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  • The Hired Hand

    The Hired Hand

    ★★★★½

    "When Warren Oates died in 1982, in his will he left me 'all' his love. It’s things like that that carry me on in times of trouble and madness. My father wept when he saw The Hired Hand. Can’t get a better review than that. Watch the film if you get the chance." -Peter Fonda; June 17th, 2019

    *****

    "Hold me, Arch."

  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople

    Hunt for the Wilderpeople

    ★★★

    Totally fine, cuteness level loaded for bear. I don't have much to say about this film so instead I'd like to share 5 of my favorite recent videos from Twitter mutual and dear friend Sam Neill's page (@TwoPaddocks).

    5. Toot.

    4. Woody the horse and Shreck2 the ram.

    3. Sam and his duck, Charlie.

    2. Massage and a glass of wine.

    1. "What elegance... I'm so thrilled."

    You can read more about Sam Neill's farm right here. he has a nasty pig named after Taika Waititi.

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    ★★★

    finally an answer to the question "what if THE JERK was about a old man who was also a baby?"

    hard to knock the ambition & storybook imagery but for every instance of elegiac grace there's three or four inelegant visual metaphors or thudding platitudes to gunk up the gears - all the film's finest and most flawed impulses can be seen in the chaos theory sequence, a dazzling montage that nevertheless crashes to a literal halt when Daisy is struck…

  • Zodiac

    Zodiac

    ★★★★★

    Napa and Solano battled over Berryessa’s fate

    “The people of Berryessa Valley, and the town of Monticello, will be made homeless and forced to relocate to other districts at a tremendous loss to them,” Clark said. “They will be scattered and separated, one friend from another, one relative from another, and let me say that some of these families have been established since pioneer days.”

    America, ever-expanding, building out & up, refusing to truly reckon with the wrongs, ills, and evils of its past. boogeymen haunting flooded towns.

  • 47 Meters Down

    47 Meters Down

    ★★½

    good movie to kind of half-watch while on my phone. mostly lacks the screw-turning finesse of a CRAWL or THE SHALLOWS but there is some genuinely breathtaking deep sea footage here that communicates a cosmic sense of loneliness. also enjoyed the few video game elements, like a POV survival horror flashlight sequence and the various shots of rapidly dwindling oxygen supplies. this is not quite a killer shark movie and more of a "feeling totally helpless" simulator which honestly makes…

  • Woodshock

    Woodshock

    8mm psychedelic documentary short directed by Richard Linklater and his longtime DP Lee Daniel, included as a bonus feature on the SLACKER disc from Criterion. you can definitely see the genesis of the climactic kegger from DAZED & CONFUSED here. Linklater is credited as Rick.

  • It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books

    It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books

    Richard Linklater's little-seen debut, tucked away in the special features of the SLACKER criterion disc. watched with director's commentary on because i wasn't sure how a 16mm no-budget freshman feature about a dude just kind of wandering around would grab me. turns out the movie was intended as more of a 'visual experience' anyhow, most of the dialogue either deliberately banal patter or opinion regurgitated from secondhand sources. this is indeed an atypically laconic work for a filmmaker whose entire…

  • Slacker

    Slacker

    ★★★★★

    Linklater makes it look so easy, camera wafting through the nooks & crannies of Austin like weed smoke, clouding around each denizen to consume enough of their conspiracy theories, anarchist polemics, and post-grad philosophy for this to feel just as much like a cinematic leftist zine as it does the ultimate scatterbrained hangout picture. an all-time great distillation of space & place, taking "ah, you had to be there" and making it "here-you-are", humorously observant in its depictions of half-baked soliloquies and eminently watchable in its empathy for those afflicted by alienation & spiritual ennui. "remember: terrorism's the surgical strike capability of the oppressed. keep on keepin' on."

  • Burning

    Burning

    ★★★★★

    schrödinger's cat // simultaneous existence

    it's not really about the thing, it's about the things between the thing, the dark matter.

    "Now the modern world is more beautiful and more convenient than ever on the surface, but inequality is getting worse and the helpless, spiritless condition of younger people is worsening. The younger generation is starting to think that the cause is within themselves, that it is their fault that they are this way. That is creating the rage within." - Lee Chang-dong

  • The Fate of the Furious

    The Fate of the Furious

    ★★★½

    watched for PODFAST & PODFURIOUS where we were joined, for the 8th time, by our special guest and series newcomer Nikki. we talked about the sights & sounds of Cuba, redemption for Deckard Shaw, the franchise's betrayal of its own mythology, and whose jersey we would buy if the Toretto Family were a sports team. this one grows on me with every rewatch - a slighter, sillier palate cleanser after the meta solemnity of FURIOUS 7, featuring Vin Diesel's best performance since the original, a geyser of pent-up rage that feels like a cathartic response to the very real loss of a loved one.

  • Diablo

    Diablo

    ★½

    watched for PODFAST & PODFURIOUS, as it stars FATE's own 'Little Nobody' Scott Eastwood in the role of... a gruff, squinting cowboy loner?! why, he's a chip off the old block! i mean, the kid can't act for shit, but they're clearly going for a HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER type deal with this one, and there actually is a halfway decent revisionist western buried in here: a PTSD-afflicted white Civil War vet blazes a path of revenge through the countryside, wiping out…

  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    ★★★½

    basically just a setpiece machine, but the narrative backbone is unsurprisingly astute for a Del Toro story in its assessment of evil - myths & tall tales take shape over the years partly as a way to process vile things done in the name of capital & country. i enjoyed Øvredal's last couple features (TROLLHUNTER; AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE) and he does a fine enough job here; a dad on his way out even remarked to his daughter that this was "a…