• Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    ★★★★★

    If the goal of cinema is to make you feel, there’s arguably no movie that makes me feel more scene-by-scene second-by-second than Fire Walk With Me. Genuinely a rollercoaster of emotions: laughter one moment, then fleeting joy, followed by a deep sickness, a dampening despair, then only a raw and carnal fear. Immensely the product of Sheryl Lee and Ray Wise’s masterful versatility. Not a scene or character or camera movement to waste. A pitch perfect woozy cocaine-laden descent towards predestined tragedy—the butchery of innocence, untimely and gruesome.


    Happy #TwinPeaksDay everyone. ✌🏽

  • Vikram Vedha

    Vikram Vedha

    ★★★

    விக்ரம் வேதா comfortably sits atop the shoulders of the many many cop-criminal cat-and-mouse films which precede it (e.g. Heat, French Connection, Inside Man, The Departed, and so many others). The film’s success largely derives from the ever-charming Vijay Sethupathi, who in this role channels a “Verbal Kint”-esque ability in smooth-talking and storytelling. I initially couldn’t believe my eyes that Tamil cinema heartthrob Madhavan was playing a buffed-up meat-headed cop—the kind of role Suriya is built for—but it turned out he…

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    ★★★½

    Honestly a very solid, by-the-books story put to the silver screen by long-time actor first-time director first-time screenwriter Chiwetel Ejiofor. The real-world subject of the film, young William Kamkwamba, eventually goes on to give an inspiring TED Talk in 2007 about the events leading up to him building this homemade windmill. In the same spirit as a TED talk, Ejiofor's film lays out all the family-driven drama and all the Malawian hardships in a unembellished but emotive fashion; this yields…

  • The Garden of Words

    The Garden of Words

    ★★½

    This plays out exactly like the poetry I used to write back in high school. Yes there is beauty, yes there prosody, but also it definitely sounds like it was written by a fifteen year old.

    Makoto Shinkai is a trailblazer visually, and his infatuation with nature/weather shines through on every frame. I think, conceptually, The Garden of Words could've hit the mark if it was packaged as a 15-minute short with minimal dialogue. Instead as a feature, the ham-fisted…

  • Bliss

    Bliss

    True bliss is not watching this film. Sending my apologies to the bizarre and unnecessary cameos: Ronny Chieng, Bill Nye, and Slavoj Žižek (??). I hope that Amazon money was worth it.

  • The Blair Witch Project

    The Blair Witch Project

    ★★★★★

    I can get why people find it underwhelming, I can get why people find it overwhelming. The Blair Witch Project, even 22 years later, is perhaps still the apex of the genre it spawned. It drops you right in there with the three kids in the woods, with their slow descent to delirium perfectly timed. And anyone who has camped knows exactly how this kind of fear accumulates.

    Despite the intentional lo-fi nature and the square aspect ratio, I still…

  • The White Tiger

    The White Tiger

    ★★★★½

    Indians over here looking at Parasite sweeping the Oscars and being like, "oh yep, that's literally the daily life of everyone in India". Very book-like storytelling and pacing, but I loved that about White Tiger personally. A sucker for Rajkummar Rao but of course this movie's laurels rest almost entirely on newcomer Adarsh Gourav's stellar performance. The movie I thought did a wonderfully nuanced job of portraying the complex power dynamics (oscillating back and forth) between a servant/worker and his…

  • 28 Days

    28 Days

    ★½

    Pretty much no one is the wiser for watching 28 Days; every supporting character here is as forgettable as Sandra Bullock’s character is insufferable. The first half of the movie is the biggest offender, relying on extremely lazy low-fidelity flashbacks and a nauseating handheld camera, all topped with an over-the-top incessancy from Bullock. The latter half is tolerable, but plods along quite predictably. Heavy hitters Viggo Mortensen, Steve Buscemi, and Alan Tudyk really got short-changed on this one.

    Very strange choice for the movie to end on a freeze frame of Sandra Bullock hugging Alan Tudyk, literally makes no sense. Extremely skippable, don’t watch. 👍🏽

  • Bhoomi

    Bhoomi

    Almost could be a parody of Tamil cinema if it wasn’t taking itself seriously. The villian’s voice being dubbed was perhaps the most infuriating thing. And then the background score alternates between three themes incessantly, two of which abuse that Hans Zimmer-esque low bass orchestra hit. Not to mention the tediousness of the entire plot, of two “farmers” playing cat and mouse games.

    This Pongal release is unironic straight garbage—avoid at all costs.

  • The Father

    The Father

    ★★★★½

    Kind of like a combination of Still Alice with Haneke’s Amour, The Father is a haunting depiction of Alzheimer’s/dementia, both from the perspective of the afflicted and those who love them. Late stage Anthony Hopkins is absolutely masterclass—he captures all the small ticks and mannerisms of short-term memory loss in a uniquely relatable manner. The cinematography really drives home the point of names and faces, shapes and places all blurring into a nebulous sense of time. But yet, Hopkin’s experience is entirely…

  • Minari

    Minari

    ★★★½

    It was really good! Hard to say if I’d come back to this movie. But everything was very genuine. Earnest storytelling with a consistent autobiographical tone.

  • In the Mouth of Madness

    In the Mouth of Madness

    ★★★★½

    Prince of Darkness ran so that Into the Mouth of Madness could fly. John Carpenter slam-dunks on both Stephen King and HP Lovecraft with this delightful descent into hysteria helmed by the incomparable Sam Neill. I think most filmmakers working a story like this would get quite caught up in the mythos—Carpenter spares no time lost in the details. The focus is entirely on Sam Neill’s characters experience, with high-grade 90’s visuals that hold up. This movie’s main theme, undeniably…