• Professor Goudet's Lessons

    Professor Goudet's Lessons

    ★★★

    In my quest to understand Tati, I watched this doc that tries to mimic his style while explaining his past and mix in testimonies from acclaimed directors like David Lynch and Wes Anderson, gushing their love for him.

    I feel I get it, at least intellectually, even if I'm not fully there yet as fan, but this at least gives me an understanding of what people love about such a revered filmmaker

  • The Piano Teacher

    The Piano Teacher

    ★★★★½

    Where repression meets desire meets the ugly reception to an externalized sexuality.

    A teacher/student relationship can be unique, oftentimes defined by its power dynamics, and sometimes those dynamics can be a constant struggle. Whether it's a piano instructor trying to maintain an influence over a protege being gushed about by her peers or a submissive attempting to instuct a student how to degrade and sexually use her body til she orgasms, the trust that goes into that relationship is only…

  • Drills

    Drills

    ★★★★½

    Mixing tradition and the past, and utilizing Cold War survival skills, this experimental doc examines the anxieties of our youth that we have failed as a society, especially over the last 4 years.

    I would not want to be a High Schooler right now. With rampant school shootings, a warming planet and politicians who don't care, I'd be as anxious as the youth is about the future. Yet when a David Hogg or Greta Thurnberg speak out, they are threatened…

  • The Mitchells vs. The Machines

    The Mitchells vs. The Machines

    ★★★

    Don't let your expectations get too hung up on the Lord and Miller part. This isn't quite the same biting or hilarious writing as Spiderman in the Spiderverse or The Lego Movie. But this is good for what it is and the giant Furby is funny af

  • The Flowers of War

    The Flowers of War

    ★★★★

    Flowers of War is about the Rape of Nanking (or Nanking Massacre) that occurred in 1937 when Japanese troops pillaged, raped and murdered many women in the town of Nanking.

    Flowers of War is Zhang Yimou's film centering the film around Christian Bale's drunken playboy American character who tries to protect young Chinese girls and a group of prostitutes, partially with his western status and untouchability from the Japanese.

    This is well directed, Bale is great and it has a…

  • The Iron Ministry

    The Iron Ministry

    ★★★½

    An interesting verite-style documentary that starts by showing you the mechanisms of the largest Chinese railway system, to some imagery of the Chinese countryside from the train (wish this part was longer) to then making the viewer a fly in the wall, overhearing individual table conversations.

    Ultimately it's an immersive and brief snapshot of a transitioning country in motion. Literally.

  • Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II

    Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II

    ★★★★

    Much better than the first Prom Night, and not really even connected to it, Hello Mary Lou takes a lot of influence from the Nightmare on Elm Street series. And of course, like the first one, influence from Carrie. Yet this one leans into the fun much more.

    The whole direction this movie goes in from the beginning made for the perfect fun dessert, but casting Michael Ironside is the cherry on top.

  • Child's Play 3

    Child's Play 3

    ★★★½

    I really like this sequel. It's the most underrated in the series. And I'm not just saying that because it's one of the few horror movies to have ever been shot in my home state of Missouri (filmed at Kemper military school in Boonsville, Mo), but it doesn't hurt.

    This is like the first half of Full Metal Jacket, except it's Chucky getting the revenge on the evil drill sergeants. And Chucky's biting sarcastic anger feels like it takes a…

  • Synchronic

    Synchronic

    ★★½

    Easily my least favorite Benson/Moorehead movie so far. It started off great, fitting nicely into their style of strange and creepy happenings that the viewer is trying to catch up with. The frustrating part is in their past films, the viewer was always behind in that chase, allowing the mystery to be part of the fascination, but in Synchronic, the movie allows the viewer to coming crashing into the logic of what's happening about the midway point, and the remainder…

  • Black Pond

    Black Pond

    ★★★

    Nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary in this filmmaking. Just the beautiful dulcet imagery and sounds of nature and the species that inhabit that world.

  • Trafic

    Trafic

    ★★

    I can't get into Tati. I wish I could. When I watch interviews on the Criterion set of what he means to the interviewees, I'm envious he doesn't hit me on the same level.

    Trafic just feels like a shotgun blast of zaniness, without a central core to anchor the movie, and it just worked my patience.

    Kudos to those who love his style though

  • The Untamed

    The Untamed

    ★★★

    A horrifying octopus creature that can hurt you or make you have an orgasm, depending on the situation.

    Horror used as a metaphor for sexuality and domestically abusive relationships.

    I just wish this movie leaned harder into the weird. The hints at the fantastical I was loving, but ultimately felt it left me with frustratingly little of it.