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  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ★★★★½

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

    Letterboxd doesn’t allow for this level of precision in star ratings, but I’d actually give Hereditary a 4.9 out of 5. It’s about as perfect as a movie can be. The only reason I’m not giving it a full 5 stars is because I gave that rating to The Shining, and I think Hereditary drew a lot of inspiration from that film (as well as Rosemary’s Baby). And that’s not a bad thing at all, art builds upon the art…

  • The Curse of Frankenstein

    The Curse of Frankenstein

    ★★★

    I spent some time tracking down this DVD and really looked forward to watching it. I kind of wanted to save it for October, but it was a rough week, and last night, I just couldn’t wait any longer. Being honest here, it didn’t live up to the hype.

    Not to say that’s it bad, by any means. It was a capable creature feature that remained much more engaging than plenty of its contemporaries. Christopher Lee’s performance was convincingly a…

  • Ghost World

    Ghost World

    ★★★½

    Ghost World is a one-of-a-kind movie that I really enjoy. It tackled some pretty taboo stuff for 2001, and had the guts to take the story in an interesting direction. Why is Thora Birch not a megastar? She was fantastic. I would’ve thought this would’ve done for her what Juno did for Ellen Page years later.

    There’s some real discomfort in the characters’ poor judgement, and the audience is forced to sit in it. We watch as deeply insecure people…

  • The Farewell

    The Farewell

    ★★★★

    Full disclosure, I had ulterior motives in seeing this movie. I remember hearing Lulu Wang tell her story on NPR a few years back, and I loved it, but I couldn’t remember the ending. So I was hooked a little bit more than I would have been naturally from the trailer. Also, it seems like Awkwafina is here to stay, so I needed to see her in something other than Crazy Rich Asians because holy shit that movie sucked and…

  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★★½

    I first saw this movie at a mandatory film screening in a 9:00 AM class when I was 19 years old. Let me tell you, this is not the way to view Taxi Driver. I knew it was good, but I missed 90% of the story due to my own teenage lack of perspective. Scorsese and De Niro told a poignant story, as always.

    Taxi Driver is such a hot take on mental health that it could be released this…

  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    ★★½

    As a practical effects enthusiast, I went into this film pretty hyped based off the trailer. The filmmakers certainly delivered in terms of visuals, and I’m still hoping that Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark will be a return to form for the horror genre, but it didn’t have much going on outside of aesthetic. And the best stuff was also in the trailer, so there’s that.

    They did a good job piecing together a collection of short stories…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★★

    Mad Max: Fury Road is an action movie for actions fans made by people with a love for making cool action movies. While I personally prefer a little more emotional resonance to a movie, I can’t deny that this is a top tier film in its genre. And where other action flicks cheapen themselves by shoehorning some fabricated, hokey, feigned emotional depth to appease audience members like me, Fury Road just doesn’t mess with it. It’s a badass story about…

  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

    Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

    ★★½

    Okay, I’m gonna be honest, I liked Road Warrior more than this. I was told this was one of the best movies in the franchise, and now I think people have rose colored glasses about this bad boy. It’s not a strong flick.

    The Thunderdome sequence was amazing, but then it ended. There was just a bunch of running around in the desert with scavenger children. I got bored, the plot was episodic and meandering, and meh. Just didn’t do…

  • Mad Max 2

    Mad Max 2

    ★★★

    The Road Warrior is definitely an improvement following Mad Max. This is one of the few sequels that really feels different from its source material. The filmmakers actually had the inspiration to crank it up a notch, in terms of the universe. The story structure was practically identical, but whatevs.

    They doubled down on the non-verbal storytelling, which I simultaneously appreciate and didn’t enjoy. It’s respectable that an action movie shied away from one liners and on-the-nose expository dialogue, but…

  • Mad Max

    Mad Max

    ★★½

    Mad Max had a lot to offer, but ultimately it was missing the “it” factor. In terms of gaga, they smash more cars than Bam Margera. The movie was well shot, and just well made in general. And I appreciate the creativity they brought to the table. But the whole was less than the sum of its parts.

    This is one of the quietest action movies I’ve ever seen. Minimal dialogue, and very little non-universe sound. Very unique approach, and…

  • Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe

    Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe

    Rat tail skullet. Those three words could completely encapsulate my thoughts and stand alone as a comprehensive review. But I’m going to write more. Not because I have to, not because I need to, but because I’m bored and waiting in a lobby right now.

    Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe was clearly written by Schwarzenegger fan boys who felt that the movie needed two takes on The Terminator: One as the protagonist and one as the antagonist. And they both…

  • Nightmare

    Nightmare

    ★★★

    For starters, Nightmare is a beautiful looking movie. While the shots were not necessarily innovative, they were certainly masterful. The filmmakers knew how use lighting on black and white film to create an atmosphere of horror. Absolutely textbook and spot on.

    I enjoyed the primitive exploration of mental health. The film seemed to accidentally have an informed take on trauma and psychosis. It even advocated against stigma, in some ways.

    Many moments were legitimately creepy, even 60 years later. I…