• Tombstone

    Tombstone

    ★★★★

    A ranking of the performances. Anyone not listed just doesn't register:

    27. Charlton Heston: barely there cameo.
    26. Frank Stallone: solid performance as a name in the credits that you recognize.
    25. John Corbett: solid performance as a face and voice you recognize.
    24. Thomas Arana: unobtrusive but noticeable.
    23. Paula Malcolmson / Lisa Collins: they do good work but they're given almost nothing to work with.
    22. Terry O'Quinn: great actor in a nothing role.
    21. Jason Priestley: he…

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    I have not seen this since I was a small child, but the bulk of it is so iconic that in spite of the vast gulf of time between then and now, it still felt familiar. The mashed potatoes scene, whether because it has been so often referenced or because it's a well filmed moment of tension and strangeness, was clear in my mind even now. The ending sequence of light and sound also had a familiarity to it that…

  • Zola

    Zola

    One of the reasons the Twitter thread that this is based on captured the attention of the Internet is that it was told from the point of view of a hapless bystander whose judgments felt like they were coming from a place of concern for her own safety and from a perspective not too far from those she was judging. In other words, it mostly wasn't punching down. Take that same story, even with that same narrator as an executive…

  • On the Barricade

    On the Barricade

    In less than five minutes, your heart breaks and soars.

  • Hail the New Puritan

    Hail the New Puritan

    Though referred to as a mockumentary, there's so much sincere joy and energy captured here that it feels like an honest glimpse into the minds and passions of a delightfully aggressively cheeky collection of "I'm not a freak. I'm a pervert"s. Dance is an inherently erotic artform no matter how hard we try; every graceful movement here is a glorification of body and sound. Their grace forces the jagged edges of the music to be beautiful. Their grace turns dissonance…

  • Nightmare Alley

    Nightmare Alley

    It's a fine line between doing foreshadowing right and being too obvious about it, and I feel like this film stepped just a fraction of a toe over to the too obvious side. It's a brutal experience to watch this collapse happening, but knowing with a certainty because of a line earlier in the film exactly where it's gonna go made it less a sense of doom and more an anxious experience. Just get it over with. Just turn him into what he could not turn away from.

  • Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman

    Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman

    One of those movies where the characters talk in cliches and explanations instead of dialogue. Like bad fan fiction--not disparaging fan fiction in and of itself, but when it's bad, it's clear the person writing it didn't really get what they were a fan of--of Mindhunter and Extremely Wicked.... It comes across as a parody of serial killer movies, played intentionally awkwardly with dialogue designed to mock procedurals, but it also seems to want to be taken seriously. It felt…

  • Drowning Mona

    Drowning Mona

    I will confide in all of you that if you put the right Three Dog Night songs on a soundtrack, I am going to like your movie more than I should.

  • The Doll of Satan

    The Doll of Satan

    1. The sequence depicted in the poster art here should been a feature length film. Instead, it's only a few fantastic minutes of this otherwise not kinky enough giallo.

    2. The ending is bananas.

    3. I am trying to think if I have seen other gialli with sword fights, and I am coming up blank.

    4. I kept getting Jack confused with the other guy in a suit. Not that one, the other one. Bland leading man syndrome.

    5. As predictable as this is, the details of the ending are completely out there, and I think it elevated the entire thing for me.

  • Personal Velocity

    Personal Velocity

    There's a moment early on where a man and wife are at a table. The man is angry and stares at the woman. He is interrupted in his anger by his son asking a question. He barely replies, then goes back to his angry staring. The violence that follows is sharp, intense, and nauseating. As soon as it happens, terror ripples through the children watching. Everything becomes a haze of cries and sobs and flight and shaking and blood after…

  • I Dream You Dream of Me

    I Dream You Dream of Me

    A lovely, intense metaphor, a journey of pain and noise and blood and heat. It's a beautiful film; it focuses on Angelica Ross in her white dress, occasionally focusing on her face as she squints into the harsh sun, but it doesn't ignore the landscape around it, the green and brown conveying as much of the heat and noise as Ross's face or the struggle of the journey (conveyed entirely by her movements). We see her feeling the weight, so we feel the weight. And the soundtrack is the kind of droning, almost-alarm, underwater-on-fire noise that paints its own picture of hardships and stress.

  • The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love

    The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love

    This feels like the half-step on the evolution to the modern insufferable lesbian romcom. This is not to say this is insufferable; it's cute, funny, and touching. It has the charm of mid-90s indie to it that doesn't have the petty bourgeois stink to it. Instead, we have one petty bourgeois lesbian and a bunch of working class ones. We have consequences to being queer. We have threats of violence. We have tires getting kicked and gay boys with bad…