• Star Trek: Generations

    Star Trek: Generations

    ★★★

    How is it that Kirk looks younger in this than in any of the previous five movies? Make-up, and/or the spacetimewarping effects of The Nexus? He even looks younger than the chump installed as Cap'n of the new Enterprise, a silver-streaked shuffler by the name of Harriman. Adding to the generational confusion is the presence on the bridge of Tim Russ aka Tuvok from Voyager. It's all somewhat incestuous — but not unpleasantly so. At least these lads are all…

  • The Wolf's Call

    The Wolf's Call

    ★★★½

    Le chant du loup. Il t'appelle de loins, à travers de la mer, de les étoilles. De l'enclos des loups. Oui, tu es au zoo, face à l'ennui à nouveau. Tout es vain. Des glaces sans saveur, des singes oui, mais pas ceux qui ont les fesses rouges. Et donc? Peut-être qu'un film améliorera l'humeur. Quelque chose de dramatique...

    In a surprisingly convincing near-future, France is Europe's last bulwark against an excessively bolshy (Bolshoi?) Russia. A troublemaker spoofs a Russkie…

  • Another Round

    Another Round

    ★★★

    Booze resembles religion in that we can never know, no matter how earnestly we imbibe, what it’s like for our fellow adherents (still less for abstainers). Drinking with friends or strangers is drinking alone; to drink alone is to drink even more alone. It’s like Tolstoy’s dictum of all unhappy families being differently unhappy: except drinking makes you differently happy, too.

    The best alcohol stories acknowledge this intrinsic interiority by situating you inside the skin of the drinker so you…

  • The Descent

    The Descent

    ★★★½

    In which five attractive, toned, adventurous young white women and one attractive, toned, adventurous young Asian woman get into bother on account of some troglodytes. The lighting or absence of it makes the subterranean setting convincingly claustrophobic and director Marshall expertly cranks the dread-o-meter, abetted by a pleasingly oomphy orchestral score. The Morlocks when we finally get to meet them are very impressive lads and could slaver for their country, if slavering were ever to gain official Olympic status. With…

  • The Big Lebowski

    The Big Lebowski

    ★★★★★

    I was going to mention briefly this film's penile connoisseurship, its celebration of the ludicrous fragility of the "Johnson". I've been buried deep in Caro's biography of Lyndon B. Johnson, which mentions LBJ's pride in his own namesake, how he'd swing it around in the locker room like a hand to be shaken. But pride goeth before a fall, and the Dude is hyper-aware of that adage with regard to his own dude, fearing the red-suited nihilists with ceremonial snippers.…

  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

    ★★★½

    I don't know when I watched this — some time in the second half of June presumably —, but I found these notes on my phone today:

    The alien trash of the galaxy

    Get the gang out on a mission, no fucking around

    Spocks absurd wine glass

    Chekov: guess who’s coming to dinner…

    Romulan ale is absurd

    Love the Shakespeare heaviness

    Kirk’s surrender a real grandmaster move

    Spock : In that case mr chekhov it resides in the purview of…

  • The Wanting Mare

    The Wanting Mare

    ½

    I've never seen anything that so comprehensively fails to express a single solitary aspect of life as a humanoid. It's impossible to imagine 89 minutes of my life more devoid of drama, comedy, emotion, narrative coherence, or any significance or anything at all whatsoever. Just a lot of sweaty nobodies mumbling about tickets in a post-apocalyptic society that is less convincing than a politician in a football shirt. Even the horses — in any other situation, divine creations, marrying the…

  • Fitzcarraldo

    Fitzcarraldo

    ★★★★

    I don't listen to a lot of opera but sometimes, like yesterday around half past two as the sun crept across the balcony of this AirBnB I'm staying in right now, and things began to seem inconsequential and absurd, it makes a confusing kind of sense. In a box of tapes, among recordings by Loverboy, Sade, and Miles Davis, I found a Three Tenors greatest hits and pushed it into the hifi and allowed this most unnatural of artforms to…

  • Hot Fuzz

    Hot Fuzz

    ★★★★

    The Peggster. Peggy Boy. The Peggmeister General. Peggamind. The Peggalodon. As by-the-book copper Nicholas Angel, he's a square Pegg in a round hole here, a hole called Sandford, a quintessentially horrific English village complete with am dram, church fête, and a Neighbourhood Watch Alliance or NWA for short (fuck tha police).

    I don't think I've ever seen a film that I knew instantly would have so much rewatch value. It's like the flick book that PC Butterman, the Sancho Panza…

  • Office Space

    Office Space

    ★★★★

    Been a while since I dropped into the Morningwood Apartments to hang with my man the modern-day Bartleby, Pete Gibbons. What a name, eh? Character names really are a litmus test of writing ability, and Mike Judge is right up there duking it out with Pynchon to be king of the hill. Gibbons — among the more humanlike of the simians, marginally more so than Michael Bolton. But the best name here is Bill Lumbergh, with its indefinable overtones of…

  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

    ★★

    The first Trek entry to hit us with the main theme over the opening titles. Ear-candy for sure, but doth the film protest too much? Yeth, as it turns out. This is Trek under the influence of Dune (the plodding, pretentious prologue), and unforgivably, of Star Wars, in the whole Paradise City/scuzzy interstellar divebar setup complete with triple-boobed catwoman gyrating in Kirk's face. Desert planets, rudimentary sketches of hardscrabble existence on the fringes of the Federation — these aren't what…

  • Grizzly Man

    Grizzly Man

    ★★★

    I flew over Alaska a few times between 2006 and 2010. We'd fly from Anchorage to a location north of the arctic circle on a charter. Looking out, the maze of watercourses, green and blue and brown veins in the white, seemed to go on forever. Trees too, in places, smears of dark green, but still intersected by those preternaturally bright blue, green, brown, veins. Alaska seemed like a non-human Roman Empire with roads but unlike those we would make,…