• The Land Before Time

    The Land Before Time

    ★★★

    Don Bluth’s philosophy is pretty simple: you can show kids anything as long as you have a happy ending. That sentiment is certainly felt in The Land Before Time, a movie that can make prehistoric times look like a legitimate hellscape before the green that is the great valley.

  • Flames

    Flames

    ★★★

    A film that combines documentary and performance art that slowly blurs like a large red paint splatter thrown against a wall that slowly drips down to the ground. The film can feel disturbingly real and frustratingly phony, as some sequences are too elaborate to feel truly off the cuff. The best part is when the two directors and lovers are in couple’s therapy, discussing each other as well as the nature of the project. All of the infuriating behavior in…

  • The Departed

    The Departed

    ★★★★

    Really paid attention to the elusive X motif, an innocuous symbol that foreshadows imminent death of anyone caught in its frame. Some characters only get theirs just as they’re about to bite it, others are surrounded by the Xs and never get a good look at them. A great detail in an impeccably crafted film.

  • Thou Wast Mild and Lovely

    Thou Wast Mild and Lovely

    ★★½

    Builds on the idea of a straightforward narrative told through a slow pace with shots of surreal imagery. Found it more potent than Decker’s debut film, but not by much. I like how the father eventually becomes a voice for any and all invasive thought, but it spends too much time trying to be a realistic story when it could go all out like it does in its overwhelming climax.

  • Butter on the Latch

    Butter on the Latch

    ★★

    The approach from naturalism to surrealism without any real resolution is jarring, but thematically either I don’t get it or there’s nothing to get. I suspect the former so I won’t punch down by saying it’s the latter, but the fact that all I can arrive at is that I don’t understand what I’m supposed to feel is a problem in itself.

  • The Salt Mines

    The Salt Mines

    There is nothing more heartbreaking with regard to a documentary, especially one as moving as this, than the fact that nothing has changed. As much as The Salt Mines is an artifact, it might as well have been shot yesterday. The testimonies that these women give are personal, heartbreaking and seamlessly relevant to our present time in queer communities where some are still made into outsiders.

  • Luca

    Luca

    ★★★½

    It feels hypocritical scoring this higher than Soul, which only came out six months ago. While Soul is an incredibly ambitious but flawed venture, Luca is a self contained story that hits every beat flawlessly, a simple tale of growing up that feels monumental without feeling melodramatic. I'm tired of every tentpole movie having end of the world stakes, whether literally or figuratively, so it's unbelievably refreshing to see a movie where no one dies and nothing explodes. A movie…

  • Naruto the Movie: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom

    Naruto the Movie: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom

    ★★½

    The visuals have improved with this one: the fights are smoother and the lighting is much more dynamic. But the plot feels like a dnd session that went off the rails, as 30 minutes in the premise is altogether abandoned and the next hour is spent constantly in battle with an evil (very white) capitalist in an attempt to undo a coup. Team 7 + Rock Lee are all much more sound characters in this one, though there’s basically nowhere…

  • Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel

    Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel

    ★★

    Had no memories of seeing this for the first time, probably watched the Japanese dub on a somehow not at all shady website where all these movies and most of the anime used to be held for free viewing. 

    Only worth viewing to see ideas that probably inspired later moments in the manga: a big bad evil guy that wants to “end all war” by getting a MacGuffin and doing a totalitarianism, and a genjutsu that makes the victim perceive…

  • Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow

    Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow

    ★★★

    Been thinking a lot about Naruto and Bleach lately, two franchises that defined a part of my teen years as far as media consumption was concerned. Was never really a Dragon Ball guy. 

    So instead of spending a year trying to read (I was more of a manga guy) either of them again I’d figure I’d stave myself off by revisiting the non-canonical films. First one is pretty solid! I like film-within-a-film stories no matter how superficial they are.

    I’m…

  • C.H.U.D.

    C.H.U.D.

    ★★

    Cheap beyond belief, and could have used a much tighter focus on the political intrigue behind the toxic waste in the sewage, but things could always be worse. At least they didn’t kill that baby.

  • Greenland

    Greenland

    ★★★

    It’s a lot more dour than I expected, but I’m here for it. A palpable sense of dread with survivalist eugenics on top.