RSS feed for Alyssa
  • Bound



    Bound is exactly the kind of sexy, stylist thriller with intriguing characters that still holds up over two decades later.  It’s almost like an audition piece for the Wachowskis, who would go on to make the Matrix trilogy.  Much of the stylized action and cinematography in that franchise is visible here, albeit on a much smaller scale, of course.  Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly are perfectly cast, and their characters are seemingly opposites, yet have some things in common.  The…

  • Toy Story 4

    Toy Story 4


    I’m not sure if this movie was needed, seeing as Toy Story 3 ended so terrifically that it seemed like the end of the toys’ stories (see what I did there?), yet it’s hard not to love seeing Woody, Buzz, and the others yet again — and supposedly for the last time.  I grew up with these movies, having been only seven when the first one was released in 1995.  And, like the franchise’s characters, I’ve grown considerably.  The fourth…

  • Colette



    It isn’t unusual to see Keira Knightley in yet another period price.  It is unusual, however, to see her play a queer character.  And, she has done with her previous, heterosexual characters, she gives a committed, fully-realized performance. Knightley is the main reason to see this movie, which struggles narratively in some sections. The movie that surrounds her is very slight in comparison, but it’s hard not to be enraptured by the beautiful sets and costumes. Dominic West does what…

  • Green Book

    Green Book


    One of the word best pictures in recent memory. It’s not a bad film, per se, but it’s hardly perfect. Bigfoot Mortensen ans Mahershaka Ali do the best they can with their underveloped characters, but it’s not enough to make the film special. While I enjoyed the film at the time, I later couldn’t stop focusing on the fact that it basically presents the white man as savior to the black man, and the white man’s vision of what an ideal friendship with a black man should be like.

  • Vice



    As a fan of Adam McKay’s previous work, I was fairly disappointed in this movie that can’t decide if it wants to be a biopic or a mockumentary. Despite Christian Bale’s as-expected commitment to the role of Dick Cheney, it’s unclear whether were meant to root for him or hate him or something in between

  • BlacKkKlansman



    With solid performances from John David Washington ans Adam Driver, Spike Lee’s is a powerful, at times comedic and even a tough watch, look at our history that is still relevant today.

  • A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born


    Who’d have thought that Lady Gaga could act?  Or that Bradley Cooper could sing (and direct)?  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that both these things are true, and that Cooper’s directorial debut is a slam dunk. And look, there’s Sam Elliott in a heartbreaking supporting role, who finally scored his first Oscar nod!

  • Black Panther

    Black Panther


    It’s unfortunate it took so long to make a superhero film with a black lead, but I’m glad Ryan Coogler was the one to shepherd it. Chadwick Bozeman is solid in the lead role, but it doesn’t take much for female characters like Danai Gurira’s Okoye to outshine him in some scenes - and that’s okay. It also certainly helps that Killmonger is one of the best villains in the MCU, played to perfection by Michael B. Jordan.

  • The Favourite

    The Favourite


    The Favourite is delightfully bizarre, and I wouldn’t expect less from the man behind wholly original films like The Lobster.  Rachel Weiss and Emma Stone are strong and committed, but it’s Oscar winner Olivia Colman who carries the film, in one of the most complex performances I’ve ever seen.

  • Roma



    Roma is a perfectly made film, in my eyes. And it’s difficult to explain how it affects the viewer, as the experience is different for everyone. But it’s clear that Alfonso Cuaron out his heart and soul into this movie that is based on the nanny from his childhood. Newcomer Yalitza Aparicio is a revelation, and a natural.

  • Black Mirror: Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too

    Black Mirror: Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too


    Miley Cyrus’ episode is really not that bad; in fact, I enjoyed it. I found Miley’s scenes and story to be much more interesting than the central one, that focuses on a teenage girl’s obsession with a pop star. Some people have even said that Miley is portraying Hannah Montana again, but that is hardly the case. Was her former Disney character swearing up a storm and such, like she does in this episode?  I was also impressed with her acting range, and I hope she does more of it.

  • Black Mirror: Smithereens

    Black Mirror: Smithereens


    This episode of Black Mirror features a terrifically unhinged performance for Andrew Scott and some decently tense sequences (with an assist from a hippie-cool Topher Grace cameo).  Yet, it seems more like an episode of a thriller TV series than one that is usually based on technology gone wrong.  Some viewers may be pleased with the ambiguous ending and not concerned with how it got there, but I was mostly unimpressed with the episode. One of the weaker episodes of the show.