RSS feed for Julie
  • The Homesman

    The Homesman 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 22 Jun, 2015

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I like Tommy Lee Jones quite a lot, and he is peak Tommy Lee Jones in this movie. Cantankerous but charming, like an aging Muppet. Hilary Swank is the real star - she allows her face to show her age and strength, and it is 100% effective. But my feelings toward this movie have soured the more I think about it (and it's impossible for me to talk about why without spoiling).

    This whole movie hinges on a bait and…

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains 1982

    ★★★★ Watched 17 Jan, 2015 4

    Watched this with a friend as part of our monthly feminist film series, and I'm glad she picked it because I probably wouldn't have watched it otherwise. Featuring babies Diane Lane (15 at the start of filming) and Laura Dern (12!!!!!) as disaffected young girls in a punk rock band and the movement they inspire, this movie blurs fiction and reality in vertiginous ways. The movie inspired many actual girl groups (and many a great costume, I assume). They travel…

  • Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

    Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters 1985

    ★★★★ Watched 16 Jan, 2015

    This movie is wild! A fictionalized account of the life and last day of one of Japan’s most celebrated authors, Yukio Mishima, interspersed with highly stylized enactments of three of his stories. Written and directed by Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver), executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas (and his money), featuring an astounding score from Philip Glass, made by a mostly Japanese cast and crew, and having a fractured relationship with Mishima’s family, it’s strange that this film…

  • Devil in a Blue Dress

    Devil in a Blue Dress 1995

    ★★★½ Watched 13 Jan, 2015

    Denzel, as Easy Rawlins, may be one of the smartest PIs in a hardboiled detective picture - if only because he calls up Don Cheadle when he knows shit’s about to go down.

    This movie never really had me, but at least it reminded me that I really need to watch more Denzel movies. It’s like doing a jigsaw puzzle that’s really nice to look at as it comes together, even though you don’t particularly care what it looks like…

  • Colorful

    Colorful 2010

    ★★★½ Watched 04 Jan, 2015

    S found a list of best animes for us to work through, and this was #1. While I liked it, I also suspect that it’s #1 in the way that The Shawshank Redemption is #1 on the imdb list. I also felt a little like I do when I read YA (sorry, YA-loving friends). There’s nothing objectionable here, it’s well-made and the concept is solid, but in the end it’s all a little too nice and neat and syrupy and…

  • Brazil

    Brazil 1985

    ★★★★½ Watched 30 Mar, 2013 3

    During the last Criterion sale, I took a gamble and bought the Brazil Blu-ray. A gamble because I had started watching it once before, several years ago, but abandoned it. But I reasoned, really, could it be any more up my alley? A visionary filmmaker, a world built from the scratch of our world, bold ideas and bold visuals. I’d heard bits and pieces about the troubles and the studio problems and everything else (looking forward to checking out the…

  • Brokeback Mountain

    Brokeback Mountain 2005

    ★★★★½ Watched 12 Feb, 2013 7

    I was struck by how beautiful this movie was, both in its story and in its cinematography. I already knew most of the beats of the movie, but that didn't diminish its impact on me. I actually wasn't really paying full attention throughout (more a reflection of my state of mind than of the movie itself), but somehow I was still moved to tears at the end. Jake Gyllenhal and Heath Ledger brought excellently nuanced complexity to Jack and Ennis.…

  • Pariah

    Pariah 2011

    ★★★★½ Watched 04 Feb, 2013 5

    It’s interesting, the journey that a film can take in your mind, and it’s sad to know that some won’t ever take the time to let some films make that journey. Pariah was such a film for me. I didn’t immediately love it, but after a few days I found it to be a pretty damn near perfect indie film.

    I think perhaps the reason why I didn’t immediately love it is because it seems very “standard indie” at first…

  • Parker

    Parker 2013

    ★★½ Watched 29 Jan, 2013 5

    First of all, if you’re a fan of the character Parker as popularized by Darwyn Cooke, run away as fast as you can, for you’ll be sorely disappointed. A movie based on the Parker of The Hunter or The Outfit, with a visual style influenced by Cooke, would have been an amazing movie indeed.

    What we get, instead, is an action/heist-ish movie that’s all process and almost no payoff, based on one of the later Parker stories. If the film…

  • Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

    Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2013

    ★★★ Watched 27 Jan, 2013

    A lot more fun than it has any right to be, and probably less fun than it could have been. It’s rare that a film these days really has only one big narrative arc, and so even though it is less than an hour and a half, it took its time and ended up feeling quite long, dragging at parts. But Gemma Arterton is a delight, somehow making you feel that it’s OK to have fun, even as she rolls…

  • The Untouchables

    The Untouchables 1987

    ★★★★½ Watched 26 Jan, 2013

    I just saw The Untouchables for the first time, and let me tell you, I loved it. While the entire film entertained the hell out of me, there were several things that completely elevated the film to something really excellent.

    The title credits - AMAZING. Morricone’s opening theme is the very definition of spaghetti western + Chicago gangster, and yet it is completely unlike anything I had ever heard before. It has been stuck in my head for the past…

  • Broken City

    Broken City 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 24 Jan, 2013 4

    A good mid-budget movie and a solid modern entry for hard-boiled noir. I really do love Russell Crowe, and aside from his wandering accents, I thought he was great. Particularly effective in the debate scene. The plot is weak, you can’t stare at it too hard, but for the length of the movie I was well-entertained and pleasantly surprised.