• Sonic the Hedgehog

    Sonic the Hedgehog

    This is offensively bad instead of just regular bad mostly thanks to the re-animated sonic which no doubt was hell for the people animating it. It’s soulless. It pretty much contains an entire Olive Garden commercial. Women of color are lit with atrocious (read: offensive) lighting. The dialogue is really bad and the acting is doing zero favors. You already know how I feel about excessive underscoring. This has zero artistic merit and little other merit to speak of, save for a few moments with Jim Carrey. Do not spend money to watch this.

  • Belly

    Belly

    ★★★½

    It is truly outstanding the way that this often feels totally improvised, shot on the spot, in the moment, documentary style, and yet is so deliberately staged, so meticulously executed. It's as if we're watching these characters just exist in their world, but the camera is always in the exact right place, and the lighting is perfect every time.

    I really don't mean to sound as though I'm exaggerating that last point. Hype Williams' music video pedigree doesn't translate to…

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    ★★★★

    Honestly could’ve (and maybe should’ve) been a lot angrier. That said, this does a great job of making the FBI out to be the real villains in this situation, thanks in huge part to Lakeith Stanfield’s ability to show O’Neal’s inner conflict. Jesse Plemons deserves a mention too, even though he’s slimy and sinister, the look on his face when he starts realizing how fucked his job is is very convincing. The real showstopper performance here is of course Kaluuya,…

  • The Double

    The Double

    ★★★½

    I seem to be one of the few on here who actually really adores Submarine, the Wes Anderson-esque sense of humor and visual style lends itself perfectly to that story, and Ayoade's direction is almost exactly the same here. Lacking the narration, but the self-aware sense of humor, over the top visual style, quirky soundtrack, and the obsessive male-gazey subnarrative are all here, and pretty much the entire cast of Submarine is as well. Like Gyllenhall in Enemy,, Eisenberg totally…

  • Pulse

    Pulse

    ★★★★

    Easily one of the best films about the Internet, full stop. Movies from 15-20 years ago captured anxieties and uncertainties about this burgeoning technology better than any recent attempts, in part because it was so new--and its potential so unknown--that only the bravest auteurs even dared to take it on. Kiyoshi Kurosawa's filmmaking is perfectly up to the task of creating a sense of dread, both about what is unknown, and what he deliberately makes known. It doesn't wrap up…

  • The 'Burbs

    The 'Burbs

    ★★★

    I hate cul-de-sacs, there's only one way out and the people are kind of weird.

  • Enemy

    Enemy

    ★★★★

    Having had some time to think about it, this is actually a pretty fascinating double-feature with Mulholland Drive. Projecting your insecurities and anxieties and subconscious feelings into an idealized duplicate self clearly has deep psychological ramifications. We don't spend any time in a dream-world here, but the argument that Anthony is a product of Adam's mind certainly has legs. The pacing is perfect, and the cinematography--rife with subtle and not-so-subtle visual allusions to spiderwebs--is disgustingly and often sickeningly gorgeous. Gyllenhaal and Gyllenhaal are both great too. So far Villeneuve has zero misses.

  • Mulholland Drive

    Mulholland Drive

    ★★★★½

    God, Hollywood is such a nightmare lol. Not much to say that hasn’t been repeated ad nauseum. But for how hard a lot of film nerds obsess over Lynch, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re living in a dream land. The reality is that it’s not a stretch to put him in the same class as Tarkovsky, especially with regard to how dreams are presented. Lynch uses dream logic exclusively here, to bring about the most accurate feeling of a…

  • Twelve Monkeys

    Twelve Monkeys

    ★★★½

    Nobody does set design quite like Terry Gilliam. Shooting on location is one thing, but creating a believable underground sci fi dystopia location to shoot on is another. And being able to introduce a sense of humor into it? God-tier. Another particular high note is Brad Pitt, whose unhinged behavior somehow feels both deranged and perfectly controlled. The narrative points however are a bit less controlled, and the simple beauty of La Jetée is all but lost in the extended…

  • Hail, Caesar!

    Hail, Caesar!

    ★★★★

    I did not appreciate this enough when I saw it in theaters. I also can't believe this came out in 2016? Feels like decades ago. Deakins is sublime as always, and the critiques of the film industry/capitalism/religious institutions is fantastic.

  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

    Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

    ★★★★½

    What a picture! At once both an engrossing and explosive naval action film and a deeply moving character-driven drama. Crowe is perfect for this obviously, but Paul Bettany stole my whole heart. I still can't get over the way that this handles the naval battles so well, as intense as any land-based war movie, and then turns around and delivers some truly moving moments and builds drama with just a look or a nod. The first half hour or so…

  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights

    Robin Hood: Men in Tights

    ★★

    If you cut all the bad jokes, and the jokes recycled from other Mel Brooks movies, this would be like 30 minutes long