• Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    Fuck it, this rules

    Great sequel that builds on everything from its predecessor and actually dares to evolve rather than spin in place. Not content to replicate previous success, Dead Man's Chest goes bolder and digs deeper to put its cast of characters through genuine challenges. Where the world in the first one felt neat and tidy and at least somewhat tethered to our reality, here it spills its guts out and expands the elements of macabre fantasy and a…

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

    ★★★★★

    This movie is a miracle. Every single revisit over the years has me still in shock that a theme park ride was adapted into one of the all-time great adventure films. A genuinely great screenplay that deftly balances stakes, emotion, humour, characters and world-building. Plot mechanics are very much on the surface but it works because watching every cog in the machine lock into place is an endlessly satisfying collection of set-ups and payoffs. They absolutely should teach this script…

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • Little Women

    Little Women

    ★★★★★

    It so easily could have gone wrong.

    Life as an experience not just felt, but told. The streets we walk as children, the ones full of hope and promise, are the same ones we walk years later, as we return to find little more than melancholic echoes. Colours fade, fireplaces grow cold, the mailbox we used as kids now abandoned. We wonder, perhaps, if the joy we felt the last time we were here was real, or if it was…

  • The Old Guard

    The Old Guard

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

    The movie that the ending teases for the sequel would have been infinitely more compelling than the movie we actually got to see.

    Reheated leftovers from a Bryan Singer X-Men screenplay retrofitted into a bland Highlander riff that papers over having no worthwhile new ideas with a nominal commitment to diversity. Nice touch, but it'd be way better if the characters were interesting or if I cared about what happens to them. So much potential for creative combat with a…

  • Tarzan

    Tarzan

    Jane Porter's got a wagon and was one of the first characters I had a sexual reaction to as a child, meaning she's probably responsible for me having such a huge thing for English women, so thanks, Tarzan

  • The Blob

    The Blob

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

    An exercise in sheer brutality.

    The original The Blob didn't really do it for me. Painfully slow for a movie under 90 minutes, and its 50's-era charm never made it more than a novelty in my eyes. I did appreciate the opening theme song and silly tone, which fit the film's status as a genuine B-Movie made independent any studio's financial backing, but overall, I thought it was a great idea for a movie monster that didn't get the chance…

  • A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born

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

    A brilliant light cut short.

    Given how the story plays out, maybe it's appropriate that George Cukor's version of A Star is Born is something that nobody alive will ever be able to properly appreciate in its current form. Absolutely masterful in the broad strokes; the passage of time conveyed in the edit makes it feel like we've gotten to know these people over years instead of only hours, and the weight of fame, addiction and Hollywood's meat grinder philosophy…

  • Chalet Girl

    Chalet Girl

    Felicity Jones is an Academy Award nominated actress and starred in a Star Wars movie and I still feel like I have to forcibly get people to remember she exists. She's so effortlessly charming and manages to make this movie, which is pure YA romcom fluff, not just bearable but kind of adorable. She learned to snowboard for this movie! When will you all realize

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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

    When they said this was the end of Star Wars, I didn't think they meant it that way.

    Maybe the most dismally dissonant film ever made when it comes to production value and narrative potential versus resulting purpose and cultural impact. All of the fears of those who believe blockbusters made by corporations automatically have no artistic merit made flesh. A movie produced on a gargantuan budget, with the marketing push of the biggest studio currently in Hollywood behind it,…

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    It was supposed to be a promise.

    I'm as exhausted of Star Wars as anyone in a post-The Rise of Skywalker world, but there was a reason this movie was the biggest thing on the planet when it dropped. It worked, and I'm beyond tired of the online cottage industry retroactively claiming that it's "the death of cinema" or "purely a nostalgia play" or whatever. Movies that land as big as this don't do it by not connecting with people…

  • Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

    Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

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

    Birds of Prey (and There's No Way I'm Writing the Full Title of This Thing Every Single Time) is bad in that unique way that nearly all DCEU films (besides Wonder Woman) are bad. Incoherent screenplays, ugly visual palettes, an aversion to any kind of conventional structure, complete misrepresentations of classic comic book characters and a pervasive sense of being willed into being by a corporate mindset simultaneously ashamed that superhero movies bankroll the rest of their studio but also…