RSS feed for Jake
  • The Heart Machine 2014

    ★★★½ Rewatched 25 Jun, 2014

    THM has an agreeable ambivalence about the Internet, indulging in Catfish suspicion and its flip-side, the enabled jealousy and privacy invasion of sheltered people. But it also sees some of the dangerous, duplicitous games people play online as an arduous process of seeking out new methods of romantic introduction, capable, if not easily so, of making people discover each other emotionally instead of letting physical interaction set the tenor of a relationship. Of course, absence can make the heart grow…

  • Birdman 2014

    ★½ Watched 21 Oct, 2014

    Birdman replaces AGI’s erstwhile fixation on intricately linked narrative structures with an obsession on formal ones. Its facsimile of one giant take forces everything to be connected as the camera ambles after characters, charges ahead into new areas, gets distracted by the intrusion of new people and constantly slips from reality to the fantasy of the stage, blurring the lines between the petty insecurities that roil behind the scenes and the tortured, vulnerable, often overcompensating art that it produces. This…

  • Men, Women & Children 2014

    ½ Watched 01 Oct, 2014

    A vile, condescending piece of shit, so sure that it's telling us all something we need to hear but are just too damn stupid to know that it hilariously fails to realize what a blinkered, solipsistic thing it is. Meant to be an indictment of our overstimulated, underemoting way of life, it instead comes off as a lament for a time before the average man knew how mediocre he was in bed.

  • Gone Girl 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 02 Oct, 2014

    People can bitch about all the "thinkpieces" this film has inspired* but I don't think an American movie this year has led to as much consistently interesting writing, pro or con. I've said my piece elsewhere but suffice to say, both Fincher's direction and Flynn's re-edit of her own material produce something vastly superior to its source novel, which had more ideas, maybe, but failed to develop them beyond mere sketches, splitting too much time to do service to anything.…

  • Pride 2014

    ★★½ Watched 25 Sep, 2014

    So deliberately inoffensive that it obscures the point that the LGBT alliance with a socialist cause was itself intended to offend Thatcher's status quo. Still, it's charming and undeniably pleasing, and a soundtrack of '80s gay club bangers is damn great.

  • The Maze Runner 2014

    ½ Watched 16 Sep, 2014 3

    THE MAZE RUNNER is such a sad, cynical, pointless collection of YA tropes in search of a unifying narrative that it might as well be a Seltzer-Friedberg joint named "Young Adult Movie." Every single character exists as a blatant echo of some other YA character: Thomas is Generic YA hero, down to having no idea what's happening yet being preternaturally gifted even above those who've trained to survive for years; Will Poulter's character (do not recall his name or care)…

  • 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 2

    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…