• Ballet mécanique

    Ballet mécanique

    ★★★★★

  • Newsies

    Newsies

    ★★★★★

    Yay, they did it! The laboring children stuck together and stood up for themselves; now they can go back to paying their usual rate for the newspapers, rather than that increased rate. Justice! Just look how happy these kids are at the end.

    A lotta child actors in this one. I wonder how much they got paid?

  • High School Musical

    High School Musical

    ★★★★★

    Musicals offer freedom. Mostly, freedom from reality - a place of escape. Rejecting 'realistic' depiction, musicals instead opt to hyperbolize and highlight certain elements of reality, reflecting the emotional outlook/journey of it's characters. These characters generally play the role of stereotypical representation, reminding the audience of themselves and their aquaintances, and more importanly their interconnecting roles in the world around them. The clearly artificial nature of the musical allows for a particualr kind of distancing that benefits this real-world reflection.…

  • Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

    Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

    ★★★★★

    Basically a piece of comparative mythology collecting the myth of the late-20th-century 'Western' musician/celebrity. Most parodies succeed at distilling their sources into greater truths through simplifying and thus highlighting fundamental trends in popular stories of a given culture and era. What makes Walk Hard particularly special is the placement of these stories in our lives. Sure, all of this is really collecting celebrity myth (i.e. dramticized exaggerations) but these myths were/are a representation of real people and are consequently treated…

  • Cats

    Cats

    ★★★★★

    Rating systems are a joke, and movies like Cats prove why. Just look at some of the most popular low-rated reviews: 

    a 1-star review: "it was maybe the best moviegoing experience of my life, and I will never forget it."

    another 1-star review: "a contemportary classic in double-quick time"

    a 1/2-star review: "the most fun I've had in my entire life"

    At least the truth is in the writing (I'm sure plenty of people are going into this looking for…

  • portrait of a martyr//a generation lost

    portrait of a martyr//a generation lost

    ★★★★★

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

    In an era defined by screens and our use of them as gateways to other worlds, it's strange how few contemporary films seem to acknowledge our reality. The 'movie' remains a place of escape: watch the screen, experience the life of others. But if the 'others' are 21st-century characters, we can't just ignore their lifestyle and act like screens aren't an enormous part of how they interact with the world.

    The 'POV' shot which has traditionally put us in the…

  • The Love Guru

    The Love Guru

    ★★★★★

    There's a moment where we get to see the Real Mike Myers, right after he says "I just laugh because of the pain" and makes this face:

    imgur.com/msjbUgp

    A legitimately emotional few seconds. A brief glimpse into the the husk of a man hollowed out by Hollywood. Whereas in The Cat in the Hat, we can only sense the miserable off-screen actions of Myers (though a very strong sense that permeates and warps the entire movie into poison), here we can see his off-screen feelings (warn-out, despondent) first-hand. Stay strong, Mike!

  • Solar Breath

    Solar Breath

    ★★★★★

    The first time in my life I've decided to watch something in double speed. My rating system insists that I give it the 5 stars it deserves, but I need to clarify here in a review that I did not enjoy this film and recommend it to nobody.

  • Launch of the Worthing Lifeboat Coming Ashore

    Launch of the Worthing Lifeboat Coming Ashore

    ★★★★★

    The genre of Actuality is defined as a "film of real people going about their everyday lives rather than of actors playing roles". But of course that's a big fat lie.

    Take this film, for instance. Presented as Actuality, it shows a public demonstration, which in it's very nature has "actors playing roles" for the public. And those roles are well-played at the start. Everything is going smoothly until the 10-second mark, when all sense of 'realism' is smashed and…

  • The Pottery Maker

    The Pottery Maker

    ★★★★★

  • Agent Cody Banks

    Agent Cody Banks

    ★★★★★

    Memory is strange. I saw this movie so many times as a kid but didn't really remember a thing, just the vague idea of it being a movie I'd turn to often. What certainly didn't stick out in my mind back then was the fact that early in this movie a fully grown women enters a locker room of ~15 year-olds, strips one naked and whips him with a towel. Some bizarre normalization of sexual harassment and physical abuse of…

  • The Pest

    The Pest

    ★★★★★

    I've never seen The Pest in full, but I return to it's opening sequence all of the time. A powerful entity, it is, evoking such strong and strange feelings. Even beyond the racial caricatures or "problematic" nature, there's such a level of "cringe" to this that it's freeing, empowering. Every new identity we see John playing in the shower, each only seconds long, creates such intense embarrassment - for John Leguizamo, for us the viewer, for the culture that spawned…