Jean-Luc has written 21 reviews for films during 2017.

  • Hell or High Water

    Hell or High Water

    ★★★

    I don't feel particularly passionate about Hell or High Water. In fact, I'm not particularly interested in writing about it, which tends to be a bad sign.

    It was fine, I guess. Some really high highs (Jeff Bridges, soundtrack) and the lows never really felt that low. But for the most part it just seemed... uninspired is the best way to put it, I guess.

  • The Edge of Seventeen

    The Edge of Seventeen

    ★★★★★

    I'm still recuperating from this film - no, seriously. This one hit me where it hurts: deep inside my tormented psyche.

    To an extent, I'm being facetious. But goddamn. GodDAMN. It's as if everyone involved in this film knew *exactly* what they need to do to evoke the most emotional, gut wrenching response possible from me. Y'know how Manchester by the Sea left some people just... incapable of functioning? Edge of Seventeen did that to me.

    And I mean, yes,…

  • Reprise

    Reprise

    ★★★★½

    Reprise is a film that is stunning in its intimacy. Every shot, every line of dialogue, every cut feels purpose built to reflect this. there are plenty of ultra close shots, and we often view the world from strange angles.

    Despite its melancholy, Reprise left me constantly smiling. It took the film all of five minutes to make me care about the characters. Every second I got to spend with them felt like a treat, even when things weren't going…

  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

    ★★★★

    By the time The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford started winding down, I was feeling its length. For a film that's nearly three hours long, that isn't much of a surprise. What was surprising was that, when I first checked the time code, I was already two hours into the film.

    That time felt like it had breezed by. And yes, the film is slow moving and methodical. But I was so engrossed in the world…

  • A Single Man

    A Single Man

    ★★★★

    Utterly breathtaking. From the opening shot, Tom Ford sweeps the viewer into the world that he's created - one where every details seems to matter. It makes perfect sense that Ford would care so much about aesthetic. Here, it's what makes the film feel special.

    Yes, the performances are incredible and heart wrenching. It's the type of film that will leave most people deeply moved and devastated. The plot, however, is paint by numbers. It's handled incredibly well, but it…

  • Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People

    Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People

    ★★★

    More than anything, Reel Bad Arabs made me want to read the book upon which the documentary is based. Its 50 minute run time never feels like quite enough to give the subject matter the time or the respect that it really deserves.
    Of course, the content truly is fascinating, and as overviews go, Reel Bad Arabs is competent enough. It's very academic, which helps the film at some points, and acts as a set back at others.
    It very…

  • Unbreakable

    Unbreakable

    ★★★½

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

    Superheroes, and the comics in which they appear, are fascinating. And they're fascinating in ways almost nothing else is. They push the boundaries of reality further than any other genre or medium. There's something innately special about them.
    Unbreakable poses the question: "What if people with superpowers existed in our world?" This is not a new question - one needs to look no farther than Watchmen to see it being tackled. It's something comics have grappled with for years.
    The…

  • Mulholland Drive

    Mulholland Drive

    ★★★★★

    Considering the film is over fifteen years old now, I doubt I have anything revolutionary to add to the discourse surrounding Mulholland Drive. That being said, this film is extraordinary.
    From the opening shot, the film feels off-kilter. The performances, the ways characters react to their surroundings, the shot composition - it all just feels... off. It establishes a unique sense of tension.
    I've certainly watched films that felt more tense than this one. But the point here is not…

  • Amores Perros

    Amores Perros

    ★★★★★

    Amores Perros is a brutal dive into the lives of the abused, and their abusers. Who, in some ways, are abused just as much. The people that populate this movie consistently do terrible things - and yet, there is a constant reminder that they are people.
    As the film goes on, and further context is revealed, decisions start to make more sense. This never justifies the actions taken by the characters, and that only makes the experience more heartbreaking.
    The…