not read? Numerous characters remark to Bill, the writer character and obvious King stand-in, that his endings always suck. Were they trying to temper expectations or set us up for a pleasant surprise? I really can't tell. But the thing is, there *are*…

  • It

    It

    ★★★

    So my wife and I watched It only a couple months after our son was born, which means that we essentially forgot everything that we'd seen. There's a phenomenon known to all new parents, and we called it "baby brain" but the gist is that your long term memory kind of shuts down during those early days, sleepless nights, constant-panic-mode existence. I'm fairly certain it's an evolutionary advantage, so we keep procreating, forgetting how torturous the first year really can…

  • Revenge

    Revenge

    ★★★½

    The coolest thing about Revenge is that its heroine puts symbolic vaginas in each of the men who assaulted her, and proceeds to penetrate them before finishing them off:

    The first man, who watched her rape at the hands of another, who had a chance to stop it and show some human decency - knives deep in both eyes.

    The second man, who raped her because she was "asking for it" - gets a piece of glass embedded deep in…

  • The Host

    The Host

    ★★★★½

    Heartbreaking, hilarious, thrilling, anxious, adorable, gruesome, powerful, utterly genre agnostic filmmaking from the master, Bong. I remember the feeling of having the rug pulled out from under me while watching this for the first time almost fifteen years ago, slowly realizing that this was not a simple monster flick, but a story of family disfunction, of national identity, of social crisis and more - and now, in the wake of his increasingly bold, refined, dizzyingly smart filmography, it hits even…

  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ★★★★½

    This is probably the fourth or fifth time my wife and I watched Hereditary, and there's always something new to appreciate. This time, I couldn't help focusing on how great and supportive and patient a father we have in Gabriel Byrne.

    He reminds me very much of my own stepfather, who was fifteen years older than my mom and had already raised two kids of his own before taking on the job of raising my sister and me. He'd been…