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  • Hell or High Water

    Hell or High Water

    ★★★★

    “Oh, that looks like a man who could forclose on a house.”

    Actions. Consequences. Actions. Consequences. Pretty stunning work, doing an especially great job of emphasizing the questions which cannot be answered (where so many other works of its kind fail). 


    I wonder if it’s getting harder for me to watch movies as I see more and more.Now, if something is well-crafted and symbolic, to me it becomes well-crafted to the point where the seams may occasionally be obvious. I…

  • Buy Me a Gun

    Buy Me a Gun

    ★★½

    Wish it did a better job of tying together its visuals and ideas with its plot. While it looked and felt interesting, and created a world that was downright terrifying, the story felt like it needed more direction. Without one it became amorphous, messy, and hard to stay engaged with.

  • Brothers

    Brothers

    ★★★½

    This one takes a while to find its stride. A bit like someone learning a new language, stuttering clumsily at first, tripping on melodramatic lines and awkward pauses, stumbling on idioms and turns of phrase, getting across the very basic idea but with none of the layered nuance of a fluent speaker. Somewhere near the halfway mark, it finally seems to find its rhythm; Gyllenhaal and Maguire’s already impressive performances begin to take off, and Portman (finally) seems to find her footing, leading to an explosion of tension in the final thirty minutes that I will not soon forget.

  • The Package

    The Package

    ★★★★

    At its weakest when it tries to force itself into the Hollywood nerdy-white-boy-romance formula, at its best when it embraces its complete ridiculousness, transforming what could easily be a one-note Johnny into a genuinely surprising and entertaining rollercoaster of absolute insanity. Haven’t had this much fun watching a movie in a while.

  • The House That Jack Built

    The House That Jack Built

    ★★½

    Lars Von Trier makes films as if everything he’s ever learned came out of a book. He acts like this is a good thing.

    A mind-numbingly dull, condescending, pompous, and back-handedly misogynistic film with a superiority complex.

    This film cements Nicolas Winding Refn as the greatest living Danish filmmaker.


    EDIT: I know I’m just gonna get labeled as another Von Trier hater. You can check my record on LVT. I’m not a fan but I’ve given him his due.

  • Ariel

    Ariel

    ★★★★½

    Peak Finnish social-realist existential crime dramedy. Remains the funniest movie I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.

  • The Comedy

    The Comedy

    ★★★★½

    "Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow." - Margaret Atwood

    How do you parody something that’s already a parody of itself?

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    ★★★★½

    This is Quentin Tarantino’s The Dead Don’t Die. Jam-packed with celebrity friends, chock-full of references, completely self-indulgent, and yet with a solemn and sincere undercurrent of anxiety, insecurity, and the fear of running out of time. Definitely Tarantino’s slowest and most human film since Jackie Brown. And that’s what gives it so much heart.
    A lot of people hate Quentin Tarantino for a lot of different reasons. While I am not one of those people, I understand and respect their…

  • The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

    The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

    ★★★★

    Phew. This one’s gonna require a rewatch. It was hard to read at times, and I got lost at a few points, but overall it was a shockingly intimate and compassionate movie. I love how Cassavetes can take a project that would typically be a genre movie and make it humanistic in his particular way.

  • A Woman Under the Influence

    A Woman Under the Influence

    ★★★★★

    “You know, I’m really nuts.”
    ”Tell me about it.”

    Wow. Just wow. John Cassavetes’ masterpiece. A beautiful, messy, exhausting, flawed, heart-wrenching masterpiece. It feels like the spiritual prequel to Paris, Texas. This is Falk, Rowlands, and Cassavetes at their best, ever.

  • The Imitation Game

    The Imitation Game

    ★★★

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

    On paper I should have liked this way more than I did. I’m a sucker for war movies and biopics. Benedict Cumberbatch is a marvel, I’ve loved Allen Leech ever since he was on Downtown Abbey, and I’m the president of the Keira Knightley fan club. But The Imitation Game fell flat.

    I’m not sure if it’s that I couldn’t have cared less about the backstory of Turing as a boy. Maybe it’s that various aspects of the film, like…

  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    ★★★★★

    Unless I’ve missed viewing some spectacularly brilliant film or (and far less likely) an absolute masterpiece is released within the next five months, Moonlight will remain forever engraved as the best film to come out of the 2010s (and, I’d wager, a top-three film of the 21st century, alongside Yi Yi and In the Mood for Love).


    Edit: If you wanna be persnickety and say that the 21st century didn’t begin until 2001, effectively eliminating Yi Yi and In the Mood for Love, then my opinion is that the top three films of the century are Moonlight, The Prestige, and Beasts of No Nation.