I like movies. Not all movies, but a lot of them. I have a podcast, obviously.
The Fabelmans 2022
There’s a wonderful old interview in which James Lipton points out to Steven Spielberg that the combination of science and music used to communicate with the aliens in the climax of Close Encounters is reminiscent of the budding lives of his real-life parents. Spielberg smiles earnestly, admitting he hadn’t realized that until now. There’s always been a tension through Spielberg’s filmography as he suppresses his complex upbringing and personal traumas that inevitably seep through into his spectacular populist moviemaking, which…
The Furies 1950
A perfect frontier story by way of Shakespearean tragedy. Walter Huston gives a lively, dynamic performance as a Lear-esque character, centering a story about petty squabbles turning to violence over greed and hubris. It’s a capitalistic nightmare, where the only fully sympathetic characters are collateral damage to the materialistic, Freudian conflicts among the twisted protagonists. Barbara Stanwyk plays a powerful woman who gains her strength by out-conniving her tyrannical father while engaging in a mutually destructive romance.
The critic Imogen…
Dark Places 1973
Some cozy/spooky British countryside atmosphere, but mostly a meandering snooze. The cast is very good, adding some much needed gravitas to a movie lacking a real pulse.
I couldn’t get over how much the lead actor looks like Thomas Lennon.
Creed III 2023
Not as strong as the other ones, but an incredible directorial debut from Michael B. Jordan and all of the emotional and crowd-pleasing moments you want from a Rocky movie. This has some of the most subjective action photography in the whole franchise, which really breathed new life into a pretty tried and true formula.
I’ll be honest, I did miss Rocky.
This is more than James Wan’s return to horror. It isn’t a trip back to the Conjuring franchise and it’s not even quite at the mainstream appeal of Insidious. This feels like the James Wan who made Saw, brimming with youthful energy and a full-throttle commitment to gross, disreputable genre elements with no one to hold your hand. It even leans into the grungy experimental editing and soundtrack tactics of early 2000s horror movies.
Malignant has a semi-ironic Sam Raimi vibe…
Bill Maher: #Adulting 2022
The gang’s all here: Putin, Trump, millennials, PC police, and many more. Maher gets an applause break for praising the nomination of Joe Biden before doing a half-baked bit making fun of his allegations (while conveniently pretending the Tara Reade one doesn’t exist).
He seems to conflate leftist politics with loud blue-haired caricatures. This leads to such broken points like “Crazy libs hate Dr. Seuss too much so we should elect a war criminal who doesn’t want us to have…