• The Velvet Underground

    The Velvet Underground

    ★★★½

    Music documentaries are basically dependent on if you like the music being featured or not. I like The Velvet Underground, so obviously the music was fantastic. The creative decisions were the biggest strength of the whole thing for me. Opting to go with moving close up shots of the people being interviewed with voice over was at least different and fresh compared to the standard interview format. I do feel like a majority of the information was already knowledge to…

  • Starman

    Starman

    ★★★½

    It's basically just E.T., but for a grieving adult.

    Karen Allen stars here. There are moments of humor all throughout, but it is first and foremost about this really broken woman learning to deal with the loss of her husband and lack of family. It's really sad at its base and is masked by this extra terrestrial learning the ways of rural America. A good mix of humor, science fiction, and drama. You see so much of Carpenter in the movie, particularly that early scene with the being traveling towards the house. A mirror image of being inside the mask of Michael Myers.

  • X-Men: First Class

    X-Men: First Class

    ★★★★

    This could have easily been a complete disaster, but it was far from that. It's actually one of the better, modern superhero movies for me. It was the first X-Men specific installment following Iron Man. That was kind of the new era of superhero movies for most people. It had to be a decent movie following The Last Stand and Origins: Wolverine, and it fortunately was.

    There has to be something more to make these movies work. It can't just…

  • The Iron Claw

    The Iron Claw

    ★★★★½

    What stands out the most is obviously how devastating this all is. Even darker to think about a couple additional tragedies and lives attached with this family and story that weren't even in the film.

    It's loaded with excellent performances. Easily Efron's best ever, but everyone else brings it all together. Dickinson, White, McCallany, and Simons all capture the characteristics of their family members really well. Lily James is great as well, maybe also her best so far? Just a…

  • Paris, Texas

    Paris, Texas

    ★★★★½

    Visually as beautifully as they come. Usually when a movie is top notch from a visual perspective, it has one thing that it does really well. Whether that be the effects, or a specific scene, or it has something that fits a certain genre. They all have something about them individually that makes them look so great. Paris, Texas is one of the few that looks spectacular while doing a lot of different things.

    It opens as a western. It's…

  • Mistress America

    Mistress America

    ★★★

    Middle of the road Baumbach for me. For the millionth time, Greta plays these types of characters so well. Their combination in these types of films certainly have a high floor and are always at least worth watching.

    It really hooks me in the beginning. I was convinced it was going to be among my highest rated movies directed by Baumbach, but it just really started to lag for me in the middle. It then comes together really well in…

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★★★

    Gearing up to see Part Two, and figured I should give this another re-watch before. Officially entering my 5 star club, but I don't think there was any doubt that it wouldn't at some point. I love the story of Dune. I have now read the book twice and I think that has made me realize even more how spectacular this adaptation really is.

    I know what happens for the rest of the story at hand here, and I am…

  • Lenny Cooke

    Lenny Cooke

    ★★★★½

    With documentaries, it's about finding what you like. I love sports. I love cult athletes and "Linsanity runs". I love "where are they now" stories. That's a recent discovery. I started watching through every season of Hell's Kitchen and my favorite part of the show is immediately googling "where are they now" once I watch each season's finale. Lenny Cooke has a little of all of that, so of course I really enjoyed it.

    All of those stories normally have…

  • Drive-Away Dolls

    Drive-Away Dolls

    ★★★½

    A really unexpected comedy. Obviously I knew it was going to be funny, but the events that unfold were not anticipated by any means. I'm a big fan of Blockers (2018) and a large part of that has to do with Geraldine Viswanathan. She's just as great here, kind of acting as the practical character among the chaos. It's a common comedy trope, but she does it really well.

    It's definitely a movie I'm going to re-watch a few times…

  • The Last Airbender

    The Last Airbender

    ★★

    I mean, yeah it's obviously not great, but I just can't get behind the overwhelming hate for it. Maybe that's a case of me having basically no attachment at all to the TV series, but I just find it difficult to absolutely hate it.

    The dialogue is awful. Very childish, very straight forward, lacking in emotion, etc. Every time someone speaks it is incredibly overdramatic and elementary. It's tough to get past, but there has definitely been worse. There are…

  • Citizen Ruth

    Citizen Ruth

    ★★★½

    I knew nothing about this movie, but have seen the poster many, many times. Didn't even know when it was released or anything like that, and I 100% thought that was Emma Roberts on this poster. I guess I've only ever seen the thumbnail on Letterboxd.

    Regardless, a really wild movie. Of course there is a ton of political discourse surrounding abortion, but they approach it in a way of attempting to make everyone look completely cartoonish. The debate is…

  • The Descendants

    The Descendants

    ★★★★

    I didn't watch this for the longest time because I thought the original poster with Clooney on the beach with the red umbrella was one of the most awful looking posters I had ever laid eyes on. Not sure what it is about it, but that is just so unappealing to me.

    Of course I really enjoyed the movie once I got past that. It's just another example of how well written I think Alexander Payne's films are. Tons of…