RSS feed for jonathan
  • Jojo Rabbit

    Jojo Rabbit

    ★★★

    i have a lot of the same complaints here that i had with Thor: Ragnarok, mainly that it's positioned as this weird, idiosyncratic take on the genre/subject when in reality it's only slightly more esoteric than the big weepy indies we were getting all the time a decade ago. Thomasin McKenzie MVP, and the final scene is so strong it really raised my goodwill for the whole thing.

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★

    an immensely stupid movie. i at least thought this would transcend the meme-y "we live in a society" stuff but that's literally all there is here; Phillips' commentary is as surface level and faux-deep as possible. i will say it is eminently watchable - i thought the runtime flew by and the stupidity certainly made it all the more hilarious a viewing experience. but there's not really enough going on here to justify all the discourse and accusations of being "dangerous" that it's receiving. even Phoenix, while good, is only like 10% as interesting as he usually is.

  • Late Night

    Late Night

    absolutely dire stuff. as visually flat and uninspired as modern comedies get, with nary a laugh to be had. the fact that this managed even the smallest amount of positive buzz at Sundance feels like proof that the altitude does in fact get to you. i wish i had the confidence of the Amazon execs who paid thirteen million dollars for this and somehow thought a better fate awaited it than being dumped and forgotten on a streaming service.

  • The Death & Life of John F. Donovan

    The Death & Life of John F. Donovan

    ★★★

    look, it's very clearly an unfinished movie. i know the four-hour cut Dolan has spoke of was likely just the assembly edit, but you've gotta imagine it's the complete, bloated, sprawling masterwork this was destined to be, shedding light on the many truncated strands and making Dolan's ambitions clearer. as for the fragments that remain, as with most Dolan i found it to be frustrating, unwieldy, absurdly portentous and immensely compelling. he's always been a director to wear his heart…

  • It Chapter Two

    It Chapter Two

    ★½

    i mean, it's cool if you wanna take such a significant tome of childhood trauma, fading memory and American decay and just turn it into the movie equivalent of a funfair ride, but there's almost three hours of this shit dude, and it gets boring real fast when none of it means anything. for as coked out as King was when he wrote the book it was at least about something - this is 169 minutes of vapid jumpscare after…

  • Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

    ★★★★★

    A Ghost Story.

  • Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

    Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

    ★★

    on one hand, this is pretty across-the-board terrible. what should be a return to more analog action filmmaking for this franchise ends up being frustratingly digital, full of weightless, poorly staged sequences strung together by a terribly plotted and barely coherent narrative. i know story is the last thing you come to these movies before but this is real bottom of the barrel stuff with virtually no forward momentum. the comedy is dire and not a single joke lands; everything…

  • Big Little Lies

    Big Little Lies

    ★★★

    edit: wrote a full piece on the season for FilmEra here

    #ReleaseTheArnoldCut

    still eminently watchable thanks to such an incredible cast, but this is def a contrived, unnecessary second outing that was very clearly butchered in the editing bay. barely feels like half the show that season 1 was; hacked and slashed in a manner that removes the charms and flourishes that made the first instalment so compelling in favour of a more standard, rote central drama. and that drama…

  • Spider-Man: Far from Home

    Spider-Man: Far from Home

    ★★

    disclaimer as always with Spider-Man - these movies are always gonna be tricky for me to approach seeing as Spidey is my favorite superhero. there's so much baggage and attachment already there and i'm always gonna have hangups with this new version that i'll get into more eventually with a full spoiler review, but first impressions are: this is a good Mysterio movie and a terrible Spider-Man movie.

    when this movie is Jake Gyllenhaal gleefully vamping it up as a…

  • Yesterday

    Yesterday

    ★★

    i'm basic enough that i was left mostly satisfied just by the premise and the Beatles of it all (and there's an incredible joke involving Ed Sheeran's ringtone that i was somehow the only person in the cinema to laugh at), but good lord are those last 20 minutes utterly ruinous. people criticised Boyle for the ending of Steve Jobs but what he does here is a far more spectacular show of self-sabotage, doubling down on a disastrous romance that…

  • Toy Story 2

    Toy Story 2

    ★★★★★

    It’s January 1999, and Pixar is in crisis.

    The company is nine months away from releasing its next film Toy Story 2, the highly anticipated sequel to their critically acclaimed debut feature, and in the words of director John Lasseter: it’s a “disaster”. Talk of a sequel to Toy Story began immediately after it proved to be such a tremendous success, becoming the highest grossing film of 1995, and Lasseter, having already helmed the first movie and starting work on…

  • Dark Phoenix

    Dark Phoenix

    ★★

    the most inessential movie ever made. almost everyone involved looks like they'd rather be somewhere else, it's a real embarrassing note for this franchise to go out on. also deeply rude to cast Halston Sage as Dazzler only to give her about thirty seconds worth of screentime. what a waste.