• Ultrasound

    Ultrasound

    ★★½

    49/100

    Kinda knew all along that this was destined to land somewhere less than satisfying, if only because otherwise I'd surely have come across some enticing buzz.

    (Rest of the review, along with everything else I write, available via ultra-cheap subscription. Seriously, it’s as little as $1 a month and for now that pays my rent.)

  • Talk to Her

    Talk to Her

    ★★★½

    66/100

    Second viewing, last seen several months prior to its original U.S. theatrical release (at a press screening, presumably; it didn't play Cannes). I watched it right before leaving town for Thanksgiving, and also right before I had to unexpectedly spend an entire afternoon getting my car's front brakes replaced; it's now over a week later and my few additional thoughts have gone fuzzy. I was gonna wax a bit awestruck at Almodóvar somehow managing to suggest that rape can…

  • Devil in a Blue Dress

    Devil in a Blue Dress

    ★★★½

    65/100

    Second viewing, last seen during its original theatrical release. Having created my website just two months earlier (with no expectation that it would become a lifelong career), I actually wrote a very cursory review at the time:

    Nothing much to shout about, but still a fine and entertaining murder mystery featuring terrific performances from Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, and (especially) Don Cheadle as Mouse. A lot of critics seem to be excited by the film's racial subtext, but I…

  • White Noise

    White Noise

    ★★★½

    70/100

    Alternate Ending review. Came closer to outright loving this than I'd ever have imagined possible, though I get why others are cool on it—there's still a not-quite-permeable layer between DeLillo and us, if only because nobody would ever structure a screenplay like this starting from scratch. But Baumbach has thought long, hard and mostly very well about how to capture the novel's essence onscreen, omitting famous but conceptually untranslatable stuff like America's Most Photographed Barn while having background extras…

  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

    Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

    ★★★½

    67/100

    Is it weird to guffaw with delight at a purely structural flourish?

    (Rest of the review, along with everything else I write, available via ultra-cheap subscription. Seriously, it's as little as $1 a month and for now that pays my rent.)

  • Dodsworth

    Dodsworth

    ★★★★

    79/100

    Second viewing, last seen 1995. Emblematic moment here has Edith see Fran gearing up for a dalliance and attempt to intervene with a single uncontextualized word: "Don't." Her implicit respect—no need to spell things out; this woman's sharp enough to take my meaning—reflects that of the film itself toward every viewer.

    (Rest of the review, along with everything else I write, available via ultra-cheap subscription. Seriously, it's as little as $1 a month and for now that pays my rent.)

  • Pretty Problems

    Pretty Problems

    ★★★

    53/100

    Very much the sort of mediocre micro-budget indie that wins SxSW's Audience Award (which it did), but these days I'm starved for halfway decent non-televisual comedy, and this film is in fact, as my rating reflects, halfway decent.

    (Rest of the review, along with everything else I write, available via ultra-cheap subscription. Seriously, it’s as little as $1 a month and for now that pays my rent.)

  • The Woman King

    The Woman King

    ★★★

    52/100

    Transfers every single martial-arts-apprentice cliché to the Agojie, while also seeming vaguely embarrassed about being such a shameless crowdpleaser.

    (Rest of the review, along with everything else I write, available via ultra-cheap subscription. Seriously, it’s as little as $1 a month and for now that pays my rent.)

  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

    The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

    ★★★★★

    92/100

    Third viewing (last seen 2004), no change. This has apparently become one of those movies that makes me weepy within seconds—Legrand's gently seismic "I Will Wait for You" theme plays a sizable role in that, of course, but it's also just the sheer formal beauty of Demy's sustained overhead shot, with umbrella colors and extras' timing + directional movement casually yet dazzlingly choreographed around opening credits that keep shifting position. (I'd maim for behind-the-scenes footage shot from an elevated…

  • The Baby of Mâcon

    The Baby of Mâcon

    ★★½

    48/100

    A film I'd actively dreaded for nearly 30 years, based entirely on one friend's description (via email). I don't even recall whether he specified what happens—if so, I forgot the details at some point. Merely remembered having been told that the film concludes with something excruciatingly horrific and almost unendurably prolonged. Knowing Greenaway and his temperament, I was in no particular hurry to have that experience, and Baby of Mâcon's failure to get a NYC theatrical release allowed me…

  • Something in the Dirt

    Something in the Dirt

    ★★½

    47/100

    Alternate Ending review. So far these guys are 4 for 4 on enticing set-ups, 0 for 4 on satisfying wrap-ups. And yet I remain eager for the next one.

    Also I've been singing the title in Kurt Cobain's creaky whisper, followed by an "oooo-oooo" for weeks now, so y'all have to follow suit. Can't carry this burden alone. Something in the dirt, yeah. Oooo-oooo.

  • An Angel at My Table

    An Angel at My Table

    ★★★½

    64/100

    Second viewing, last seen during its original U.S. theatrical release. Biopics about writers face a particularly steep uphill climb for me, and can evidently plant their flag only so high; while this is undoubtedly among the finer examples, it still eventually smacks into the unforgiving wall that is "visual medium" + "protagonist whose creative mode entails staring into space and then scribbling/typing a bit."

    (Rest of the review, along with everything else I write, available via ultra-cheap subscription. Seriously, it’s as little as $1 a month and for now that pays my rent.)