• Strange World

    Strange World

    ★★★½

    A world worthy of exploration but a story that does not live up. Still somehow a delight.

  • She Said

    She Said

    ★★★½

    The procedural element of media movies is often the most successful aspect and is no different here. The process of how a story takes shape and is brought to print is interesting especially when the story is as explosive as this one.

    The movie did a remarkable job of showcasing the physical manifestations of trauma on the faces of the victims. Hard not to be at least a little stirred.

  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★★★

    The loneliest movie.

    There's something about how Scorsese puts you in the head of Travis Bickle that's so effective. The emotion never comes from the performance but rather from the ancillary elements. There's emotion in the way the rain hits the windshields, the neon traffic lights against the black backdrop of night, and the steam emanating from the sewer grates. The filmmaking is the emotion.

    One compelling contraction of the film is how it looks. It's such a beautiful film despite the fact that everything on screen is grimy, ugly, and nasty, other than Cybil Shepard.

  • Raising Arizona

    Raising Arizona

    ★★★★

    Ridiculous and zany but what makes this so special is the true heart that's at the center of it. Holly Hunter cries hysterically thinking about how much she loves her child after only a few minutes of having him. Nic Cage wears his emotion so outwardly that it's impossible to miss. Even the two crooks played by John Goodman and William Forsythe fall in love with this baby after essentially planning on trading it for a large sum of money.…

  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

    Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

    ★★½

    Overstuffed and sloppy. The ruminations on grief felt earned (though with heavy lifting by the real life passing of Chadwick Boseman), but the sights of the movie were set on so much more when this would have been enough. It's a Marvel movie that's actually about something so some points were won there but still a slog.

  • Cruising

    Cruising

    ★★★½

    Muddled and murky perhaps to its detriment, though its vagueness certainly adds something to its allure. While Friedkin certainly aims to make the audience feel lost, he goes too far, allowing the ambiguity to tip into confusion.

    Cruising has a certain sexuality in its nature that's somewhere between horny and demented. There might never have been more buttcheeks on screen than here.

    There's something special about this movie that just grabs you by the crotch and doesn't let go.

  • Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

    Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

    ★★½

    Doesn't spark the same joy for me as the Weird Al songs do. There's a certain faux-cleverness that rubs me the wrong way in music parody movies. It's a hard line to walk, pardon the pun, but nearly all of the jokes here fell flat and if the ridiculous nature of the film doesn't work then it becomes an exercise in running out the clock till the end of the movie. Not for me.

  • Armageddon Time

    Armageddon Time

    ★★★★

    Unapologetic when confronting privilege and guilt. What's remarkable about this story is the anguish felt in hindsight. Armageddon Time was clearly born from a seedling that's been gnawing at director James Gray since 1980.

    When an artist creates something deeply specific and personal to their life it makes it more affecting. The specificity often feels more relatable than art trying to be as broad as possible. Though I never lived through the 80s or have even been to New York, there's still a piece of this story that feels cut from the same cloth I am.

  • Blue Collar

    Blue Collar

    ★★★★½

    Paul Schrader serves up a helping of acidic truth with a side of heaviness in Blue Collar. The desire for a better life contrasted with the futility of change.

    An entire system designed to keep you down and in debt. 3 men try to exploit this system in a relatively small way but ultimately get bulldozed. The movie ends in this really melancholic way that makes you feel worse about everything that transpired up to that point.

    Schrader shakes you…

  • The Banshees of Inisherin

    The Banshees of Inisherin

    ★★★★

    Two men at war with each other, though the reasons for this warring are murky and perhaps ill-conceived. This war may be one-sided at the beginning but it ramps up once the stakes are revealed, the stakes are the friendship itself.

    Really quite funny but perhaps even bleaker than it is humorous. The bleakness isn't as apparent at the beginning of the film but as it goes on, depression comes out from behind the clouds. Colin Farrell imbues the dullard Padraic with pathos, first provoking pity, then understanding.

    A marvelous exploration of male emotion.

  • American Gigolo

    American Gigolo

    ★★★½

    The sex is transactional but that doesn't mean it isn't passionate. Sleazy and slimy but also so indebted to Carl Theodore Dreyer. The opening shows us a man who has it all but as the film goes on we realize that he's a nobody, nothing he does matters or will be remembered. He's hollow until he meets the one person who makes him feel otherwise.

  • The Mummy

    The Mummy

    ★★½

    A little stodgier than the other Universal monster movies. Never scary, rarely fun, but there's certainly something that sticks with you.