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Film Reviews

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  1. Ready or Not

    Watched 5 December 2019

    Very fun but not one for the ages. I feel like it could either have been campier or more grandiose, but it kept to a more normalized middle ground, never truly defying expectations. I keep imagining that had this movie been made in the 1980s (with all the differences that would entail) it would most likely be a cool as heck cult classic.

  2. Ad Astra

    Watched 5 December 2019

    2001: A Space Odyssey is one of my favorite films, yet I found this one very boring.

    Started out interesting — exciting even — but the story kept shrinking on itself, the ideas growing smaller and smaller. By the end, and much like the sad astronaut, I felt nothing. Please allow me to narrate to you how empty I feel, I’m such a sad sad lonely astronaut help me daddy

    Yeah this would have been a two star review if not for the moon rover chase sequence. That part was cool.

  3. The Lighthouse

    Watched 21 November 2019

    That scream really did it for me. This film could have been bad and that scream would have saved it. But no, the whole thing was excellent. Sets itself up as an incredibly precise and fastidious formal exercise, only to break with expectations in very unfamiliar, surreal ways. Rule-breaking cinema.

    And meeting real-life Willem Dafoe not within one minute of the credits starting to roll was also a surreal experience. That’s two for the price of one. (Humblebrag, I know.)

  4. Midsommar

    Watched 14 October 2019

    William Jackson Harper’s character is my closest audience surrogate in this film: instead of wanting to escape from this horrific, beautiful place, he wants to learn more about it. That’s what worked so well for me in Hereditary, and it worked brilliantly once again in Midsommar. I really love this vibe of deep detail and interestingness that Ari Aster is bringing to horror.

    This was the theatrical version but I’ll definitely be watching the director’s cut as soon as I can.

    PS: I have that same mortar and pestle! (From the dance scene.) It’s from Ikea, which is hilarious

  5. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

    Watched 26 August 2019

    It might be a case of too much of a good thing, but I was not as entranced by this one as I was with the others. It might have benefited from a bit more breathing room around the mayhem, more of an emotional connection to its origins, maybe even (dare I say it?) a little less violence. It is spectacular, but numbingly so.

  6. Speed Racer

    Rewatched 2 August 2019

    Speed Racer's car spins around the racetrack as all of its colors vividly blend together like liquid.

    Our world doesn’t deserve the unbridled vibrancy and earnestness of Speed Racer. The climactic Grand Prix is so dazzling I had to watch it twice. This film gets better every time I watch it, and I suspect I’ll be doing it quite a few more times.

  7. Alita: Battle Angel

    Watched 24 July 2019

    • There are many cool robots and body parts flying around.
    • Cristoph Waltz was terribly miscast and is the least believable character in the movie.
    • I wish the city itself had gotten more attention from the art department, but I guess the robots are what matters the most.
    • The robots are indeed very cool and they fight a lot, but not too much, which is perfect.

    A solid follow-up to the other two good anime-with-real-people movies, Speed Racer and Pacific Rim. More, please.

  8. The Final Girls

    Watched 25 April 2019

    I was pleasantly surprised by how genuinely funny and creatively consistent this movie is — and it’s clear that everyone was having fun while making it. Pretty great!

  9. The Hitman’s Bodyguard

    Watched 25 April 2019

    You can tell that they tried (most of the time), but it’s not as sharp as it clearly thinks it is. Also, they shouldn’t have let Ryan Reynolds pick all the songs.

  10. Escape Room

    Watched 22 April 2019

    Fun to watch and kinda cool in a sort of childish, cartoony way. I wish it had learned even further in that direction.

  11. Hold the Dark

    Watched 20 April 2019

    So enamored with the poetry of its own subtext that it fails to make the actual text engaging. The slow, painful lingering is fitting, but at some point it’s too much and there’s not much else there to balance it out — even the action sequences seem drawn out. Starts out pensive, ends up boring. Still, there’s an interesting story there if you can catch it being mumbled at you.

  12. Tower Heist

    Watched 21 April 2019

    Soulless and devoid of artistry. It’s built around social commentary but never in an honest or insightful way — there’s a constant tinge of disdain for the issues it tries to build jokes around. As it goes through the motions of its terrible boilerplate script it is never truly funny or surprising; the most it can muster is being face-palm stupid when it goes for the focus group-approved absurdist humor.

    (I thought it was bad.)

  13. Glass

    Watched 4 April 2019

    This is the superhero equivalent of a zombie movie where the characters keep saying the word “zombie” all the time.

    The writing here is even worse than Split. The core plot device (what Sarah Paulson spends most of the movie doing) simply doesn’t work! It never felt the least bit believable. It’s a premise completely at odds with Shyamalan’s direction in the previous films, what he’s been showing us this whole time. It doesn’t work for the viewer, and it shouldn’t have worked for the characters — which makes it a double-whammy of dumb. This is, of course, all done in favor of a big twist (and, in my case, a big sigh).

    I really might have to revisit Unbreakable, which I thought was cool however many years ago I watched it. I’m hoping it holds up.