• Fast Five

    Fast Five

    ★★★★½

    Consider myself officially FastnFurious-pilled. You can write these movies off as pure mindless fun all you want, but it takes true mastery over cinematic language to make the small moment of two musclebound baldies embracing forearms sing like the second coming of Christ. Peak Rock and peak Diesel in one harmonious shot of solidarity making the greatest piece of entertainment they can help conjure. 

    And then the film goes to pull off the stunt with the safe (which I’m now…

  • No Sudden Move

    No Sudden Move

    ★★★★

    Character actor Brendan Fraser has a nice ring to it.

  • The Ice Road

    The Ice Road

    ★★½

    History Channel IP is the future of cinema.

  • Fast & Furious

    Fast & Furious

    ★★

    Copy of a copy of a copy; a sequel to a Point Break riff using the structure of 2 Fast 2 Furious all covered in that sleek teal and orange tinged cinematography Michael Bay brought to action movies in the late 2000s. Languid and lazy, not what you want out of a franchise this boisterous and sincere.

  • Fear Street: 1994

    Fear Street: 1994

    ★★★½

    Largely charming combination of horror movie paraphernalia that takes teen horror back into something more toothsome and dare I say dangerous. It actually benefits from the R rating by using it not as a means for salacious or bloodthirsty freedom, but as a tool for actual stakes and character building. It has the kind of edge that even some of the more competent Blumhouse movies have lacked even if at the end of the day it resembles the soft core…

  • The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

    The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

    ★★★½

    Teen angst at its most awkward and explosive stages; a supercharged high school movie that portrays rebellion as only a gear shift and drift away from absolute catharsis. James Dean in a tricked out Hulk Volkswagen instead of that classic coupe. Would probably work a lot better if everyone didn’t look like they were well into their forties; Sung Kang and his brand of hushed charisma being the only exception.

  • 2 Fast 2 Furious

    2 Fast 2 Furious

    ★★½

    People who claim that this franchise has drastically morphed into the absurd since the first few installments conveniently forget the piece of sci-fi weaponry used to disable cars and even the ejector seats! 

    I still don’t get the critical reappraisal going on now for this movie, it feels too at odds with the souped up Miami Vice episode it wants to be and the ludicrously (eh?) fun cartoon that it actually is to be anything but a complete mess. Not enough Mark Boone Junior either.

  • The Long Goodbye

    The Long Goodbye

    ★★★★½

    “You walk out the door, and you see someone you know, and they ask you how you are, and you just have to say it’s okay with me when its not really okay with you, but you just can’t get into it, because they would never understand.”

  • The Fast and the Furious

    The Fast and the Furious

    ★★★½

    The closest I’ve come to having a spiritual experience this year is watching the first street race when the deployment of NOS appears to bend space and time around Paul Walker and Vin Diesel, sending their cars to a static crawl against a flurry of sounds and colors. I saw the face of God clad in a black tank top, Corona in hand tending to barbecued chicken.

  • Training Day

    Training Day

    ★★★★

    A.C.A.B., but make it one of the most rewatchable acting showcases of the 2000s. One of those movies that so many people probably took the wrong lessons from because of how magnetically heinous Denzel Washington is. When he clicks the two guns together? That’s star-power burning at maximum potential.

  • Lucky

    Lucky

    ★★★

    So abundantly clear in what it wants to say within fifteen minutes that you’d be remiss to write off the whole thing as too heavy handed or too embroiled in its own politics to tell a complete story. It’s less hammering the same point over and over and more driving the metaphorical nail in deeper until it’s flush with the rest of the dream world the film slowly builds over time. Every character interaction and slasher set piece adds a new wrinkle to support a message that should have already been crystal clear by now, but that’s just the way it is.

  • Wag the Dog

    Wag the Dog

    ★★★½

    Impossibly feels a little too quaint now to be effective as satire, through no fault of its own though. Levinson's almost handheld approach to Mamet and Henkin's bouncy script keep things constantly engaging and act as an interesting precursor to the idealized world of The West Wing even when the bleakness of the material isn't at all surprising to us now. If only the controversies cooked up by Tucker Carlson existed in the confines of some undisclosed soundstage and didn't somehow manage to materialize into hard facts for a significant amount of the population. If only...