Jean-Luc has written 39 reviews for films during 2018.

  • The Mule

    The Mule

    ★★½

    The Mule is a bad movie. Plain and simple--most of the acting is some of the worst ever committed to film, and I think the script is the worst of any movie I’ve subjected myself to this year. The few bright spots (mostly just Bradley Cooper, Michael Pena, and Laurence Fishburne’s performances) are wildly underutilized. On top of all that, the film crawls at an incredibly slow pace for its entire runtime, only occasionally advancing in meaningful ways.

    And yet,…

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    ★★★★

    I walked out of Into the Spiderverse with a burning desire for more. More time spent in its beautifully animated, highly stylized world(s). More time spent with the fully realized characters. More time spent being reminded superhero fiction is capable of making me feel, in the same way any other genre can.

    Put simply: Into the Spiderverse succeeds where an entire genre (with precious few exceptions) has failed for nearly five years. But why dwell on the failures of the…

  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★★★½

    Somehow this movie gets better every time I rewatch it.

  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★

    Despite living in an era defined by reboots of beloved media properties, I have yet to see one more contemptuous of its source material than Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria. From the opening scene, Guadagnino desperately attempts to craft a film that is barely even evocative of the original. The bright, eye-drawing colors of the Argento classic are replaced with bleak, industrial greys. Rather than shrouding the plot in mystery and avoiding explanations, the script is instead shows its hand immediately before…

  • Victoria

    Victoria

    “I’m not a bad guy I just… I did a bad thing.”

    The “bad-people-doing-good-things” trope is one that is equal parts interesting and over used. The story of the reluctant hero is one that people (myself included) tend to gravitate towards. This can make for some truly exceptional film – one need look not further than 2013’s American Hustle for that to become abundantly clear. What we tend to shy away from, however, is the inverse of that trope. It’s…

  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a film that is nearly impossible to categorize, or even describe, in an efficient manner. Most films can just be described as “genre of film – differentiating feature.” For instance, Mad Max: Fury Road would be “Action – but with well developed and explored characters.” This is a game that I could play for hours, with pretty much every film I’ve ever seen. And I know I’m already 70+ words into my…

  • It Follows

    It Follows

    I’m not a big horror guy. I know lots of people who swear by the genre, but I have a bad history of horror films grinding my psyche to tiny pieces, and most of the horror movies I have seen haven’t done much for me. This may sound counter intuitive, but if anything, I try to avoid good horror movies. It Follows is one that I simply could not avoid. It seemed like essential viewing, and hey, what better way…

  • Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman

    I saw Wonder Woman in the exact same theater where I saw Batman vs Superman. I got a good seat for Wonder Woman though, so right off the bat, the experience was an improvement. Walking out of the theater after BvS, I was upset. Angry, even. I was tired of Zach Snyder’s bullshit, cynical take on superheroes. I was seething.

    Walking out of that same theater earlier today was a completely different experience. I had a massive grin on my…

  • Gifted

    Gifted

    The thought at the forefront of my mind while watching Gifted was that I had seen this film before. Sure, I may have never seen Gifted (2017, dir. Marc Webb) until Thursday, July 6th, 2017. But every story beat, every plot “twist?” Those, I had definitely seen before. All its flaws – hell, even the parts of it I liked – felt familiar.

    At one point, about twenty minutes into the film, I started writing out predictions for the remainder…

  • Thor: Ragnarok

    Thor: Ragnarok

    By the time the credits rolled on Thor: Ragnarok, I was struggling to wipe a smile off my face. In keeping with the tradition of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ragnarok is more concerned with being fun than anything else. Using that as a measure, Taika Waititi’s debut to the universe is largely a success. Once the film locks into a groove, it’s an absolute blast.

    Unfortunately, Ragnarok takes its sweet time finding its groove. The first act is a disaster…

  • Death Wish

    Death Wish

    Any number of critics can tell you all about the numerous failings of Eli Roth’s Death Wish reboot. A phoned-in performance from Bruce Willis, bland action sequences, poor cinematography, a script so far in the toilet you may need to get out the plunger… the list goes on. It’s a terrible film. Using this space to write about the technical reason it’s bad, however, would be a waste. I could do it, but other critics already have.

    So instead, we’re…

  • Pacific Rim: Uprising

    Pacific Rim: Uprising

    ★★★½

    Pacific Rim: Uprising is an absolute blast of a film in the way only giant robots squaring off against other giant robots and even larger alien monsters can be. It’s rare for a larger-than-life action blockbuster to really impress me these days, but Uprising did. After my first viewing, I couldn’t quite pin down why. I find even the most critically acclaimed, well-loved blockbusters to be grating. The Star Wars franchise aside, I guess? For whatever reason, there’s a firewall…