• Angel

    Angel

    ★★★★★

    Oh wow. Oh wow wow wow.

    Lubitsch achieves levels of subtext and underplayed heartbreak here that genuinely had me gasping. Not just in the aching power plays of Maria and Antony's denial of recognition before conceding to the emotion they can't contain (though that is truly incredible), but also in quietly devastating physical nuances throughout. The face of the old flower lady as Antony cries in anguish: the haunting emptiness as Frederick enters the room where Angel should be: the…

  • The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

    The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

    ★★★★½

    About as ridiculously entertaining a thriller as I've seen. Grungy and paced to perfection. One of the great closing shots.

  • Jurassic Park

    Jurassic Park

    ★★★★

    Hadn't seen it in a while... Just a damn solid action thriller with some really great set pieces. Spielberg does tension combined with wonder like no one else.

  • In Bruges

    In Bruges

    ★★★★½

    McDonagh never fails to surprise me. He really hit the nail on the head here, and it sustains the note a bit better than the astonishing but messy Three Billboards. Not sure I love the way they use Jimmy Prentice, and once again the dialogue's gratuity can seem a tad well... gratuitous, but a pretty phenomenal dark comedy nonetheless with his signature thematic heft and central trio of fantastic performances (Gleeson is particularly stunning).

    "Harry... it's an inanimate object."

    "You're an inanimate fucking object!"

  • Chungking Express

    Chungking Express

    ★★★★★

    In just a few short minutes, I will be 20 years old. As I say farewell to my teen years, I wave goodbye with the film I know gives me true hope for the decade to come. All the loss, all the melancholy, all the personal journeys and joyous gain of my life to be, all trapped in amber in one singular piece of cinematic magic.

    It's been about one year since I first saw Wong's unique expressionistic burst, and…

  • The Clock

    The Clock

    ★★★★½

    Simply wonderful.

    The time-play here is nearly unparalleled in classic Hollywood, there's a lucid, dreamy quality to the flow of this blossoming love. An effortlessly kind experience, immersing its two lovers in everything from giving her a handkerchief to sneeze into, listening to the symphony of city sounds, helping an old milkman only to see their future reflected in him and his wife. The beating heart behind this thing is enormous.

    But what really sends this one through the roof…

  • After Hours

    After Hours

    ★★★★½

    Happy birthday, Marty. To celebrate, watched one of yours that was new to me. What a ride.

    This simultaneously feels so unique in Scorsese's canon yet also like something only Scorsese could have made. The ability to make love for New York look so contemptuous is second only to Taxi Driver, and the film's focus on dream logic somehow almost makes it feel more insidious. The link to the emotional state of our hapless protagonist is beyond iron-clad by the…

  • Ghost World

    Ghost World

    ★★★★

    Something just really clicks here, particularly in the second half. Bleak yet hopeful, listless yet purposeful, really captures a certain type of adolescent transience in a way that many more purposefully "free-form" coming-of-age flicks can only dream of. Some of it is a little tiresome, but I honestly can't get mad because of how well it fits the frustration seeping through every frame. Looking at three different levels and manifestations of suspended adolescence (with Enid and Rebecca's differing points of…

  • Heat

    Heat

    ★★★★½

    Pretty immaculate all the way through. So gestural and emotionally grounded, a procedural truly rooted in the melancholy of being unable to fulfill one's responsibilities. Mann takes this idea and filters it through work, family (heartbreakingly so) and one's personal ideals to create a brooding, unflinchingly masculine cat and mouse chase with some truly stunning set-pieces. Its final sequence speaks to the elegiac listlessness at the heart of this gem; two masters of their trade, who have severed themselves from their families to drift in loneliness, only finding each other when it's too late.

  • Top Secret!

    Top Secret!

    ★★★★

    Been watching a lot more "light and silly" lately (it's been a rough fall), but hey, what's wrong with that? And a good dose of Zucker brothers was just what I needed today.

    Maybe not quite as consistently mile-a-minute hysterical as Airplane!, but it's damn close. So beautifully immersed in the genre it's aping, and of course it's the Zuckers so the belly laughs keep on coming (I don't think I'll ever be able to see a cow again without…

  • Amélie

    Amélie

    ★★★★

    I've oft heard this referred to as an "ultimate comfort film" of sorts. Yep. I get it.

    Soft and weird and humane and magical, rarely feeling like it's reaching too far. An utter delight. But you didn't need me to tell you that, did you?

  • Daisies

    Daisies

    Listen... I do not feel remotely qualified to rate, much less coherently talk about, this thing. I don't even know whether to call it a movie in any traditional sense, it's like a meandering teen hangout saga put through a weird proto-punk, politically charged blender. It is, however, clearly having so much fun being its utterly unique, anarchic, grotesquely excessive self that it's hard not to have kind of a blast, even if you're not entirely clear what the fuck…