ian has written 19 reviews for films rated ★★★ .

  • First Winter

    First Winter

    ★★★

    Wanted to like it more than I did. It felt slight, and the denouement didn't really work for me. Was still an interesting watch, though.

  • Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas

    Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas

    ★★★

    A difficult film to describe. The narrative is fairly straightforward; typical tragedy, man's reach exceed his grasp, etc., but it's the storytelling that's problematic. Things happen, but only later does it become clear why or *how* they happened, so one often feels lost, grasping for connection. That very well may have been des Pallieres' intention, but it makes for something of an uncomfortable watch.

    Still, the scenery, the performances, and Mads Mikkelsen's face made it worthwhile. Still, I came away wishing I'd just watched "Valhalla Rising" again.

  • Before Midnight

    Before Midnight

    ★★★

    Please consider supporting my kickstarter campaign which will fund reshoots of all 3 BEFORE films with Werner Herzog reading Ethan Hawke's lines

  • Enough Said

    Enough Said

    ★★★

    A damn sight better than either of Holofcener's last two films. Great chemistry between the leads, and Keener shines as a featured player rather than a star.

  • Her

    Her

    ★★★

    Maybe my expectations had been jacked up too high, but this seemed pretty far up its own ass. Clever and kinda touching at times, but really hokey and obvious at others. Not bad by any means, but neither should it be in any best picture conversations.

  • All Is Lost

    All Is Lost

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I was not expecting the shot of Robert Redford in boy shorts at the end.

  • August: Osage County

    August: Osage County

    ★★★

    Master class in acting. Musical cues were a little heavy-handed and parts still played like a stage play, but goddamn, the performances.

  • Elysium

    Elysium

    ★★★

    I know I'm in the minority here, but I liked this way more than District 9. The overt populist politics were just fine with me, and the action sequences were fantastic.

  • SampleThis

    SampleThis

    ★★★

    If someone were to recut this with anyone but Gene Simmons doing the voiceover, it would immediately get 4 stars.

  • Zero Charisma

    Zero Charisma

    ★★★

    Think this was done by the folks who did Best Worst Movie? Calling it "unflinching" would be a little too strong, but it was a clear-eyed depiction of he kind of broken man-child we've all known.

  • Spring Breakers

    Spring Breakers

    ★★★

    Ehh, this is a tough one. I'm not going to give Korrine credit for subverting Hollywood blah blah blah because that's bullshit. He delivered a pretty half-assed fever dream of a movie that's only notable for James Franco's Riff-Raff impression. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, because I did, but still, let's not get it twisted.

  • Sound City

    Sound City

    ★★★

    Ended up being not at all what I thought it would be, and that was pretty awesome. Definitely could've done without the epilogue of Grohl & co recording the soundtrack, but whatever. Still enjoyed the bulk of it and learned a ton about the golden age of the LA studio scene.