• Swiss Army Man

    Swiss Army Man

    LOL this is, like, just an elaborate metaphor; it's really MGTOW: The Movie.

  • The Final Girls

    The Final Girls

    ★★★★½

    The psychosexual underpinnings of Carol J. Clover's “Final Girl” (developed in her seminal book Men, Women, and Chain Saws) aren't elaborated on to the extent you'd expect, given the title. And nastier death scenes would have made this a much stronger slasher send-up than the tame material used could ever hope to. It mostly just works, though — Taissa Farmiga and Malin Åkerman turn in sweetly affecting performances, and the rest of the cast is game and in-tune with the silly/sincere vibe. I'm maybe rating a little generously this time, but The Final Girls is still funny and touching, so fuck it!

  • Underworld: Awakening

    Underworld: Awakening

    ★★★½

    I need to rewatch the first Underworld without falling asleep to be sure, but I think this fourth episode in the not-so-illustrious saga is the best of the bunch. The narrative is pretty incoherent, a feeling which isn't helped by introducing world-changing events in the opening credits. I had fun watching it, though. It's visually slick, and gory too. But only recommended if you found the others at least somewhat tolerable (yeah, high praise).

  • Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

    Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

    ★★★

    A few nights before this we put on the first Underworld, which I had seen in theaters years ago (I thought it sucked, big time), but I fell asleep pretty quickly so I didn't log it. The next night we watched the first sequel. I can't remember whatever dumb subtitle they used in the name. What a bad movie! It was a jumbled, green-tinted mess. The only cool part was this one plot point, how the vampires have the ability…

  • The Craft

    The Craft

    ★★★★

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

    This is a such a 90s production. I love it! The soundtrack is full of great stuff; even the mediocre songs are still perfect evocations of the time. The attitude, the outfits, the makeup, and -- Hail Satan -- Fairuza Balk's eyes!

    The four leads manage to conjure a much more transgressive mood than what the narrative actually presents. The regressive ending really drives this home. It makes me so sad -- here you have Balk's character, Nancy, the poorest…

  • Predator 2

    Predator 2

    ★★★★★

    This time we watched it outside on the side of a building! See I told you.

  • Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

    Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

    ★★★★

    Mission: Impossible secures its place in the highest tier of mainstream action-franchise entertainment with Tom Cruise's fourth outing as superspy Ethan Hunt. It's the best entry since the 1996 original, displaying a confident sense of creative direction and a renewed sense of purpose.

    First off, this is way easier on the eyes than JJ Abrams' work in the last movie. Who would have expected Brad Bird, director of Pixar hits Ratatouille and The Incedibles, could operate so well in meatspace?…

  • Unforgettable

    Unforgettable

    ★★★★½

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

    It took me way too long to see this. I like every John Dahl movie I've seen, I love Linda Fiorentino, and their previous collaboration, The Last Seduction, is one of my absolute favorite neo-noirs. This follow-up certainly has its flaws, and I get why it was a flop. It’s simultaneously profoundly depressing and impressionistically lightweight, even slight. But for me, Unforgettable's rummy cocktail of hallucinatory murder mystery and low-key science fiction did not disappoint.

    The movie’s best maneuver is…

  • Mission: Impossible III

    Mission: Impossible III

    ★★★

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

    …And a big step back UP to quality entertainment, after a poor attempt at turning M:I into a bullet ballet with the cruddy first sequel. The pre-credits scene is really strong, setting a grim tone for the proceedings as we see IMF superstar Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) at the mercy of a new villain (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The film owes a lot to the chemistry between Cruise and Hoffman. They do a great job spitting threats and glaring with absolute,…

  • Pulgasari

    Pulgasari

    ★★★½

    There are excellent pieces on Pulgasari already available on Letterboxd, so I'm going to forgo doing a review or analysis today. I'm not going to get into the wild tale of the movie's production, either, but it's definitely a story worth seeking out (in brief, the director was kidnapped from his native South Korea by Northern agents and forced to make movies!). No, I want to tell y'all about how I first heard the name “Pulgasari.”

    Back around 2007 there…

  • Kill Me Again

    Kill Me Again

    ★★★

    John Dahl's debut feature is an oddly weightless neo-noir. It's entertaining but doesn't make much of an impression. Heck, I'd completely forgotten that I'd seen it before until 20-30 minutes in! It's pretty fun, though, with a dark undercurrent of mistrust always simmering between the leads. There are a couple of standout scenes, too, including the motel "murder," and, later, the absolute black magic when Joanne Whalley utters the titular line. Whalley's femme fatale is the best thing in this,…

  • Interview with the Vampire

    Interview with the Vampire

    ★★★★

    I wish this were 3½ hours long. The film stays true to a vision of seductive-but-deadly decadence, these two men and their eternal child-doll tormented by vicious, unquenchable erotic hungers, but our sense of their progression through the languid centuries is hampered, too hurried, by the pushy requirements of exposition. I want more. I want more, and I want it more slowly.

    Watching this with hometown friends was a nice opportunity to talk some queer theory, which is too rare…