• Toolbox Murders

    Toolbox Murders

    ★★★

    Perhaps a little loose a statement on Hollywood rot, especially when Body Double had already honed in particularly sharply on the seedy real estate market of the city and blew it wide open with some hyper-entertaining Hitchcockian apeing. This also attempts some of the architectural intrigue of Candyman, and actually possesses some of the weird specific horror lore, which isn’t delivered as effectively or idiosyncratically, but it’s Tobe Hooper, a man who knew when to keep his foot on the gas…

  • Halloween Kills

    Halloween Kills

    ★★½

    This thing has about three different opening sequences before settling on a rather intriguing concept: what if this movie was actually about the background characters from the previous one? That's actually some great fuel to expand upon the (minor) tapestry that Green and co. weaved in their first sequel/reboot, because what was the original Halloween except some poor unsuspecting schmucks getting slaughtered by evil incarnate? It sets off nicely imo, grounded by a secondary victim of Michael's crimes leading a…

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★½

    As sonically and visually pleasurable as billed, but significantly less revelatory in the narrative department. Maybe I just struggle with Dune as a text, but I found this about as compelling as Lynch's stunted effort, except with the studio-issued confusion being replaced with Villeneuve's trademark dourness. I'm for that mostly, especially in a world as brooding and miserable as Blade Runner, and yet in Dune shouldn't it be more...I don't know, fun? It's more metaphorical and reverential to history and…

  • Halloween

    Halloween

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    One of the most brutal rewatches I've had. This one plummeted from being my favourite Halloween to comfortably mid-tier at best, and I think it's because it gets caught between two distinct modes: reverence and refreshment. For a start, this lacks the restraint of the original, and is burdened with a lot of generic context which it has to either shake off or fully embrace, and it doesn't really do either. It's almost post-Scream, with maybe a dash of comedy…

  • Halloween

    Halloween

    ★★★½

    Like Star Wars, one of those influential texts where I can't actually perceive anything before it or its real visionary originality; it's all looped up in mythology and imiation, so of course my opinion on it is a little skew whiff. I just find it pretty minimal and perfunctory, sorry.

  • Memoria

    Memoria

    ★★★★★

    This thing gently swaddles you in the palm of its massive hand, lulling you off to sleep and then startling you awake at the precise moment where you begin to dream. Once that happens in a definitive point within the film, it becomes something else, widens its gaze and deepens its focus to the core of the world and to the centre of the human experience. Sonically, this is one of the most sensitive films I've ever seen, making you…

  • Petite Maman

    Petite Maman

    ★★★½

    A very petite featurette, crêpe-thin and just as sweet. There are some real emotional gems here, the real type of wounded content that has a habit of cutting you right to your core, contained within a very low-fi fantasy/sci-fi genre trapping that retains its cuteness by being very vague. As it stands, it's a concept that works in theory, but not necessarily in practice. There was very little magic here for me, no sense of ethereality that Sciamma threw you…

  • Dave Chappelle: The Closer

    Dave Chappelle: The Closer

    ★★

    Chappelle loses almost all credibility here in a loooong apologia for his own looping, kinda-reductive worldview, caught in a constant mobius strip of almost making some considered points before undermining all of them with the same punchline over and over again. I've enjoyed his specials before this, but one thing that always rubbed me up the wrong way was his unironic self-importance, and it's not like his own constructed image is fascinating enough to tap his mic off his thigh…

  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★★★★

    Heady stuff. Its initial noxious lack of a protagonist is a void completely filled with a rage that knows no bounds, untied to any conventions of sympathy or good taste, just tossing you into a pit of vicious obscurity without rhyme or reason. It's the journey back to the surface that makes this glorious. There's a beautiful humanity to this specific tale of kink and chaos, grounded in an absurd series of metaphorical constructs that mix the awwws with the…

  • Jumbo

    Jumbo

    ★★★★

    The other weird French fetish film you should be checking out right now. This one is disarmingly sweet and played as straight as possible without once tipping over into mockery. The relationship between woman and machine is frequently magical and tender and intimate; there's rarely the sense that even the director is looking from the outside-in at this love story, and for a film that is literally about objectophilia (possibly the first I've seen), it humanises a rare kink far beyond its own logline.

  • The Souvenir Part II

    The Souvenir Part II

    ★★★★½

    RAH RAH LAND

    A different beast from the first Souvenir, leaning far more into its metatextual cinema-as-therapy elements while not sacrificing the incredible level of emotional continuity and detail offered by its predecessor. Watched back-to-back, it's distressingly raw and moving, and Swinton-Byrne being freed from the shackles of her foil in Tom Burke (who is missed in a way, but his absence eventually strengthens the drama) allows her a greater emotional depth and range with her fellow film students, who…

  • No Time to Die

    No Time to Die

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    they literally made james bond toxic lmao

    An absolutely thunderous moving picture, from the rumbling gunfire sound design to the clunkiness with which it shifts gears between 'interesting' and 'just plain not'. The opportunity for hammering home the wounded portrait of empire painted in Skyfall is lost in a weak final third that ends up waving the flag pretty damn hard against Rami Malek's underwhelming Crazy Villain #5, all in service of a disarmingly emotional and pretty bold ending that…