RSS feed for Trent
  • ARQ

    ARQ 2016

    ★★★★ Watched 28 Sep, 2016

    A nice little 88-minute sci-fi punch. It reminds me of Moon or Primer when I think about how much it achieves without heaps of sets and effects. It’s a little more straightforward than those movies, however, but that didn’t make it any less fun.

    I hope writer/director Tony Elliot (also a writer for Orphan Black) gets to do more like this.

    Watch it on Netflix

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 2016

    ★★★½ Rewatched 28 Jul, 2016

    rewatch: ultimate edition

    Ok. minus ½ star this time around. I don’t disagree with many common gripes: disorganized script, lack of focus, too many set pieces & plot points, etc.

    I like how Evan Puschak (Nerdwriter) frames it—BVS’s fundamental flaw is Snyder’s preoccupation with moments rather than scenes (+moving the story forward). In other words, beautiful, iconic moments are presented with little underneath to lend substance.

    Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns left quite an impression on me, so I’m probably…

  • X-Men: Apocalypse

    X-Men: Apocalypse 2016

    ★★★½ Watched 10 Sep, 2016

    No amount of Marvel movie villain makeup can hide Oscar Issac’s charming grin. Seriously—look at this face. I wanted to give him a high-five and a hug. I think Issac is great, but it makes me appreciate how hard Lee Pace leaned into Ronin.

  • Sinners and Saints

    Sinners and Saints 2010

    ★★★½ Watched 11 Sep, 2016

    via Todd Gaines’s review

    As far as low budget action movies go, I don’t think it’d be fair to expect half as much as Sinners and Saints brings to the table.

  • The Neon Demon

    The Neon Demon 2016

    ★★★ Watched 31 Aug, 2016

    I imagine Refn wanted his film about superficial beauty to be superficial itself.

    It’s like a stylish room you feel cool sitting in—perfectly moody music, lighting, and feng shui all around. Once that’s sunk in, however, you find yourself restless and ready to leave early because there’s not much else inclining you to stay.

  • Hell or High Water

    Hell or High Water 2016

    ★★★★ Watched 25 Aug, 2016

    I went into Hell or High Water expecting strong No Country for Old Men & True Detective vibes. While those harsh tones are there, it unexpectedly oscillates towards levity and casual charm on multiple fronts. It’s taken me a while to unpack whether or not I think that’s a good thing…

    On one hand you have the sun-dried West Texas landscape* and beautifully bleak, droning soundtrack composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (See also The Assassination of Jesse James by…

  • Imperium

    Imperium 2016

    ★★★ Watched 21 Aug, 2016 2

    Imperium is thriller-lite… neither diving too deep into the psychological aspects of being undercover nor the inner-workings of radical white supremacist groups.

    But I still liked it—probably because I’m continually delighted to witness Daniel Radcliffe’s evolution. He does a fine job here—despite being occasionally stretched to remain intimidating while going toe to toe with actors like the 6′ 5″ Chris Sullivan. I have no idea, but I like to think that growing up around amazing talents like Gambon, Smith, Harris, and Rickman informed the trajectory he’s on now.

  • Mulholland Drive

    Mulholland Drive 2001

    ★★★★½ Watched 15 Aug, 2016

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  • Amadeus

    Amadeus 1984

    ★★★★★ Watched 14 Aug, 2016

    My first viewing—parents wouldn't let me rent it as a child (probably because boobs)—but I still vividly remember the mystical VHS box art. Next to Raiders, it was the most interesting and evocative art in the entire store. And that’s saying something because they also had Ghoulies.

  • Suicide Squad

    Suicide Squad 2016

    ★½ Watched 06 Aug, 2016

    Suicide Squad is 20 trailers interspersed with misplaced flashback sequences that fail to compensate for the lack of a story, vision, or theme.

    Boom! We’re doing something! Cue the Black Sabbath, AC/DC, White Stripes, Creedence, etc. song—then show everybody walking together in slow motion. Repeat. Over. And over.

    I suppose this is what you get for hiring a trailer house to edit your film (HT Tony Zhou)…

    So while Ayer pursued his original vision, Warners set about working on a…

  • Jason Bourne

    Jason Bourne 2016

    ★★½ Watched 02 Aug, 2016 1

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Yo dawg, I heard u like shaky cam action…

    Jason Bourne is a forced origin story to the origin story that’s already unfolded in the earlier 3 films. 

    Characters’ motivations are muddy, and it seems like there are 3 stories—each told about ⅓ of the way through:

    1) Whoa, what’s Nicky Parsons up to? She’s a badass now. She should be more central to the plot. And who the hell is Christian Dassault? I bet he has a really interesting…

  • Stoker

    Stoker 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 31 Jul, 2016

    If you’re looking for a story about what happens when a nefarious long-lost family member returns, start with Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt. Joseph Cotten is fantastic in it.

    Not that Matthew Goode isn’t great in Stoker—everything (including Chan-wook Park’s direction) feels solid. Some of the detail in the scene blocking (especially with the staircase) reminds me of Hitchcock himself.

    Shots are accentuated by the positioning and almost artificially perfect posture of the characters. After all, isn’t that what these…