• The Cursed

    The Cursed

    ★★★

    Caught between arthouse horror and total shlock. The former means the film frequently looks nice and is actually trying to deliver something of substance. The latter means that all of the former's attempts kinda go out the window when the monsters look like melted CGI abominations. I kinda wished it leaned into the shlock. As far as werewolf movies go, it's a low bar to clear, but this is one of the better ones. Terrible title.

  • The Batman

    The Batman

    ★★★

    It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway - the three-hour runtime is both unnecessary and unearned, not least because the film has the indecency to end with its worst material, a belabored third act that fails to tie all the plot threads together in a satisfying way. The first two-thirds take a functional, if never spectacular, crime thriller approach that feels distinctly different enough from other cinematic iterations... up to a point. Maybe it's in the dark tone,…

  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre

    Texas Chainsaw Massacre

    ★★½

    Hardly the worst of these - it's at least better than its already bad reputation on this site might suggest. The film's pretty mean and very appreciably lean, with enough competent camerawork and effective production design to suggest there was at least some thought put into this thing.

    It's impossible to ignore how clunky and overwrought the script is (I really couldn't tell if the whole thing was supposed to be a black comedy, particularly whenever the "legacy sequel" elements…

  • The Worst Person in the World

    The Worst Person in the World

    ★★★★

    For all that's good here - most notably, a powerhouse performance by Renate Reinsve, who makes Julie feel both fully formed and incomplete all at once - what strikes me the hardest is how the film never judges its characters. Instead, it's a film of many experiences, divided into short passages of time where every character gets to have a turn claiming the title of "worst person in the world." Rarely does a character-driven film like this genuinely feel driven…

  • Porco Rosso

    Porco Rosso

    ★★★★½

    Not sure why, but this was the Miyazaki film I wanted to revisit the most after seeing his exhibit at the Academy Museum. Good choice, too – apparently, I’d been terribly undervaluing the film for a great many years as a minor work from the director. Far and away, Miyazaki’s funniest film (that scene where the pirates try and take a picture with Fio always makes me scream), always light on its feet and romantic in an Old Hollywood sort…

  • Spencer

    Spencer

    ★★★★½

    I'm literally always showing up to Kristen Stewart's movies like a proud parent. But damn sis, you've really outdone yourself this time! Hope you have shelf space ready for that Oscar, girl!

  • Spirited Away

    Spirited Away

    ★★★★★

    I still consider this Hayao Miyazaki's crown jewel, the perfect culmination of his storytelling interests and career strengths. And it's even more remarkable on the big screen. Having been able only to watch the film at home, the chance to finally see a new 35mm print in a theater was truly special - and accentuates how Miyazaki's compositions focus around a theatrical experience. I've little else to add to the conversation other than to say this time I noticed that…

  • Last Night in Soho

    Last Night in Soho

    ★★★

    This was supposed to be kinda scary, right? Then it definitely missed the mark by a country mile.

    Edgar Wright isn't a terrible director, so even a straight genre exercise like this still has some pop, particularly in the early goings. But the Wright I love had a way of totally deconstructing then reconstructing genre pictures, always in on the joke or at least conscious of how his cinematic influences play a part in his film language. Here, despite a…

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★½

    I was always engaged but never enthralled. The most impressive thing here is how the screenplay stays faithful but also goes as practical as possible. It makes everything from strange terminology to expansive world-building easy to digest for a general audience without dumbing anything down. The technical specs here are as astonishing as advertised and touted upon by those who have already seen it - I was even taken with Hans Zimmer’s score, which might be the first time I’ve…

  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★★★½

    This deeply moved me. At a certain point, during a scene involving a desperate dance by one character, I wept and remained emotional throughout the rest of the film. It acts almost like the inverse of David Cronenberg's Crash, as a "machine" goes through a violent, bodily transformation into something more human. For all the hatefulness, darkness, and angriness conjured up at the beginning, the way the film uses that as an emotional sucker punch by the end impressed me.…

  • The Virgin Suicides

    The Virgin Suicides

    ★★★½

    Sofia Coppola sets up a pretty sturdy foundation for the rest of her career, even if the best is yet to come. The Virgin Suicides is a bit too esoteric, constantly shifting perspective and focus but forgetting to tie it all together or remind us what the point was here. The atmosphere works as an excellent countermeasure; the film feels like a suburban fairytale that decomposes into something truly haunting by its inevitable conclusion. James Woods might be a total…

  • Dear Evan Hansen

    Dear Evan Hansen

    Dear Evan Hansen,

    Your movie sucks. Cats was better.

    Sincerely, fuck you.