• Andrei Rublev

    Andrei Rublev

    Watched the 183 minute cut on Mosfilm’s YouTube channel.

    A personal note to start: This year has been a period of tremendous exploration and growth for me. I had my first big professional steps and setbacks, graduated from the undergrad portion of college (though starting grad school right afterward), and saw Argentine tango supplant movie watching as my chief hobby (weird to admit on a movie website, but alas). Most consequentially, I have begun taking the first steps in what…

  • Babylon

    Babylon

    ★★½

    Damien Chazelle makes his Magnolia (or, based on the box office returns thus far, his Heaven’s Gate), but sadly doesn’t quite juggle his ensemble or his ideas as well as PTA did. The movie isn’t a total bust thanks to some solid production value and a stellar Justin Hurwitz score, but I hope Chazelle follows the advice PTA would have given himself as he made the film - that is, he needs to chill out and be willing to make a more concise, focused film rather than trying to make “The Greatest Film in Human History™️“.

  • The Fabelmans

    The Fabelmans

    ★★★★

    Spielberg isn’t continuing one of his more exciting cinematic hot streaks in years just for you all* to completely ignore them. What a tragedy.

    *Yes, the denizens of Letterboxd are not ostensibly the people who need to hear this. But I digress.

  • Avatar: The Way of Water

    Avatar: The Way of Water

    ★★★★

    In the past couple years I’ve found myself largely dismayed at the increasing time creep of blockbusters. Not that I’ve had problems with lengthy epics before, but even if the movies in question are good, I find it can be a legitimate barrier at times, and occasionally pine for a more brisk runtime as normalcy for tentpoles. The Way of Water this provides an unexpected exception to the rule, where being even longer may have benefitted it. It’s crazy to…

  • Bones and All

    Bones and All

    ★★★★½

    I have come to the realization that off-kilter romances are among my favorite genres/amorphous broad categories in film, in no small part thanks to this film, which is currently my favorite of the Gaudagnino films I’ve seen. The ensemble gets a lot of great showcase work, with many of Guadagnino’s collaborators and indie scene darlings from Mark Rylance to Michael Stuhlbarg to Chloe Sevigny giving concise, but narratively purposeful, emotionally performances. Taylor Russell gives an especially star-making performance here, juggling…

  • Bad Education

    Bad Education

    ★★★½

    Watched for a class assignment. The paper I have to write for this movie will mostly be written from an academic perspective but I will post it here when I’m done because I intend to have my efforts bear some fruit. Come back in a week.

  • TÁR

    TÁR

    ★★★★½

    The first great “Literally Me” of the 2020’s.

  • Avatar

    Avatar

    ★★★★

    I never got to see this in theaters, so it’s good that I have finally been able to rectify that.

    I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going in since the film’s reputation as the forerunner for the ascent of CGI in 21st century blockbusters would suggest that time would eventually win and nullify its innovations. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see just how much of the visuals hold up today - minus some occasional shots that look their…

  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

    Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

    ★★★½

    I know other animated films targeted at children have drug trip jokes and sequences, but you have to hand it to this movie for having one of the most forthright weed jokes in a film ostensibly aimed at children (never mind the fact that the median A24 viewer is either too young to have kids or agrees with the husband from First Reformed).

    Anyway, Dean Fleischer-Camp has created a charming little film that manages to dispense some useful nuggets of wisdom in a manner palatable to many different ages, while being an unexpectedly strong film from a technical perspective thanks to its seamless visual effects.

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    ★★★★½

    Another big cinematic white whale off the list (though I skipped ahead to it rather than watching the first two installments in the trilogy). 

    I’ve seen some whom I follow on this site compare The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to The Odyssey, which is definitely an apt comparison; however, my mind actually goes first towards The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in that both works use the conceit of a long journey, often shared by two characters, to explore the moral…

  • Bodies Bodies Bodies

    Bodies Bodies Bodies

    ★★★½

    A cautionary tale about the importance of the buddy system.

    Overall, a pretty fun experience. The film makes skillful use of its setting by forcing our perspective into that of the people scrambling within this labyrinthine mansion. It also benefits from some delightful performances, who elevate the characters beyond the more archetypal roles they occupy from a scriptural basis, while also selling the Zoomer speak gags effectively. It’s hard to settle upon a veritable MVP but I did laugh the most at Sennott and Davidson’s visual and verbal gags the most.

  • RRR

    RRR

    ★★★★

    I finally make a much belated foray into Tollywood for the first time, thankfully receiving the opportunity to catch it in Telugu thanks to a clutch theatrical rerelease. 

    Anyway, my first impression is that this is India’s answer to Inglorious Basterds - an alternate history action film that enables its director to play with gleeful abandon in a sandbox with historical figures, agreeable hyper masculinity, and bombastic violence - trading the extended dialogues for a couple very propulsive musical numbers.…