• Hillbilly Elegy

    Hillbilly Elegy

    (Been looking forward to this one. Had to know how the soul-stirring “Good Terminator/Bad Terminator/Neutral” aphorism in the trailer played out in the movie.)

    Howard's depiction of the ‘Good Redneck’ squaring up against the endangered savages of Appalachia evokes Bear Grylls, with its quaky vérité stylings and attempts at spontaneity. No getting around the fact that this is basically “Man Vs. Wild”, Close’s broccoli mane and Adams’s Marlboro-scorched fangs imploring us to keep our distance, so we just have to…

  • Rounders

    Rounders

    ★½

    Yeah I think I'm goingto fold on this one .

    - Luka (on the 1998 poker movie Rounders)

  • Pressure Point

    Pressure Point

    ★★★½

    7.5/10

    Maybe as vulgar as the movies get. As Zizek notes, we shouldn’t celebrate the Hays Code for inspiring obscene art but simply recognize that the excess the Code generates, by virtue of its prohibitions, is the inevitable result of its inbuilt contradictions.

    What would’ve been a perversely literal rape scene post-1968 instead becomes an obscene game of Tic Tac Toe. Poitier’s antisocial analysand narrates a story where he splashes white paint, endless TTT boards, over the walls of a…

  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

    The Trial of the Chicago 7

    ★½

    Sorkin’s picked up a few tricks since executing his first Operation Gaslight The Public Into Believing This Radio Play Is A Motion Picture (OGTPIBTRPIAMP), “Molly’s Game”. Well. He’s picked up one trick: intercutting mid-sentence to another character’s monologue where they provide the clause the other guy was about to say. One would imagine all that time he spent meandering aimlessly on the Social Network set, like Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation nebbishing through the movie-within-a-movie set of Being John Malkovich, would’ve…

  • Scary Movie

    Scary Movie

    ★★★

    I'll get his arm!
    I'll grab his other arm!
    I'll grab his ass!

  • The Boys in the Band

    The Boys in the Band

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    (Zero Stars.)

    Boys 2020 was spearheaded by that patron saint of homosexual stories Ryan Murphy. Notice I do not say queer stories. Murphy’s stories are by and large conventional machinations—they do not fit the bill of queer, which connotes a liberatory construction, a surprising and risky work that refuses to abide by constitutive formal techniques. Boys 1970 was shot in the 1:85:1 aspect ratio. This tall and somewhat unwieldy format allowed its queer inhabitants space to breathe, scream, and camp…

  • The Holiday

    The Holiday

    Movie for widows

  • The Exorcist

    The Exorcist

    ★★★½

    Nothing supernatural going on here, folks. Pretty sure this is just what children from Washington D.C. are like.

  • The Boys in the Band

    The Boys in the Band

    Zero Stars.

    Immediate Abu Ghraib for all involved, obviously.

    I will be posting a lengthy analysis of this soon, but in the meantime I’ve put together a video (a “study", as I call it) which contrasts scenes from the remake with the original 1970 film by Friedkin in order to better understand Joe Mantello’s and Ryan Murphy’s choices in interpreting Crowley’s landmark text. The premise is simple and the video may come off as unnecessarily long or overly didactic, but…

  • Kate & Leopold

    Kate & Leopold

    ★★★

    I love convention done right. I get high on it. When the cogs of cliche turn with industry, well oiled, predominantly free of narrative suet and wiped of noxiant attempts to “subvert”—I have a blast.

    Mangold’s movie definitely sucks in a lot of ways. I don’t know if it’s Meg Ryan’s performance or the way her character is written but Kate’s passivity in the face of her boss’s inappropriate advances is infuriating. You don’t need to have her confront him…

  • Dave

    Dave

    ★★★

    One of the joys of a vertiginously-high concept comedy like this is that the jokes pretty much write themselves. The SoD factor here is admirably minimized by the plausible rules elaborated by the screenplay; all the writers have to do is Mad Libs their way through the (hilarious) premise they’ve constructed. Reitman can only temper his schmaltz-based psychopathology for about the first hour or so before it bursts out of him full force like a jet-powered kidney stone—the laughs dry…

  • Enola Holmes

    Enola Holmes

    ★½

    Whoah... My favorite part is when a Victorian England black woman martial arts teacher regurgitates a blue check twitter thread at Sherlock Holmes in which she scolds him for not being interested in politics, because he’s privileged and the white gentry hegemony benefits him.

    Horrible craftsmanship. There’s a scene where “Enola” and her boy friend are in an automobile and arrive at a fork in the road. The camera fixes on a very long shot of the guide post such…