RSS feed for Jake
  • Clouds of Sils Maria 2014

    Watched 21 Aug, 2014 1

    #TIFF14

  • Sin City: A Dame to Kill For 2014

    Watched 19 Aug, 2014 2

    Garbage. Just straight garbage. Looks like shit, is written like shit, most of the actors couldn't give a shit. Thank God for Eva Green.

  • Finding Fela 2014

    ★★ Watched 01 Aug, 2014 2

    Fela Kuti is one of the most important musical figures of the 20th century. This, sadly, is like every other musician doc you can think of; not even the outlandish political consequences of Fela's life can elevate it above formula.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 30 Jul, 2014

    Most assuredly a Marvel movie, with formulaic turns, dialogue that thinks it's cleverer than it is, and a general flattening of the risks inherent in plucking such a C-list team for franchise elevation. Even so, this is up there with the two Captain Americas as the best the studio's put out; as bad as the opening of young Star Lord watching his mother is, the fact that we then leap over all the bullshit of watching him grow up in…

  • Lucy 2014

    ★½ Watched 22 Jul, 2014

    I love this movie on paper. In action, though...

  • I Origins 2014

    ★½ Watched 15 Jul, 2014 1

    Whether she has a writing credit on a film or not, Brit Marling's sheer presence seems to indicate a specific kind of film: one that frontloads a lot of scientific/political jargon, creates characters along rigidly separated polarities, then, like, shows that the truth is somewhere in between, man. Of all Marling's pretentious, tediously congratulatory intellectual indies, I, ORIGINS is certainly the most recent. In it, Michael Pitt plays a comically arrogant biochemist who introduces himself as "DOCtor Ian Grey," thankyouverymuch…

  • Sex Tape 2014

    ★★ Watched 16 Jul, 2014 1

    The big Rob Lowe scene is so much fun (and such a long chunk) that I have to bump it up somewhat, but this is such a prudish film, nominally interested in sex lives but really only dredging up the topic to mock it and to embarrass those who find a way to have fulfilling sexual relationships. This film is already obsolete, something it even acknowledges when a porn king played by Jack Black (the other highlight of the movie)…

  • Tammy 2014

    ★★★ Watched 30 Jun, 2014

    Weirdly plotted, but a movie almost entirely consisting of women who all have their own shit to deal with have appreciably positive impacts on each other. And in context of the film's subtle tweaks on the reductive image of McCarthy's physical comedy, that robbery scene from the trailer actually made me laugh a lot.

    Full review: spectrumculture.com/film/tammy/

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2014

    ★★½ Watched 08 Jul, 2014

    Truly jaw-dropping special effects backed up by direction that is never more than serviceable (though at least not as frenetic as its peers), and a plodding series of clichés that would be absolutely fine if they did not present themselves as Piercing Truths. This movie is the equivalent of the genre fan who never watches anything without an exploding squib but nonetheless feels sufficiently elite to lean in and whisper, "You know, the real danger in a zombie movie is…

  • Transformers: Age of Extinction 2014

    Watched 25 Jun, 2014

    I don't know why people are calling this a reboot. Calling it a reboot because it has new human characters is to play into this series' asinine insistence that it's really about the people. There's absolutely no denying, though, that subbing a wide-eyed, thoroughly juiced Mark Wahlberg in for arrogant dweeb Shia LaBoeuf is an upgrade, but flanked by a useless teen girl (who gets in a car with a transformer collapsed on top of it for safety and escape?)…

  • Jersey Boys 2014

    ★★ Watched 17 Jun, 2014 3

    There are snatches of this that are interesting and entertaining: the class consciousness of middle-class wunderkind Bob joining the working class hoods and promptly exerting creative control, Nick's tangential outburst about Tommy's hygienic habits when the band contends with their bandmates far more serious flaws. But GOD this is a lifeless film, trapped between Broadway comic relief (the scene of Frankie and Bob running down hallways of record label offices trying to follow-up on a demo is embarrassing) and Eastwood's…

  • Obvious Child 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 11 Jun, 2014 2

    You can tell that Robespierre is making her first feature, as OBVIOUS CHILD contains a few scenes and exchanges that may have been pruned by a more experienced filmmaker. A scene of the guy suddenly acting defensive about Donna going off with a male friend, despite him not knowing her at all and them not even dating, is out of character with his warmth elsewhere, which would be fine as a means of illustrating male possessiveness and entitlement if it…