• Magic Mike

    Magic Mike

    ★★★½

    The film is slightly too rushed to have the full impact it's going for and slightly too confused about who the main character is. Still, this thing is absolutely underrated. The film is a genuine look at sex work and the value of the lifestyle and it (very smartly) trades out women for men to have an honest discussion that is less easily dismissed as exploitation when compared to some of its peers.

    The film gets into a rhythm that…

  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

    Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

    ★★★★

    This is a movie about separation, the pain that causes, and how to move on from that to grow into a better person. It's also a mockumentary about a one-inch tall shell that wears shoes. It is beautiful, powerful, and poignant and is just about the best study of tone management you can witness. Incredible.

  • The Kingdom

    The Kingdom

    ★★★½

    Oh my.

    Catching up with the first two series ahead of seeing whatever Lars Von Trier cooked up for us in 2022 and I am quite excited to continue. This felt very 90s (think Twin Peaks and Buddy) and belonged to that era of television where the situational drama could collide with the supernaturally horrific. There are plenty of characters and plenty of plotlines about their various lives, loves, and the like but there's also an increasingly intense ghost story…

  • Clerks III

    Clerks III

    ★★★

    It's fundamentally flawed in that so much of this film cannot function of its own accord and only works because you fondly remember the previous films. I also absolutely did not get what I came for with this film.

    However, what I did get was a very somber look at the fleeting nature of life and friendship and all through the lense of these characters that have now aged across something like 30 years. It's far from perfect but it is absolutely a worthy end to this story. Glad to have seen it. But I am sad now.

  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

    Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

    ★★½

    For the majority of the runtime, this doesn't have a main character. Once it eventually does, the origin story being told no longer meshes with the film's threat. My best guess is that they wrote this villain and his story prior to Chadwick boseman's death and then massively rewrote the film afterwards. But at some point they definitely should have paused and said " while we have like 17 plotlines and there's no way that this film isn't suddenly super…

  • Clerks II

    Clerks II

    ★★★½

    Unlike my watch of Tusk earlier this week, this Kevin Smith film actually points towards my 2022 catch-up as I needed to see this prior to Clerks 3. Now, I've seen the original Clerks upwards of a dozen times and avidly defend it. With that in mind, you may be wondering why I'd never seen this sequel. Honestly it came down to this: I thought that watching this would solidify that Dante did not get his life together after the…

  • Show Me Love

    Show Me Love

    ★★★★

    Posters throughout bedrooms show our characters to be into Scream and Romeo + Juliet - the second film being of specific interest when a group of teenage girls debate how attractive Leonardo DiCaprio is. You might think the year to be 1996 but everything gets to the titular Åmål a little late: By the time one of our two heroes has discovered raves, they're already "out" (according to the omniscient center for knowledge that is a teen magazine) and, on…

  • The Flying Sailor

    The Flying Sailor

    ★★★½

    A short contemplating where the line is drawn between the finite and the infinite. It's being dismissed as nonsense because it has a whimsical tone and there's a naked man. Ironically enough, the short is most likely targeted at the type of person that that thinks those two elements prevent a film from being taken seriously.

  • Tusk

    Tusk

    ★★★

    In the midst of my 2022 catch up, for some reason I've ended up finally watching the controversial body horror film from Kevin Smith and A24 where Justin Long is turned into a walrus flesh sack. I like this more than most people apparently... As in I liked it.

    From reading these reviews though, I have to wonder why so many people that clearly weren't going to enjoy this film watched it. I'm a big proprietor of expanding your horizons…

  • TÁR

    TÁR

    ★★★★

    Tár asks all the right questions and then provides no easy answers. It begins with a few minutes of genius opening credits that, in hindsight, provide what is perhaps the film's most explicit opinion on its matters but, otherwise, we get a slow, fascinating narrative that unravels a centuries-long debate alongside the undoing of our titular lead.

    A few key subversions immediately shift the film away from any simple satire. Our artist isn't some elderly male and her main artistic…

  • All Quiet on the Western Front

    All Quiet on the Western Front

    ★★★

    Some friends and I wrote a comedy pilot a couple years ago with a scene at an industrial factory under grueling conditions. In the scene this man said "luckily I'm able to retire in 3... 2... 1..." and then he fell onto a conveyor belt and was crushed. Apparently I was writing Best Picture nominee material and didn't even know it.

    I should disclose up front that I watched the 1930 adaptation in preparation to see this one and it's…

  • Women Talking

    Women Talking

    ★★

    This movie felt like the editor hated the film.

    I'm not sure if it was actually the editor's fault or a script issue or something else entirely but nothing flows. Every individual moment (monologue, debate, other form of talking) is fine but getting from each moment to the next is often just so rough.

    The performances are quite good and I really wanted to love what was going on here but whether they just didn't do enough takes or the script needed another draft or the editor needed fired, this just did not work for me.