• Fruit of Paradise

    Fruit of Paradise

    ★★★★½

    This is great - an experimental feature like no one could or seems to want to make these days. The Lobster may have taken some inspiration from it, but it's a very different creature - far more narrative and symbolically dense than Fruit of Paradise. Chytilová's film takes just a few obvious symbols - an apple, a knife, a briefcase, a key, the color red, a forest, a resort/sanitorium representing the garden of eden, and playfully recombines them in a…

  • Pay It Forward

    Pay It Forward

    I knew I was saving my first half star rating for a very special movie.

  • The King of Staten Island

    The King of Staten Island

    ★★★★

    I genuinely love Apatow's endless hangout scenes. Who's complaining about the length of these two hour-plus comedies? Not me! I just resent the half-assed, contrived plotting that gets his well-realized characters into these improvisation-heavy set pieces that feel convincingly realistic and do all the comic and emotional heavy-lifting in his films.

    I also don't want to complain about Apatow's female characters because Marisa Tomei, Bel Powley, Maude Apatow, Pamela Adlon all hold their own admirably and provide big laughs. But…

  • Annette

    Annette

    ★★★★½

    Sometimes I'm delighted when Jenna is so completely wrong about a movie.

  • Never Too Young to Die

    Never Too Young to Die

    ★★★★½

    My Dirty Dozen-type special commando unit, and the order in which I'd recruit them:
    1. Cliff
    2. Danja Deering
    3. Pyramid
    4. Velvet Von Ragnar
    5. Bobby Sixkiller
    6. Minkie
    7. Turdy Reveler #3
    8. Freddy Krueger
    9. Burping Bike Thief
    10. Carruthers
    11. Lance Stargrove
    12. Drew Stargrove

  • Pressure Point

    Pressure Point

    ★★★★½

    Not exaggerating when I say that the most incisive analysis of what's happening in America today is a film that was made 59 years ago. Just when you think your guts have been churned to the maximum by how little things have changed in the intervening years, here come another dozen revelations about how Trump and his supporters have always and will always exist.

  • Ecto Petrol Patrol

    Ecto Petrol Patrol

    Watched this colorful nutso fun little animation that speeds by much too quickly to get any real sense of what it's all about in order to log my viewing of Matthew Thurber's 50 minute mostly live-action film Fleegix that's not on Letterboxd. It's a super low budget, amateurishly acted, poorly lit, mostly silent (with sound effects/semi-musical accompaniment) 16mm adaptation of a Daniel Pinkwater book I read 35 years ago. It has no interest in making its complex narrative at all…

  • Rio Bravo

    Rio Bravo

    ★★★★★

    My wife has been into watching Westerns lately, so I'm doing everything I can to encourage this behavior - even if (and especially if) it means I have to watch a Western every day for the next 364 days. She mentioned how she'd never seen High Noon so we watched that yesterday (easy to admire its cynicism and story structure, but hard to love) and I insisted on watching Rio Bravo next (easy to love. period.).

    I've always meant to…

  • Home Alone

    Home Alone

    3 and a half minutes of sweet stuff with Old Man Marley has millions of Gen-Y'ers convinced this sadistic pile of horseshit is a timeless classic. Honestly, the pizza guy/gangster movie gag is the only one that works in this whole movie, and that's more than I would have admitted last time I saw this 30 years ago.

  • Chill Factor

    Chill Factor

    ★★½

    An unjustly forgotten masterpiece of so-bad-it's-good cinema. Shoulda been called "Night Shift and Ice Cream Man."

  • Looney Tunes: Back in Action

    Looney Tunes: Back in Action

    ★★★★

    It's not a fraction as clever as Roger Rabbit, but I think it gets the "live-action cartoon" vibe more right than Zemeckis, or just about anybody else trying to do this sort of thing, does. I definitely laugh a lot more watching this than I do watching Roger Rabbit and it's clearly made by people who understand Looney Tunes logic intimately. Plus it's the closest we've come to Steve Martin reprising his The Jerk-type schtick since the '80s, so I'll…

  • A Breath of Scandal

    A Breath of Scandal

    ★★½

    I like Roman Holiday as much as the next classic movie fan but I wouldn't really call Princess Romances my thing. This isn't exactly a clone of the Hepburn vehicle, set as it is in turn of the century Vienna, but it amounts to approximately the same thing. And while I certainly favor Loren's charms over Hepburn's, John Gavin is the stiffest, least appealing Gregory Peck substitute anybody ever thought could make a leading man. There's very little reason for…