• Collective

    Collective

    ★★★★

    Wow. Truly exceptional filmmaking. 

    Because the film doesn’t rely on the heavy-handed editing typical of so many mainstream American documentaries - unnecessary explanatory voiceovers, jaunty scores accompanying every goddam scene, very obvious postproduction sound editing - the audience, rather than having the narrative spoon-fed to them, is invited to be more present as they watch the events unfold onscreen. It allows the film to achieve moments which are shocking yet restrained, tragic without feeling exploitative. One of the best documentaries in recent years.

  • Synchronic

    Synchronic

    ½

    If I could somehow travel back in time to show this film to my high school self who would frequently smoke pot in a friend’s basement while waxing philosophically about the illusory nature of time, I’m sure my stoned credulous high school self would have nothing but praise for this movie.
    And to my former self’s speculative adulation I say, “You shut your mouth! No one wants to hear from the stoned kid who thinks that peanut butter broccoli soup…

  • Playing by Heart

    Playing by Heart

    ★★★★

    Sure, if we judge this by today’s standards, there are many faults to be found. But as an artifact of late 90s American cinema, I’m here for it. Patricia Clarkson. Alex Mapa. Gena Rowlands. Ellen Burstyn. Gillian Anderson. All in the same movie? Yes, please! Plus, there’s a scene in which Angelina Jolie recounts the plot of Suddenly Last Summer to a brooding blue-haired Ryan Phillippe.

  • Promising Young Woman

    Promising Young Woman

    ★★½

    I really, really, REALLY wanted to like this. And I almost did like it. Almost. 
    Carey Mulligan delivered a perfect performance. The set design was flawless. I mean, to be able to provide layers of emotionally resonant commentary through the use of the physical elements of a set without distracting from the action in the scene, it’s seriously impressive and commendable. 
    The script, however, was not so great. There’s a self-satisfaction about the whole thing that’s never quite earned. It’s…

  • Chasing Unicorns

    Chasing Unicorns

    ★★★

    Although it at times has the feel of an extended infomercial for Estonia’s emerging creative class, this generally was a decent enough diversion with fairly strong lead performances. I personally didn’t mind the runtime but that might just be a consequence of watching it now during the second (third?) wave of a global pandemic; there’s an automatic appreciation for anything able to provide some respite from the horrors of the real world. 

    My score probably would’ve been a little higher…

  • Texas Rangers

    Texas Rangers

    Wha??? Is this a real thing?

  • Boy Meets Gun

    Boy Meets Gun

    ★★

    Soooooo... I guess we’re just accepting that Rosa’s sole purpose was to exist as Maarten’s manic pixie dream girl? Cool coooool.
    And his wife? We’re all on board with her never developing beyond a frigid emasculating nag? Ah, okay.

    Too regressive in its treatment of gender dynamics. This movie lacks the self-awareness necessary to pull off the subversive humor it hopes to achieve.

  • Iguana

    Iguana

    Miserablist incel bullshit. It might have held some value as an analysis of wounded toxic masculinity if it didn’t so wholeheartedly buy into its own flawed message.

  • The Social Dilemma

    The Social Dilemma

    ★★½

    Melodrama & talking heads. This move is fine. Like most Netflix productions, the heavy-handed editing can be distracting at times, combining an unintentional (?) camp sensibility with the urgency of a campaign of moral panic à la mid-1980s Tipper Gore. Overall, it does a decent job of offering a cursory explanation of the topics explored.

  • Psychomagic, a Healing Art

    Psychomagic, a Healing Art

    ★½

    With this, Jodorowski basically became the Gwyneth Paltrow of the alt cinema world.

    And I say that while also respecting his contributions not only to alt cinema but to the cinematic landscape in general.

  • Virgin Mountain

    Virgin Mountain

    ★★★★

    There’s so much going on beneath the mostly inert surface of this film that I mistakenly found myself miscalculating the depth of the narrative during the first 20 or so minutes. I’m glad I ignored my initial impulse to disregard it as dull drivel because it ended up commenting on many issues that are both timeless and contemporary.
    Though he endured considerable unprovoked cruelty, I didn’t end the film pitying Fúsi. And I appreciated that. The acting, script, and direction allowed for a more emotionally complete character to exist within the story.

  • The Prince

    The Prince

    Exasperatingly vapid