• Thunder Road

    Thunder Road

    ★★★★½

    Second viewing, and the latest case for grasping festival reviews (or at least *my* festival reviews) as fundamentally first impressions. This film has pretty much lived and flourished in my mind ever since I saw it, at Cannes 2018, and finally revisiting it confirms my growing suspicion that I massively underrated it. My major issue back then was a general discomfort with being asked to sympathize with an emotionally unstable cop with resentment towards his ex-wife. Which now strikes me…

  • Imprint

    Imprint

    ★★★½

    MICK GARRIS: You gotta do the show, Takashi. There are no content restrictions. You can show anything.

    TAKASHI MIIKE: Everything, you say?

  • Alien

    Alien

    ★★★★★

    Whoa, the third Prometheus movie is awesome! Way better than the first two. So glad they decided to finally do away with all that mythology nonsense and get down to business.

  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

    The Trial of the Chicago 7

    ★★½

    Full A.V. Club review. Sorkin is basically a sanctimonious centrist, which for my money makes him the wrong person to tackle this material. Setting aside its insufficiently radical sensibility, I just couldn't stomach all of the Hollywood dramatic liberties, like Dellinger losing his cool in court and briefly abandoning his pacifist values, while his impressionable son watches on with shock and dismay. Also, it's just not as sharp and witty as Sorkin's best political theatre; if you're going to pander to the cheap seats in the gallery, at least bring your "Two Cathedrals" A game.

  • On the Rocks

    On the Rocks

    ★★★½

    Life doesn't get less confusing as you get older, it just gets confusing in new, exhausting ways. This works best for me as a kind of spiritual sequel to Lost In Translation, with the Coppola surrogate now closer in age to Bill Murray than Scar-Jo in that movie. (Thankfully, Murray himself is still around to play mentor/commiserator/drinking buddy.) Undeniably Coppola's least seductive, sensual movie, and even flirts with some sitcom qualities here and there. Still a charmer. Full A.V. Club review, written "from" the New York Film Festival.

  • Stir of Echoes

    Stir of Echoes

    ★★½

    Somehow never watched this before, even though it came out when I was a teenager who saw most major studio films, especially if they had a horror bent. Maybe I was swayed, like many others, by the widely disseminated impression that it was vastly inferior to The Sixth Sense, which opened a month earlier—a completely accurate assessment, though the similarities between the two are mostly superficial. Anyway, had I seen it in '99, five years before I moved to the…

  • Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    ★★★½

    "We're all we've got."

  • Aladdin

    Aladdin

    ★★

    Somehow not the most pointless Disney remake I watched today.

  • Toy Story 3

    Toy Story 3

    ★★★½

    Disliking this movie is one of the more singular of my unpopular opinions, so imagine my embarrassment at discovering that, shit, yeah, it’s pretty good. Thing is, my fundamental beef with Toy Story 3 hasn’t changed. I still think it’s largely a retread of the emotional and thematic ground walked by its (vastly superior) predecessors, especially the second film. People comparing the trilogy to the Before series forget that Midnight took Jesse and Celine somewhere inevitable that still felt unexpected…

  • John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

    John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

    ★★★

    Diminishing returns. The first half hour is magnificent, picking right up where the last movie left off—Wick bounding, injured, across New York, the clock ticking down to open season—and featuring two nearly series-best fights, including one that caused me to involuntarily utter "Oh shiiiiiit." But once Parabellum shifts out of pure survival mode, and the "plot" kicks in, it starts to become clear that all involved are running out of ideas of what to do with this world and character.…

  • Pet Sematary

    Pet Sematary

    ★★★

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

    Powerhouse material locked in mortal battle with uneven execution. The performances, with the exception of Gwynne's wonderful work, are dodgy as hell, and whole passages stray into unintentional goofiness—an issue I put on both Lambert and King's sometimes clunky adaptation of his novel. Nonetheless, some of the gut-punch intensity of said novel does survive, and I'd even go as far as saying that the weird tonal issues actually contribute to a kind of dreamlike uneasiness; it doesn't always feel like…

  • The Iron Giant

    The Iron Giant

    ★★★½

    Nice to see Vin Diesel just be himself in a movie.