• Twister


    So glad that I watched this before my weird vertigo stuff set in! Because I enjoyed it a hell of a lot, but if I watched it now, it'd probably make me very dizzy indeed.

    This is essentially the platonic ideal of a '90s blockbuster adventure film, dodgy CGI and all.

    I was amazed halfway through when I realized that the central relationship dynamic resembles His Girl Friday a not-insignificant amount? Bill Pullman is no Rosalind Russell, but Helen Hunt makes a great Cary Grant.

  • Doctor Who Children in Need Special 2023

    Doctor Who Children in Need Special 2023

    A silly little special where Tennant's Doctor bootstrap-paradoxes the Dalek plunger! Pretty goofy, also surprisingly cinematic, and in the spirit of Davies' Who sensibilities for sure.

    In the future I suspect this will mainly be remembered for the effective, though brief, look at pre-mutation Davros, something that works so well that I hope we get a full episode build around him at some point in the future. Davies is right about the Daleks needing a break, but even in a…

  • Jewel Robbery

    Jewel Robbery

    Stressed out by lack of subtitles on the DVD, especially given the quality of the audio and the speed of everyone's speech; deeply charmed and amused by what I could discern through those difficulties. Kay Francis had such charm, it's easy to see why she was such a huge star for a relatively brief period of time; her unconventionality wasn't valued past a point, but that's not her fault!

  • Lancelot and Guinevere

    Lancelot and Guinevere


    It says something about how many truly awful movies Ashley and I have watched for the Grail Quest that this interesting but not always impressive curiosity winds up probably in the upper middle tier in terms of Arthurian Movie Quality. It feels cheap compared to something like Camelot, but lavish compared to something like Dragons of Camelot, basically.

    I suggested this one because I'm low-key fascinated by its director-producer-writer-star Cornel Wilde, an early independent multi-hyphenate who did his very best…

  • Nosferatu


    Viewed with live accompaniment from the VSO chamber musicians and Rodney Sauer, who compiled the score from authentic 1920s sources - he shared that this was only the second time this compiled score was being performed to accompany the film, which made it extra special. Lots of goths in the audience, which I love to see! The pacing of the film's second half still hits me as being a little dodgy at times, but there are many exhilarating moments, gorgeously creepy sequences, and great cinematography.

  • The Color of Money

    The Color of Money

    The only thing wilder than a Martin Scorsese movie that just feels like an uncomplicatedly good time, is that same movie being a sequel to a film as depressing as The Hustler. But I love a sequel with a different energy from its predecessor, as long as it works, and The Color of Money WORKS. Scorsese and Schoonmaker go ham with the pool scenes, something the original film pretty much held back on aesthetically, and essentially craft an electric blood-pumping…

  • The Hustler

    The Hustler

    Masterful and depressing. Everyone seems to assume The Color of Money was just a paycheck job for Marty, but it's easy for me to imagine that this film really resonated with him. The CinemaScope cinematography is just excellent, really used well to tell an intimate story. Complex downers used to bring in the bacon at the box office and be considered instant classics - what happened to that?

  • Love & Basketball

    Love & Basketball


    Great movie to watch when you're sick, because the stakes are high enough to be constantly engaging, but even on a first watch (with uncertainty around where the plot will go) it's got a comforting and cozy vibe too. Just a gorgeously textured film about its title subjects, with great direction right out of the gate from Gina Prince-Bythewood, melding confident style with a clearly personal narrative.

    Sanaa Lathan genuinely deserved every acting award for this role, and I could…

  • Bottoms



    Correctly nails the surreal absurdist dark comedy vibe. I'm glad not every high school movie is like Bottoms, but I'm so glad we got it too, because absolute goofy nonsense is rarely the realm of sapphic film, and it was about damn time. Never tell a lesbian "you couldn't make Heathers today," she will take it as a challenge!

  • Immortals



    Tarsem Singh doing Greek Mythology always sounded like a slam dunk to me, which is actually why I think this disappointed me so intensely. It wants to be 300 so badly that it betrays, every step of the way, anything that could have made it interesting - whenever things get fun, Zeus shows up and puts a stop to the amusement, turning the movie back into a drab wannabe war epic of the type that was already going out of…

  • Poetic Justice

    Poetic Justice


    This whole film is pretty engaging, but I was most intrigued by the nuances of the "family reunion" section - lots going on here generally in terms of commentary under the surface of a fairly formulaic romance plotline. Tupac Shakur and Janet Jackson carry things through some rough pacing, and the decision to anchor the film around two committed non-musical performances from famous musicians pays off in this case - especially for Jackson, who gives a glorious performance.

  • Here Comes Mr. Jordan

    Here Comes Mr. Jordan


    Charming and easy to watch, though the lead is less remarkable than the supporting actors who show up to keep things moving - Claude Rains steals the show as the title character, who appears surprisingly little but ties the film together.

    I was very surprised at how similar Warren Beatty's remake is to this original film, and somewhat less confused about it being called Heaven Can Wait despite being unrelated to the actual other 1940s film Heaven Can Wait...according to this film's opening credits, it's based on a play by that title.