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Nick has written 58 reviews for films during 2019.

  • Deerskin

    Deerskin

    ★★★½

    FYC Jean Dujardin

  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco

    The Last Black Man in San Francisco

    ★★½

    The story of American Indie Cinema, 2019: very good actors giving wonderfully loose performances, using ostensibly political subject matter as a way in yet steering away from actual politics, and a director who needs to calm the fuck down with the flourishes. Parts are good in fits and starts, and I've come out a big fan of Jonathan Majors, but otherwise this didn't click for me. Talbot may eventually make something that does.

  • The Band Wagon

    The Band Wagon

    ★★★★★

    Finally saw in full and it may be, uh, my new favorite movie?

    Also I would support a remake starring Samuel T Herring.

  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    ★★½

    Probably should let this sit a bit but feel like posting. Less empty than Hereditary ended up being I guess, but not as high of highs (I really dug those spooks and scares). Kinda fell into the languid pace this (directors cut) moves at, can imagine it feeling way less full/more out of balance at 2h20 (which takes a lot to admit from me). Until Aster truly leans into being the sick fuck he is, idk how much he'll do for me. Any emotions in his work that aren't blatant sirens tend to speak right past me.

  • Booksmart

    Booksmart

    ★★★

    A mashup of 4 or 5 better movies with a coat of A24-indie paint and a sometimes embarrassing post-2015 liberal sheen, but when you cast young actors like these that can be okay. Dever and Feldstein are stars, and Skylar Gisondo is even funnier than his turn on Gemstones has shown.

  • The Dead Don't Die

    The Dead Don't Die

    ★★

    Was more or less enjoying this, vibing with weariness and enjoying the actors (always love seeing Driver, Glover, Sevigny), until it's clear that he didn't know how to end the movie (esp after seeing Three Ressurected Drunkards last night, truly makes this look like the Goofus of reflexivity).

    And that end monologue? Ok, Xer

  • Brigadoon

    Brigadoon

    ★★★★½

    Peak sincerity cinema. Not the most outwardly impressive choreography of the era, but the most expressive, most balletic, most emotional. Believes in pain and love, and no one could meld complex choreography with complex and dynamic camera movement and composition like Minnelli. The shot of Cyd Charise and Gene Kelly meeting may be the most beautiful and richest shot in all of American Cinema.

    It may make me a more emotionally healthy and gracious person if I watch it every so often.

  • Deep Red

    Deep Red

    ★★★★

    Argento frustrates me. He's such a natural operatic filmmaker capable of such great mise-en-scene and use of shadow to construct this somewhat-dreamspace that stabs you right in the eye, but anything other than a setpiece may as well have been directed while yawning. The vicious sadism that comes with the actual kill is also not totally my thing, but it mostly works for me with this particular film. Kinda glad I stumbled on the US cut, 20 more minutes of connective tissue sounds deadly. The horror sequences though, and the images he constructs, are just that good.

  • Atlantics

    Atlantics

    ★★★½

    A potent little metaphor and love story in which Mati Diop shoots the sky and sea like I've never seen it before - blown out in a haze that retains some of the colors of the sunlight yet seems like a sky that couldn't be, encompassing and isolating like the sea near the end of Solaris. Or it's just a sky I've never seen before. Either way, props.

  • Bacurau

    Bacurau

    ★★★★

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

    or, Yankee, Get Fucked

  • The Lost City of Z

    The Lost City of Z

    ★★★½

    Liked it a little more this time. An outlier for Gray (tho I have yet to see Ad Astra. Spectacle will no longer be an outlier). The family dynamic is crucial here, but naturally receives little screentime until the last 30 minutes. Coincidentally, that's the best stuff (responsible for raising this at least half a star), its hazy editing awakening the Grayness the first half of the film lacks. Hunnam's just what the movie needs, but it's really a joy to watch Pattinson sink in.

  • We Own the Night

    We Own the Night

    ★★★★½

    This was my first Gray and I was meh on it back then. Thought it just a Hawks "three good scenes and no bad ones" movie. What a rube.

    Great male feelings movie with a great Brando performance from Joaquin Phoenix and truly unique rhythms (that opening!). A man rocked by trauma trading one brand of alienation for another. Great brother dynamic (Wahlberg's reactions sell it just as much as Phoenix's bursts), and Duvall nearly steals it.