Jean-Luc has written 34 reviews for films rated ★★★½ .

  • The Day After

    The Day After

    ★★★½

    I've been meaning to get around to this for a while, largely because of the mythology surrounding it. I'm endlessly fascinated by movies people thought were portraying real events, and while this doesn't have the chops of a Blair Witch Project or Punishment Park, it does do a lot right.

    Even knowing the response to its original airing, I wasn't ready for how bleak and hopeless--and as a result, honest--movie it is. At no point does it bother dabbling in…

  • Unpregnant

    Unpregnant

    ★★★½

    Kind of a rough first act but evolves into a banger afterwards. Fun movie, great cast, lots of really good stylistic choices.

  • Super Dark Times

    Super Dark Times

    ★★★½

    I think I liked most of the movie more than the 3.5 star rating would suggest, but jesus christ does the ending fucking suck. I was already a little skeptical of the movie's inciting incident, but the last ten minutes or so take it to almost comical extremes.

    Which is a bummer, because most of the rest of the movie is pretty good. The soundtrack is killer, a lot of the character work is predictable but really well-executed, and the…

  • Yes, God, Yes

    Yes, God, Yes

    ★★★½

    I generally really like the subgenre of coming-of-age films that deal with protagonists having to grapple with and overcome their psychotic upbringings. Yes God Yes is a pretty good one of those! There's a lot of corny dialogue and only like 80% of it is corny in the "teenagers are extremely cringe" kind of way, some of it is just kinda bad, and some of the performances are.... extra, I guess.

    Honestly the movie's problems sort of fall by the…

  • Deep Red

    Deep Red

    ★★★½

    After reworking my top 100 and ending up with Suspiria so high I figured it was past time I watched more Argento (and maybe more Giallo in general).

    As with Suspiria, Deep Red is hard carried by some really next-level aesthetics. The shot composition, music, and visual style are all next level and make the movie a blast to watch. Unfortunately, I don't think the performances are quite able to sell the movie's goofiness, and there's a section at about…

  • Miss Americana

    Miss Americana

    ★★★½

    Reads more like a biopic than a documentary, but I suppose that's what happens when you make a doc as part of a marketing campaign

  • Man of Steel

    Man of Steel

    ★★★½

    Way better than I remember, I think Snyder's aesthetic/direction have both grown on me since I first saw both this and BvS. The first two acts are genuinely really good Superman stuff, I really like the angle of a young Clark still trying to find his way in the world. Obviously it's not the Superman we're used to, but it makes sense to explore the character before he gets there, and this actually feels in sync with parts of the…

  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    ★★★½

    When I was in third grade, I checked out Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark from my school's library. By this point, they already had a reputation among my classmates--some who had read them, some who had older siblings who were reading them. But it was common knowledge if you read these short story collections, you were much cooler than you were before. So I, of course, read them.

    I didn't consume any kind of horror again until late…

  • It

    It

    ★★★½

    Hey, how come no one told me how funny this damn movie is? Bill Skarsgard's performance as Pennywise is absolutely unhinged, feels like he was hard-channeling Frank Oz's performance from Empire Strikes Back. Every second he's on screen is an absolute blast, and those interstitial TV show clips are also really funny. I'm genuinely glad they put this back out in theaters so I could get weird looks from all the big fans as I burst into laughter at multiple…

  • Crawl

    Crawl

    ★★★½

    On the surface, Crawl is a tense, unpretentious horror movie. Alexandre Aja clearly knew what he was making and got in and out in less than 90 minutes. There’s just enough here to make for a genuinely tense experience before the less-than-stellar writing and performances are really become grating. As much as I love horror movies outwardly going for more than just scares, there’s something refreshing about a film like Crawl that relegates anything it has to say to the…

  • Ma

    Ma

    ★★★½

    I'm baffled by what I just watched. I went in with no expectations other than a weird Octavia Spencer performance, which is certainly the highlight. But goddamn, there's actually a lot here I think I really, genuinely loved.

    Ma takes a little while to kick into gear. I spent most of the first act a little bored, wishing the script spent more time with the ensemble of main characters. I wanted more of a sense for who they were, and…

  • Rocketman

    Rocketman

    ★★★½

    As far as I know this wasn't marketed as a musical, which made for an extremely pleasant surprise. I honestly wish there had been more songs, every number had a fantastic sense of style and served the narrative almost perfectly. Sadly ends up having most of the problems other biopics have, and follows the established model almost to a tee. It's still good, but with more music and less "20 years in two hours" story telling Rocketman could have genuinely been great.