• Pig

    Pig

    ★★★½

    A very good movie and Cage is predictably great, but I found myself also very drawn to Alex Wolff’s performance. It strikes a great balance in portraying the fragile ego of a business kid living in his father’s shadow, never too showy or sappy. The whole film really seems like a balance act—between absurd and dour, real and surreal, hope and despair—and for the most part it works beautifully. It occasionally dips into the more absurd territory without fully expanding…

  • Old

    Old

    ★★½

    I love M Night, but for whatever reason neither this nor Glass have really done much for me. Part of it is probably the narrowing of my personal taste, because his directorial flourish is still there and I’ll always value those idiosyncracies. I just couldn’t help but feel like it seemed to be more of a curio, a rough gem that I just didn’t see much in, but would not be surprised if others regarded it as one of his best works.

  • Killing Them Softly

    Killing Them Softly

    ★★★½

    Forgot how Scoot McNairy basically steals this entire movie.

  • RoboCop

    RoboCop

    ★★★★★

    Ultimate commoditization. Perhaps doomed to be Verhoeven's most biting and also most easily digestible satire--in the sense that it can be translated into something else entirely. This isn't Verhoeven's fault, more just a personal observation. I mean, Robocop is in Mortal Kombat 11. Idk. I've only seen this film twice now but the scene where all the cops just unload on Robocop really hit me this time, the entire world of interconnected systems just attempting to utterly destroy any remnants of humanity. Or maybe just to steal them.

  • Ronin

    Ronin

    ★★★★

    Such an excellently deliberate, workmanlike use of widescreen. Frankenheimer's camera is constantly moving with no wasted space; excellent blocking pervades every shot from the wides to the close-ups, and characters and emotions are delivered in spades with minimal dialogue/exposition. This is how a heist movie should be. Not to mention the incredible set-pieces, which feature bookmark flourishes and plenty of grounded intensity and practicality. I ended up loving the score as well, with its central motif being the obvious highlight.

  • Thief

    Thief

    ★★★★½

    Heat is Michael Mann's best movie but it's very 90s and both this and Manhunter are so very 80s. But the sign of a master director is when they can master multiple decades, their affectations, and styles--inasmuch as you can retroactively attribute a "decade" to a work that clearly was able to entrench itself and become a reference point for that future classification due to intense auteuristic motifs and deliberate stylistic choices that would later be associated with a time period instead of a director's personal style. Lame.

  • You Were Never Really Here

    You Were Never Really Here

    ★★★½

    Lynne Ramsey is a kind of an edgelord but this is probably her best film that I've seen, due in part, no doubt, to Joqauin's ability to carry any movie he's in. Good cinematography too, solid use of digital and modern, stylistic mise-en-scene. Makes the more baroque touches in the evil, rich houses even more sinister.

  • The Long Goodbye

    The Long Goodbye

    ★★★★★

    "I even lost my cat."

  • Under the Silver Lake

    Under the Silver Lake

    ★★★½

    Never truly separates itself from its influences or distinguishes itself in a way I found very impacting (aside from maybe the big reveal) but I enjoyed it as a series of homages to things I really do love.

  • Da 5 Bloods

    Da 5 Bloods

    ★★★★½

    As much about Spike Lee's interrogation of film history as it is about his interrogation of Vietnam war history. Not nearly as scattershot or disjointed as I was led to believe, and while it's not as neat and succinct as something like BlacKkKlansman it's monumentally more interesting on a formal level. It's easy to point to the aspect ratio changes as easy goalposts, but to do so would be to vastly underappreciate Lee's tendencies for experimentation. I've thankfully seen quite…

  • Tenet

    Tenet

    ★★★½

    A lot of nonsense but also probably Nolan's best movie as a pure action director. Wide shots are well framed within empty parking garages, open highways, and open seas, movement smooth and exciting, handheld shots peppered in showcasing solid stunt work and some cool reversal effects. The score is also excellent, and the successive-heist style of plotting does play to Nolan's strengths in terms of a balanced exposition/action showcase, but the problem is that Nolan, as a writer, cannot seem…

  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    ★★

    so painfully stuck in 2004. I was hoping that Kaufman would add something interesting to the awful book that I read back in 2018, but no. In a lot of ways it’s even more stupid and all the *flourishes* are mind-numbingly lame (that ballet sequence especially, come on).