• Black Widow

    Black Widow

    ★★½

    i usually watch these things with my little brother, but he's gotten to the age where it's uncool to go to a movie with an older sister. i don't mind though; i usually watch movies alone. plus unlike last week (the indie movie crowd is usually me and a couple of elderly folks), the theater was packed. it was nice. almost everyone stayed behind for the post-credits scene to decode the future of the mcu.

    as for black widow itself,…

  • Zola

    Zola

    ★★★½

    as the credits rolled on zola (my first time back at a movie theater!), a couple (or two friends?) in front of me started getting into an argument. i remember one of them being upset that the other had promised a wild story based on an insane twitter thread. despite zola fitting into that description, the ending was too abrupt for that first person’s taste. the second person then proceeded to justify why zola was worth the watch. the editing…

  • Stoker

    Stoker

    ★★★★

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

    i think india and charlie are the same person.

    with that out of the way, the first thought i had was that stoker presents as a pretty straightforward nature vs nurture story. but, i do like its implications for learning and in particular, social learning. when it comes to the development of human behavior, there is the obvious factor of genetic information in nature and information from the environment in nurture. however, some researchers argue that information acquired from social…

  • Stand by Me

    Stand by Me

    ★★★★

    i used to work at a place where deer could run free. this was something that no one ever talked about, a secret that everyone knew.

    i remember the first time i saw a deer run past me. an experiment had run late. the bus was coming in ten minutes and, like most days, i knew i had to run to be able to catch it. the alternative was to wait another hour.

    with my vision straight ahead, i made…

  • Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania

    Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania

    ★★★

    there’s a type of jealousy to be felt towards people who can be fully present in their surroundings. they never seem to waver in their decisions, they have this childlike sensibility in seeing the world, and they just feel like invincible people. a couple of people come to my mind instantly. in reminiscences of a journey to lithuania, the same holds true for jonas mekas.

    i don’t get this feeling often, but reminiscences of a journey to lithuania feels like…

  • (500) Days of Summer

    (500) Days of Summer

    ★★★½

    in between the first time i saw 500 days of summer and now, i went to los angeles for the first time. a college student was hosting me for the week, i was there for a scholarship interview, and the student was trying to recruit me to their college. on the first day, i found myself holding onto dear life as this student guided me up a ladder to the roof of one of the tallest buildings on campus. i…

  • Shadow in the Cloud

    Shadow in the Cloud

    ★★★

    this movie keeps getting more and more insane and i kind of love that. the line between social commentary and pure fun even has a good balance. my only problem with the writing is in how maude's reality versus imagination isn't fleshed out enough. i need more around maude defaulting to the worst-case scenario. i enjoyed this a lot though.

    as a side, i didn't love how anxious the gore (no matter how bad the cgi is sometimes) and the…

  • World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People's Thoughts

    World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People's Thoughts

    ★★★½

    i would say i'm a pretty cynical person, but i rarely think about how that affects my opinion of the movies i consume. the first time i watched episode two, i felt like the memories emily six shared with emily prime were disjointed. each clone seemed to grow more bitter and seemingly with no end. i was rightfully disagreed with by a friend who told me they enjoyed episode two more than episode one because of the nuances in how…

  • Sword of Trust

    Sword of Trust

    ★★★½

    sword of trust feels like a hard movie to pin down thematically at the start. a clip about how people never have original ideas anymore makes me think that the movie will probably head in the direction of people chasing newness but no. that's not quite it.

    that's the beauty of sword of trust though. its warmth comes from how each character makes sense of the truth separately and together. on one end of the spectrum are those that don't…

  • The Mitchells vs. The Machines

    The Mitchells vs. The Machines

    ★★★½

    the running thought through my head as i was watching the mitchells vs. the machines was 'this definitely has some alex hirsch influence'. after learning that mike rianda, the director, worked on gravity falls (the inspiration behind my lb username), everything made sense and not in a deja vu type of way either. the mitchells vs. the machines manages to be its own person. from including little nuggets for movie lovers to having its own artistic flair, this one is…

  • Saint Maud

    Saint Maud

    ★★★

    i wish i was a bigger fan.

    on one hand, saint maud provides interesting, albeit brief, glimpses into what makes maud who she is in the present, but on the other hand, saint maud abandons this framework for something far more derivative in the last quarter alone. this movie seems to provide two explanations for maud's delusions of grandeur (that aren't mutually exclusive), the 'she is suffering from some sort of psychotic disorder' explanation and the 'she is the chosen…

  • Lucky Grandma

    Lucky Grandma

    ★★★½

    some of my earliest memories involve mahjong and gambling on saturday mornings. random, i know, but my grandpa and i would always get cheung fun at this one cafe, and then after we were done with breakfast, he would go downstairs to play mahjong with his friends. the thing is, you would never know that there was a whole mahjong operation going on. but, once you walk down those stairs, it's like something straight out of the movies. lots of…