• Black Mirror: USS Callister

    Black Mirror: USS Callister

    ★★★½

    I’m missing the lean 45-50 minute pacing of the original British run here — I find it a little challenging to spend 70 minutes caring about the fate of virtual characters and not ever getting to deeply explore the psyche of its creator, as the episode instead chooses to double down on the initial Star Trek pastiche. Even though it’s not scary, it’s entertaining enough to continue (and the ending is pretty funny), but in comparison to the highs this series can hit, it’s certainly a lesser episode.

  • Total Recall

    Total Recall

    ★★★★

    You are not you. You are me.
    No shit?

    Farcical and flavorful. My first Verhoeven, I think we’re gonna get along.

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street

    A Nightmare on Elm Street

    ★★★

    Gets plenty of points for style, but can’t overcome the wooden acting, cheesy soundtrack, and subpar scares. In other words: your standard 80s horror.

  • Black Mirror: Hated in the Nation

    Black Mirror: Hated in the Nation

    ★★★½

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

    Black Mirror by way of Se7en: a patient noir-ish nihilistic parable with some pretty fun knife twists. Loved seeing Benedict Wong pop up here. I did feel the length, as well as some amount of corniness whenever the electric guitar popped up in the score, and when certain plot elements are unveiled (something about “WE FOUND A 98-PAGE MANIFESTO IN THE KILLER ROBOT BEE” being unveiled well over the halfway point just made me laugh my ass off), but its style and its central concept are enough to keep it going.

  • Black Mirror: Men Against Fire

    Black Mirror: Men Against Fire

    ★★

    It looks like the last episode might have been where I stopped on the show previously, because I had no recollection of this. It’s not like it’s hard to forget though, as it’s basically Charlie Brooker playing Call of Duty with a painfully obviously allegory to tie it all together. The worst moment is easily when the musical number from Fifteen Million Merits is invoked again in an interrogation, an audience wink at the scale of a tonal earthquake. This series can be such a mixed bag; I rarely vibe with these action-oriented episodes.

  • Black Mirror: San Junipero

    Black Mirror: San Junipero

    ★★★★

    Disarming and tender, filled me with a deep yearning. Needle drops are very fun winks if you know the twist going in. I know everyone talks about how uplifting this episode is in contrast to the rest of the show, but something indescribable is so disturbing to me about that very last shot of the physical San Junipero data center. As somebody who was nervous about this episode not really hitting the spot as I explicitly crave some scary shit around the Halloween season, that very much did hit the spot.

  • Black Mirror: Shut Up and Dance

    Black Mirror: Shut Up and Dance

    ★★★★½

    There’s no cure for the Internet.

    All I remembered was that the Radiohead drop in this was S tier, turns out the rest of the episode is too. Started pulling at my hair five minutes in and didn’t really stop for the next hour. Nauseating.

  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    ★★½

    Useless. Borat’s genius came from shining a light on American prejudice, whereas this movie’s goal is to show you how funny it can be when Borat fucks with people and is casually hateful and says “very nice”, without any of the nuance or insight the first one provided. Feels very much like preaching to the choir, and it gets really unfunny really fast, especially when the progeny of this character (Eric Andre a decade ago, All Gas No Brakes today)…

  • Dante's Inferno

    Dante's Inferno

    ★★★★½

    If I were making the first film in my country’s history, I think I might pick an easier thing to adapt than The Divine Comedy, but I’m so glad the Italians did.

    I once again have to implore anyone who wants to watch this movie to specifically seek out the 2011 Cineteca di Bologna restoration with the Edison Studio soundtrack, as it contains some of the most terrifying sound design I’ve ever heard. Combine that with imagery effective enough to still…

  • Breadcrumb Trail

    Breadcrumb Trail

    ★★★½

    This is punk rock, I don’t know if I like it!

    All of the old local Louisville hardcore bands that get name-dropped in here are beamed in from a sacred dimension that is beyond parody. Behold: Languid and Flaccid. Squirrel Bait. Malignant Growth. Maurice.

  • Synchronic

    Synchronic

    ★★★★

    Completely my jam, like a DARE ad made by people who also do drugs. Embraces genre conventions to deeply satisfying effect. Jamie Dornan is a great buddy character, but resident lynchpin Anthony Mackie does the heaviest lifting bringing the script to life, balancing pitch-black humor with existential sincerity for stellar results. A step up from The Endless for me (really helps that the directors stay behind the camera this time; the more straightforward structure aids it as well), one of my favorite sits I’ve had at the movies all year.

  • Martin Scorsese's Quarantine Short Film

    Martin Scorsese's Quarantine Short Film

    ★★★

    Somebody get this man a YouTube channel