RSS feed for Jake
  • Magic Mike XXL

    Magic Mike XXL 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 25 Jul, 2015

    I have never seen a film so resolutely interested in the idea of women's sexuality. Magic Mike, befitting Soderbergh's clinical approach, broke down the banal minutiae of the job, from getting pumped up (in more ways than one) before a show to the difficulty of legitimizing oneself in a society that still stigmatizes sex work of any stripe. This made for an unexpectedly complex film, but it also tended to focus on stripping entirely from the men's point of view,…

  • Lava

    Lava 2015

    Watched 25 Jun, 2015 1

    This short was bad enough already, with its tacky animation and insipid songwriting, and then Mt. Dolezal or w/e burst from the sea in all her white-girl-dreads glory and I nearly said "Fuck you" in a theater full of toddlers.

  • Jurassic World

    Jurassic World 2015

    ½ Watched 20 Jun, 2015 6

    I never care that much about box office but it makes me sad that a film like this, that so blatantly hates its audience, is now one of the highest-grossing films of all time. The first film extrapolates its maker's deep love for his audience by presenting a man so eager to please that he does not notice the ruinous, lethal mistake he has made until it is much too late. From the start, this film takes pains to point…

  • The Heart Machine

    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…

  • Wild Canaries

    Wild Canaries 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 24 Jun, 2014

    I'm slowly seeing more and more quasi-screwball updates (The Color Wheel, Blind Detective) and if I wrote a thinkpiece about this it would only be to desperately encourage more of them to be made. WILD CANARIES is one of the most structured indie films of recent years, an indie, and a comedy, that only gets more cohesive and purposeful as it nears its end instead of collapsing into wispy, half-assed introspection. manages to add new wrinkles to clichéd scenes of…

  • John Wick

    John Wick 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 20 Oct, 2014 1

    Keanu Reeves' Hong Kong-y phase continues to be one of the most surprising and rewarding things in American multiplex fare lately.

  • Camp X-Ray

    Camp X-Ray 2014

    ★★½ Watched 17 Oct, 2014

  • Listen Up Philip
  • Birdman

    Birdman 2014

    ★½ Watched 21 Oct, 2014 5

    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

    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.

  • Dear White People

    Dear White People 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 06 Apr, 2014 1

    Justin Simien says he originally took the film's climax out of his early drafts because he found it too farfetched before multiple blackface parties started erupting on campuses. Similarly, so much of DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, particularly its focus on middle- and upper-class white kids hiding behind satire to say whatever they want, seems even more relevant in the wake of the most vitriolic, revealing reaction to #CancelColbert. But setting aside the film's relevance, it's an exceptionally written movie (I can't…

  • St. Vincent