RSS feed for Matthew
  • Uncut Gems

    Uncut Gems

    ★★★★★

    #1 in 2019

    Yeah, I uh... yeah
    that was something. My jaw was on the fucking floor the entire time. Not too much to say other than I watched this on a 480p (at best) screener that buffered every 20-something minutes, had to pay to finish it because of how MEGA works, and go through just a little too much effort and it ended up being the most tense and on edge I've ever been. One of the best movies…

  • Knives Out

    Knives Out

    ★★★½

    Gosford Park found dead in Miami

    bunch of small issues that add up with this, largely that I don't think it dips its toes too far into either comedy or crime and consequently feels a little unsatisfying... until the really fantastic final act; effectively subverting so much build up in a really entertaining way. Loved how twisty turny it ended up despite initial glances. Plummer is excellent.
    Also notable as a far, far better political film than Parasite. Great discussion of class conflict.

  • An Actor's Revenge

    An Actor's Revenge

    ★★★½

    Almost certainly absolutely immediately among the 10 most simply beautiful films I've ever seen -- this is astonishing to look at. The fact that it's from 1963 sounds like a bad joke. Ichikawa's staging and direction are seriously fantastic and I'm convinced it's probably the best example of movies as theatre and of novel too, almost. It's surprising this is an original idea and not adapted from something.
    Still, I think there's too much plot here, at least there's something…

  • Firefox

    Firefox

    ★★½

    Wanted to "celebrate" awful election outcomes with an awful movie by one of my less favourite filmmakers and funnily enough this one ended up being my 2nd favourite Eastwood, maybe. Expected something sci fi and goofy as hell based on that poster and had no idea it was basically a moody espionage thriller for the first 2/3 of the movie. It gets goofy once the titular weapon is introduced properly and it's all just too long anyway, complicated and unnecessary…

  • A Rainy Day in New York

    A Rainy Day in New York

    ★½

    #30 in Woody Allen

    Chalamet should rightly feel ashamed working with Woody Allen, both are at the worst they've ever been. The former is unfathomably abysmal and obnoxious and shitty and his fucking names is fucking Gatsby Welles fucking fuck off
    Allen's writing is just so shockingly poor here. He's barely directing either. This is just extreme creative fatigue from everybody involved, even Storaro's work is disappointing... the lighting is great, sure, but it feels a million times faker than…

  • The Thick-Walled Room

    The Thick-Walled Room

    ★★★

    As it stands, my favourite Kobayashi behind the 2nd part of The Human Condition. Here there feels like more of an actual dramatic urgency (Condition's positioning of Nakadai as a sort of hero/martyr gave my viewing a relatively "safe" feeling), I like what he's doing with the camera more, and it's got a good couple of lines. Where it falters is that I still can't adjust to his dry tone and slow pacing despite being nearly identical to other 50s…

  • I Lived, But...

    I Lived, But...

    ★★★★½

    There's an obvious and strong bias going into this considering that Ozu is the single most significant artistic influence in my life behind only John Cassavetes, but I found this to be a wholly excellent and rewarding experience. I think it gets the extra points from me through the work from Ozu's old cameraman, his editor, and most frequent composer because there's clearly so much work put into this. It's very by the numbers but there's fantastic archival material here…

  • Acto da Primavera

    Acto da Primavera

    ★★★

    hbd mdo
    it's interesting to see how oliveira is credited for pretty much every technical aspect and then seeing just how... bad he was. at first. These pans and tilts are atrocious cuts far too quick but after a while it managed to settle into something almost transformative. Couldn't keep my attention the same way Angelica or Francisca could but this is certainly mildly fascinating. Not a stone's throw too far from Straub-Huillet.

  • Boxer

    Boxer

    ★★★★

    Another knockout
    I'm convinced at this point that, yeah, Terayama's almost definitely a top 10 for me, 10 shorts and 3 features into his work. I'm actively avoiding Pastoral and Farewell to the Ark for a while because I just know they're gonna be up there as excellent movies -- Throw Away Your Books instantly jumped up to my #11 of all time on first watch back in March which really is something. I can't stop thinking about the guy…

  • The Eraser

    The Eraser

    ★★★★

    Some of these images are either too obscure or too specific for me to really vibe with all the way through, it's a terrific film though... some of the saddest images Terayama's filmography and one of JA Seazer's best scores too. Feels like one of the most thematically rich pictures I've ever seen.

  • Faces

    Faces

    ★★★★★

    #4 in John Cassavetes
    Still so impossibly incendiary
    and home to the greatest close ups ever filmed. Val Avery talking about his son while Gena Rowlands buries her face against his arm felt like the most especially rewarding scene this time around.
    For my money probably the most important American movie ever made.

  • Marriage Story

    Marriage Story

    ★★½

    Adam Driver punches drywall and becomes Kyle Ren in Noah Baumbach's Marriage Snore-y

    sorry

    but yeah I'm really not feeling this. I'm on record as pretty anti-Baumbach, Meyerowitz being a total fluke (I'm pro-drama Sandler), so my take doesn't strike me as anything of a surprise or a shock... what is unexpected is that there are parts that do hurt a little. Adam Driver (excellent) dragging his son around trying to find a divorce lawyer felt genuinely sad and a…