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  • Hail, Caesar!

    Hail, Caesar!

    ★★★★★

    So, like, what is this movie's position on communism? Like, there's an available reading that George Clooney falls in with the communists cuz he's kind of an empty headed simpleton, that communism itself is only an idea that sticks with people who are kinda empty headed simpletons, but I don't feel like that's what the film is really trying to say because the communists are all really well spoken (or maybe not so much David Krumholtz) and presented as pretty…

  • Michael Clayton

    Michael Clayton

    ★★★★★

    "I'm not the enemy."
    "Then who are you?"

    Maybe this is idiotic, but it took me a while to figure out that George Clooney is a bad guy in this. Part of that is how good a job the movie does at disguising Tom Wilkinson's moral insight as madness, part of it is how much more obviously evil Tilda Swinton is, and part of it is how god damn charming Clooney is, but I think there's also something deeper.

    Michael…

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    ★★★★★

    This movie is just so much fun and I got to show it to two new people last night

  • Official Secrets

    Official Secrets

    ★★★

    At its best, it’s All the Prime Minister’s Men; at its worst, it’s Keira Knightley yelling at 15-year-old television footage

    The ethics of employment; when is it more than just a job; when do you have an obligation to stand up and say “no”

    Adam Bakri getting deported is Fucking Real

  • Aquaman

    Aquaman

    ★★★

    This thing is so irrepressibly, unerringly goofy that I wonder if the script being so flat and superficial is... intentional? Like, what would a "good" script even look like for a movie like this? Maybe more jokes about Aquaman peeing on different Atlantian artifacts? I dunno, I'm not totally sold on my own point here (even if the script has to be the way it is, that doesn't mean I have to like it), it just seems like everyone agrees…

  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    ★★★★★

    The integration of animation and live action is not only unprecedented, I'm pretty sure that—even with the advent of computer-generated imagery and the fact that every big movie these days has some amount of animation integrated into its live action—it has yet to be matched.

    Also, the baddie is a modern-day robber baron who wants to commit genocide in order to build a highway, and the catharsis to this crisis is establishing Toon Town as a socialist state owned and operated by the toons.

    So yeah, I love it. Far too long since I revisited this one.

    Film noir

  • Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman

    Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman

    ★★★

    There's a lot of movie here for its roughly 100-minute run-time, and not just because it attempts to depict the broad arc of an entire relationship—from their charmed beginnings, falling in love, having a baby, struggling with the small stuff but largely happy together, to the husband finding success, both professional and financial, becoming an absentee husband and father, leaving his wife home alone with her downward spiral or bringing her to parties where she's not comfortable, not recognizing what's…

  • Cause for Alarm

    Cause for Alarm

    ★★★

    Gaslighting from beyond the grave

    George writes a letter framing his wife, Ellen, as planning to murder him, a setup for him to murder her in supposed self-defense; but when the planned moment comes, he accidentally shoots himself instead, and Ellen must figure out how to survive in a world where she's supposed to have been planning her husband's murder—and now he's dead

    The thesis here seems to be something about the effect of fragile/toxic masculinity on benevolent women. When…

  • Ready or Not

    Ready or Not

    ★★★★

    "It's true what they say, the rich really are different."

    "You'll do anything if your family says it's okay."

    Hey Letterboxd, I'm getting married in a few weeks! It's definitely been a bit stressful, but at least I'm not marrying outside my station, so I won't have to play hide and seek for my life! This one definitely pushed some buttons for me, though: not only am I about to get married, I'm also a huge gaming nerd, and I'm…

  • Luce

    Luce

    ★★★★

    "Just goes to show you, you never really know what's going on with people."

    "You don't conform to what she wants, and suddenly you're the enemy."

    I don't know if this was caused by the trailer or by my general distrust of almost-Oscar-season cinema to adequately tackle complicated social issues like race, but I was quite hesitant to see Luce because I was expecting another The Blind Side or Green Book. It's hard to adequately explain how wrong I was.…

  • The Strange Woman

    The Strange Woman

    ★★★

    As with most noir, the way to understand it is to read the most nefarious tendencies of the femme fatale as a sort of displacement/inversion, whereby the question of "why is this woman so awful?" becomes "what is it about society that makes this woman so awful?"—the challenge is to embrace the femme fatale, not as a pure ethic in herself, but as an ethic driven by necessity, an ethic of social commentary. Here the critique is the classical Austenesque…

  • Detour

    Detour

    ★★★★★

    "That’s life: whichever way you turn, fate sticks out a foot to trip you."

    "Fate, or some mysterious force, can put the finger on you or me for no good reason at all."

    Tom Neal’s thousand yard stare, straight down into the dirt.