Elisha has written 9 reviews for films rated ★½ .

  • Honey

    Honey

    ★½

    Lacks the sensuality in movement, attention to detail, and thus, level of insight held by its influences. I respect it’s principles, but good principles alone don’t make for good execution. Ball speaks a lot about breaking new emotional ground with performances in his Manifesto, but the acting here is entirely too calculated and concerned with telegraphic gesture than moment to moment listening—which can kind of sink a film like this. Still, I respect it.

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah is not, nor was it intended to be, primarily the story of Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers. Those elements essentially serve as background noise to the story that King & the Lucas Bros are actually trying to tell here: a 'sprawling crime epic' about William O'Neal (the Judas in question), Roy Mitchell (his FBI agent), and the white power structure itself in the form of the FBI.

    If you have any qualms with those statements,…

  • Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper

    ★½

    This is really just one long complaint. It’s not necessarily a good, or even intellectually engaging review:

    I spent a few hours today listening to several of Paul Schrader’s lectures on style and writing. Decided to check this one out after having heard it mentioned a few times throughout each of them. It’s home to about an hour and a half of actors not really connecting with the material, turning in line-reading after line-reading on top of telegraphed facial expressions.…

  • Millennium Mambo

    Millennium Mambo

    ★½

    This movie has a magnificent opening, and a magnificent closing monologue. What I find it lacks is contrast within its characters. It suffers from many of the same issues as Maurice Pialat’s We Won’t Grow Old Together, but perhaps with even less insight into its subject than that film. It understands what makes abusive relationships “bad”, but it has no clue what personalities or what actions actually make them tick. For that, we’re treated to the same flat arguments disguised as…

  • We Won't Grow Old Together

    We Won't Grow Old Together

    ★½

    I’ll start off by saying that Marlène Jobert’s performance in this is stellar, and in my eyes—she carries this film. There isn’t much to the relationship between the two main characters, and as far as portrayals of abusive relationships go, I found this too unsubtle to invest in. It checks off the insults, intimidation, and manipulation, but it hardly dives beneath the most overt forms of each and repeats them to a fault. Granted, abuse is cyclical, yes. I did…

  • Sisters

    Sisters

    ★½

    This movie was kind of insufferable. It takes the most mundane parts of Psycho, Rear Window, and Scooby Doo and rolls them all into one. It has a beginning and an end, but it’s scrambling for scenes throughout the entirety of its second act. Worst of all, I found myself bored. NOW, that opening sequence, that dream sequence, the split screen, and the costume design? Fucking fantastic. Also, I get the tongue in cheek racism, but was the gorilla mise-en-scène in the medium shot of a Black guy reeeeally necessary? No, it wasn’t. Neither was this film’s runtime.

  • Ghost World

    Ghost World

    ★½

    Pseudo-controversial piece of white-womanhood that dissects the artistic merit of racist caricature as a means to justify it’s own pseudo-controversial existence (which is, academically speaking, some white woman shit). A tale of other-ness, or better yet, a tale of someone trying too hard to obtain other-ness. Incredibly tame in both content and form, and worse because it thinks it isn’t. +1 star for the clear telephone nostalgia tho.

  • A Single Man

    A Single Man

    ★½

    Mind numbingly boring film that constantly calls attention to the fact that it’s a film. Could never quite shake the feeling that I was watching a fashion advertisement. Neither the writing, nor the directing ever reaches below the aesthetic surface.

  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★½

    Boy this was hot buttered booty cheeks. The audacious whackiness was pleasant at some points and mildly annoying at others. The bedroom scene at the end at least made me feel something. Other than that? This was a mess of a story and worse, it was mostly boring.