Ryan has written 115 reviews for films rated ★★★★ .

  • Pink Floyd: The Wall

    Pink Floyd: The Wall

    ★★★★

    A barrage of brilliant shot composition, editing, and animation. It perhaps thematically drags eventually but overall even the visual storytelling for its allegorical stylings is top notch. Loved this. Will need to rewatch.

  • Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

    Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

    ★★★★

    Normalcy is an abyss and conforming consistently to it is a nightmare but to be shown so blatantly the banality of it all feels strange.

    Let me get out of the way that this film is extremely difficult. This may sound pretentious but if you first and foremost see film as a means of entertainment over art, there's no reason to even attempt to watch this. It's is long and at times grueling. Being forced to sit with a woman…

  • Certified Copy

    Certified Copy

    ★★★★

    A joke is said twice - the first time to laughter and the second to silence. This is immediately followed by a presentation on a copy being as valuable as the original. Upon fully typing that out, the metaphor couldn't be more obvious.

    Kiarostami asks what things have value and what don't and why. Is art inherently less valuable as a forgery? People are quick to say yes. But then art imitates life so are some people less valuable simply…

  • The Deer Hunter

    The Deer Hunter

    ★★★★

    This film is not going to be for everyone, especially with what we're used to today. This film is long and slow and often hard to see/understand.

    With that said, these are all intentional choices. While they may not work for everyone they (mostly) worked for me.

    I'll get the one exception out of the way. That wedding is too much of the runtime, in my opinion. I think it's longer than the Godfather wedding and this one has much…

  • The Sixth Sense

    The Sixth Sense

    ★★★★

    I'd never watched this. Put it off for a long time because I knew the thing. I figured the film would be worse. Now I'm just left wondering why that's all that this film is talked about for when it does a multitude of other things right.

    The atmosphere? Holy goodness, my guy. The way scenes are lit and what is kept in and out of frame, the way the camera moves, and the mostly subtle editing all builds to…

  • David Byrne's American Utopia

    David Byrne's American Utopia

    ★★★★

    This work (and I assume David Byrne by extension) is two sided. It is as cynical as I am on side but on the other, an in its conclusions, it has an optimism that I dream of. American Utopia has a hope for America that I lost at some point. I'd like to get it back to it.

    And then the music and the talent. The showmanship and the dancing. The way this all comes together on the stage and then is enhanced by the camerawork and Spike Lee's direction. It's an exceedingly impressive thing. I loved it.

  • Kagemusha

    Kagemusha

    ★★★★

    I am beyond offended that I've only ever heard this do talked about as "the warm up to Ran." This film more than stands on its own. More than that, the two films have completely different goals.

    This film is all about the story of a thief who becomes king. Yes there are epic battles. Yes the colors are insane. But the thief is first and foremost and every other element is there to serve his story. And what a…

  • 3-Iron

    3-Iron

    ★★★★

    Well this was different! I liked it a lot. It's fantastical and sweet in a way that reminds me of one of my favorite films, Chungking Express. But it's somehow both more surreal and more grounded. It feels real until you think about any of it and then it's so far removed. What a strange and lovely film.

  • Tokyo-Ga

    Tokyo-Ga

    ★★★★

    I found this to be so fascinating. The things I learned both about Ozu and Wenders were just so insightful. Wenders is clearly an outsider looking in on this world he's idealized. But as he discovers that and engages with the culture and finds the value he's been looking for even if it's not where he initially thought to look... It's incredible. Wenders chronicles his own tourism and curiosities but centers then around this central narrative of Ozu and it all just worked really well for me.

  • Late Spring

    Late Spring

    ★★★★

    This is the first Ozu I've REALLY connected with and it actually helps me to understand what he did later on Tokyo Story. I'll have to rewatch that one.

    This is one of the most miserably dissatisfied films I've seen. Noriko is smiling through pain nearly the entire movie. She laughs so she doesn't cry. The film has no pay off. Never builds. It only sits in its contemplative suffering until it eventually succumbs to it.

    No other thoughts for now. What a beautifully tragic work.

  • The Raid

    The Raid

    ★★★★

    Pretty much non stop action and yet it never stops being interesting. That two on one fight was just about perfection. We'll have to watch part 2.

  • Dog Day Afternoon

    Dog Day Afternoon

    ★★★★

    Really great. A couple strange camera issues in the opening and finale but otherwise, technically solid. The sound design and mixing throughout were both fantastic.

    But what really makes this is Al Pacino's performance. What a display! The places Pacino goes here (both when expected or unexpected) are so incredibly believable and realized. He always knows exactly what to do and how to do it to portray everything his character is feeling. Considering how many conflicting emotions Sonny has, that's…