RSS feed for James
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Mar, 2014

    Not exactly sure where this will fit into my love of other Wes Anderson films just yet. Simultaneously sillier, darker and more profane than anything he's done yet. Still, wildly enjoyable and I'm eager for another viewing already.

  • Interstellar

    Interstellar 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 04 Nov, 2014

    Admire Nolan's reach even when it exceeds his grasp. Some nice sections and performances, much more character development than GRAVITY, but still ends up just a little bit conventional for me.

  • Her

    Her 2013

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 23 Jul, 2015

    I watched Spike Jonze's HER for the first time since Brooke and I saw it in December 2013. I knew it would be tough, and there were some tears, but it was cathartic and I think there are some things for me to learn. I knew back then that it would be one of my favourite films, but now even more so, and for reasons I could never have guessed.

  • Gravity

    Gravity 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 11 Oct, 2013

    Technically stunning, but a plot and characters as thin as the air in space. More about sensation than real emotion.

  • Inside Out

    Inside Out 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 27 Feb, 2016

    Sometimes you just have to let sadness do its work...

  • Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Oct, 2014

    "Is that blood on your shirt?"

    Yes. And now I need a shower.

  • Boyhood

    Boyhood 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 02 Mar, 2014

    Distractingly filled with pop culture references and musical cues to forcefully remind us exactly what year we're in, as if the actor growing up before our eyes isn't enough to convey that, you know, TIME IS PASSING.

    Seeing this at True/False, a nonfiction film festival, was revelatory. After a few days in which I saw incredible and interesting narratives that were portrayed by real people, this fictional film had a "story" so banal as to make it feel like a…

  • Jurassic World

    Jurassic World 2015

    ★★★ Watched 11 Jun, 2015

    Fun but dumb. And SO MANY product placements. Even when they're joking about naming dinosaurs after products, they're actually, uh, naming dinosaurs after actual products. Yuk.

  • Skyfall

    Skyfall 2012

    ★★★ Watched 11 Nov, 2012

    Overlong, disappointingly flabby and inane plot. Didn't see QoS, but this is a big step down from Casino Royale. Can't see where they'll go from here, really.

  • Snowpiercer

    Snowpiercer 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 23 Jul, 2014

    Equally stylish and silly for about the first 90 minutes, then just laughable. The last shot felt like a Coke commercial.

    I did enjoy Tilda Swinton as Margaret Thatcher/Princess Leia, though.

    Strange to surround the generic Chris Evans with such top-notch acting talent, only to have them play really silly or wooden characters.

    Trivia note: I stood next to the Egg Man at a party on a whale watching boat at the Reykjavik Film Festival in 2008.

  • Pacific Rim

    Pacific Rim 2013

    ★★ Watched 21 Jul, 2013

    Deeply deeply stupid. Cliches + exposition + f/x. Even the battles became tedious. This is the summer underdog I was supposed to defend?

  • Looper

    Looper 2012

    ★★★★½ Watched 03 Nov, 2012

    Fantastic. Especially if you take the director's implicit advice and don't try to dissect it to death.