ian has written 12 reviews for films rated ★★★½ during 2013.

  • Captain Phillips

    Captain Phillips

    ★★★½

    I'm not saying it made me shit my pants, but I'm not saying it didn't. An old-fashioned Hollywood thrill ride.

  • Wrong Cops

    Wrong Cops

    ★★★½

    I've started and deleted this review about a dozen times because I simply can't find words to describe WRONG COPS. If you like idiot humor, non-existent narrative, and weed, this is the movie for you.

    Spoiler alert: writer/director/cinematographer/editor Quentin Dupieux also scored the film as Mr. Oizo.

  • A Field in England

    A Field in England

    ★★★½

    A solid return to form after the abortion that was "Sightseers." There are echoes of "Kill List" in tone (and cast) if not content.

  • Hell Baby

    Hell Baby

    ★★★½

    I know this wasn't a "good" film by objective measures, but I'll be damned if I didn't laugh my ass off throughout the entire thing. I thought the script (by Lennon and Ben-Garant) was excellent, and Keegan-Michael Key stole every scene he appeared in. Yeah, they kinda forgot to write a 3rd act, but fuck it. I laughed a LOT.

  • Room 237

    Room 237

    ★★★½

    Can't remember a more polarizing doc -- people seemed to either love this or it actually made them angry to the point that they couldn't finish it. That makes me wonder what people were hoping to get out of it. Me, I was satisfied to hear these lunatics hold forth on their crazy theories. I mean, we're all those lunatics, aren't we? It's just a matter of degree.

  • Computer Chess

    Computer Chess

    ★★★½

    The dreamy, gauzy quality of the output of the vintage Sony AVC 3620 video camera matched perfectly with the increasingly odd narrative arc, resulting in a strangely wonderful film. Was it intentional or accidental? Ultimately it doesn't matter.

  • No

    No

    ★★★½

    I would watch Gael Garcia Bernal do pretty much anything for 2 hours, so watching him in a period-set drama that aligns with my personal politics was a gimme. There aren't many feel-good stories set during the Pinochet regime, but this was one.

  • The Punk Singer

    The Punk Singer

    ★★★½

    Shows Kathleen Hanna as a three-dimensional human being with all her gifts and foibles. I would've gladly sat thru another hour or two of recollections and anecdotes.

  • Muscle Shoals

    Muscle Shoals

    ★★★½

    Pretty straightforward documentary approach; the story does the heavy lifting here, and what a story it is.

  • Django Unchained

    Django Unchained

    ★★★½

    Much preferred this to Inglourious Basterds -- Chris Waltz' performance was, well, not quite understated, but way less over the top than IB, and it was a joy. But Samuel Jackson steals the entire movie when we finally get to the 3rd act. A career performance.

    Ultimately it's another genre/exploitation flick from Tarantino, but it's well done and a helluva lotta fun.

  • Berberian Sound Studio

    Berberian Sound Studio

    ★★★½

    Caught this last night on the small screen with plain ol' 2.0 stereo, but it still packed a wallop. Ultimately it can't deliver on its vast promise -- the opening/credits sequence alone is worth the price of admission -- so while it's somewhat unsatisfying on the whole (specifically narratively), there are enough transcendent moments to make it more than worth your time. I thought this Independent review summed it up quite well. www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/berberian-sound-studio-15-8100529.html

  • Elena

    Elena

    ★★★½

    Watched last night with the wife; quintessentially Russian. Wouldn't say I enjoyed it, per se, but I can't shake it either. Dark and cold, just the way I like 'em.