• Rope



    Hitchcock is great with concepts almost uniformly, but can occasionally struggle with thematics. What does all the gay stuff mean? Besides enhancing the suspense, does the one-take format enhance anything else? ROPE is a really good film that could've used some of that PSYCHO magic (a thematic magic that has struggled on more than one occasion to make it into Hitchcock's filmography.)

  • Samsara



    SAMSARA is another beautiful film from Ron Fricke. However, it is not up to BARAKA’s standards. It's not like the politics bothered me, or its Orientalizing gaze, because those were both present to some degree or another in BARAKA. SAMSARA is plagued mostly, I think, by its own niche. These kind of non-narrative, meditative features are very specific things, and there can be a sort of oversaturation even in their scarcity, especially when two guys practically own the subgenre. SAMSARA…

  • Che: Part Two

    Che: Part Two


    May Day 2023 (now ranked)

    CHE is much more of an auteurist vision than I was anticipating. I think Soderbergh’s more mainstream efforts primed me for something that would transform Che Guevara’s story into a grand entertainment. However, how lucky we are that CHE is a massive feat of thematic filmmaking. Though the pace is off for the first forty-five minutes or so, once CHE (both parts one and two) settles into its groove, it really doesn’t let up. Soderbergh’s…

  • Kes



    Stephen said it best.

    I'm on vacation for the next week or so, and I've just been feeling generally lethargic about the writing lately, so please give me some time and leeway in terms of these reviews. I'm still watching, but the backlog gets bigger and bigger, so sometimes these sorts of shoutouts are necessary, even if its something as tender and wonderful as KES.

    May Day 2023

  • Mission: Impossible

    Mission: Impossible


    First time, and I get it. Gets better as it goes along, but if James Bond ain't for me then there's no way this is, either. On some level, I am sort of intrigued by the sequels, mainly in how they reportedly push the envelope in terms of stunt work and practical effects as they go on. I'm also intrigued by the weakest link of the series, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II. John Woo is a dawg and people tend to underrate…

  • Traffic



    TRAFFIC is MAGNOLIA if MAGNOLIA was a procedural. TRAFFIC is MAGNOLIA if MAGNOLIA was about human dissonance rather than human connection. TRAFFIC is MAGNOLIA if MAGNOLIA was a little too cold and detached.

    TRAFFIC is an immense and impressive film, but its early-2000s-isms kind of hold it back. There are some truly cringeworthy moments of unjustified melodrama, moments that actively work against the film's typically stone-cold demeanor. That, and the goofy filters which really take away from such a self-serious and admittedly important piece of work. So this is where Breaking Bad got its Yellow Mexico filter from, eh? It's ugly.

    Soderbergh Ranked

  • Koyaanisqatsi



    Still prefer BARAKA, but KOYAANISQATSI gets points for that Philip Glass score and for being somewhat more focused than its 21st century successors.

    From cave paintings to outer space, we've terraformed our future. But, have we done it with respect?

  • Che: Part One

    Che: Part One


    Full thoughts coming in my review for Part Two, but wow!

    May Day 2023

  • The Organizer

    The Organizer


    The first twenty minutes of THE ORGANIZER are unlike anything I've ever seen before. The black and white cinematography with gorgeous deep focus recreates the style of old photography from the 1800s. The workers lounge in painterly tableaus, grind away at their own exploitation, and discuss their wages against backdrops of dirtied steel and machinery. The vibe and imagery are a one of one, and made for one of the most promising first acts I've come across in a while.…

  • Brüno



    Isn't as scathing a social critique as perhaps SBC hoped for, but as something even more confrontational than BORAT, it's still an achievement, and very very funny too.

  • I Am Cuba

    I Am Cuba


    Beautiful beyond description, and a damn good propaganda film, too. What this Cuban / Soviet co-production was able to craft cinematographically, texturally, and technically is, in my most earnest usage of the term, jaw-dropping. One of the best looking films. Thank goodness for Scorsese and others who championed it.

    May Day 2023

  • Threads



    My favorite films

    (currently sitting at #28)