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  • Old Boyfriends

    Old Boyfriends

    ★★★½

    Desperately in need of restoration! This is a film directed by the writer of Nashville, written by Paul Schrader, and starring Talia Shire, Keith Carradine, and John Belushi in his prime! Discussed on the podcast with Maya Montañez Smukler, who explores this film and others in her great book Liberating Hollywood, about the 16 women directors of New Hollywood. The print we saw was red-tinted in every moment, but you could see what an oddball of the era this was, and one that was thrilling to watch.

  • Happy Death Day 2U

    Happy Death Day 2U

    ★★½

    A lot of promise in the first 20 or so minutes, kind of like pulling back the onion on the original in an interesting way that's acts as a bizarre but worthwhile retcon. The first reveal of the killer offers up so much in terms of the film offering to go full Duck Amuck (or more precisely, Futurama's "The Farnsworth Parabox") but then it ends up just wasting it all away, using it as an excuse to put our protagonist…

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  • Good Time

    Good Time

    ★★★★

    A green Sprite bottle, given almost a mythical introduction in a frenetic monologue, slips out of the hand of a character and roles into a puddle of water. The camera, finally imparted from its intense close-ups to a God's eye long shot, lingers just for a second as it rolls into a puddle where it could be misconceived as trash. An object of everyday life that has been signified with narrative agency (A MacGuffin up there with the Arc of…

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★

    For years, Hollywood and the surrounding Culture Wars have asked a question: Do Critics Matter? It's a frankly boring question, but the main anxiety has developed out of a growing disconnect between Rotten Tomatoes Favorites and the American Box Office. But Disney and their expanding intellectual properties have put a new spin on this story: critics don't matter, but studios deliberately position / design films to harness their words in order to enter The Cultural Conversation. Their movies are no…