• Apocalypse Now

    Apocalypse Now

    ★★★★★

    A review of the original 1979 version in glorious 4K:

    Francis Ford Coppola spent an entire year of his actual life and countless years off the back end of his life making this, widely considered one of the greatest war films ever made, and it’s held up magnificently forty-odd years and two different cuts later. You could be forgiven for wondering if the same guy that did The Godfather really did this, with the beautiful painting-like compositions of that flick replaced…

  • The Poseidon Adventure

    The Poseidon Adventure

    ★★★½

    One of the most famous of disaster movies, a sweaty and melodramatic tension machine larded with famous actors and done completely with practical effects. Makes a great deal of hay out of the premise of the ship being upside down, forcing the characters to think in unconventional ways, with the ever-present knowledge that nature is working as a built-in clock. The characters are well-drawn enough to feel genuine pathos towards, Hackman in particular turns in a real “I’m Gene Hackman…

  • Blade Runner

    Blade Runner

    ★★★★★

    A proper review of the Final Cut in 4K (I should watch the other versions sometime, I’ve got that Blu-ray with all 15 cuts or however many there are):

    A legendary flop in 1982 that has grown in stature pretty much every year since, a dazzling neo-noir that creates a dystopian LA and conjures a mood that I can’t say I’ve never seen before because both have been so endlessly ripped off. The 4K restoration, keeping the griminess of Scott’s…

  • Mallrats

    Mallrats

    ★★½

    Take two:

    Watched with the recorded-in-1999 DVD/laserdisc* commentary**, as I have since the DVD came out and will for the rest of eternity. You should check it out if you haven’t, it’s a charming hang with a bunch of pals (one of whom is EXTREMELY famous now) and is increasingly a period piece as much as the movie itself is. The actual movie itself remains not particularly great, as visually uninteresting as all of his flicks and overly self-consciously wordy…

  • Yi Yi

    Yi Yi

    ★★★★½

    Powerful and devastating, lengthy but not dull, occasionally funny and often beautiful, indelibly shot and composed and edited into a film that almost feels like a documentary in how it captures real life. The way the storylines intertwine, grow and build, and finally end in the ways they end are done masterfully, and the dialogue is so well written as to feel improvised, a really difficult trick to pull off. I have loved and lost, I have had my grandparents…

  • How to score 10 runs in the first inning and lose

    How to score 10 runs in the first inning and lose

    ★★★★

    A nice little amuse-bouche about an extremely rare event in MLB history, given some added heft by a) the very amusing secondary plotline and b) Bois and Rubenstein's usual deeply human touch in describing the career of Steve Jeltz, a barely replacement-level infielder whose moment in the sun reminds us how truly great even the "worst" major league baseball players can be. Would make for a very good primer to anyone that wants to further explore the essential Dorktown series,…

  • True Stories

    True Stories

    ★★★★½

    A singularly strange experience, full of beautiful images and interesting characters and dialogue that almost feels like it was run through an AI generator and an ability to straddle the line between satire and whimsy that I haven’t really seen in too many other movies. We’re far enough from the 80s that “Reagan-era excess” can feel like a cliche, but this movie understood Reagan-era excess deep in the grips of the Reagan era, and enfolding that excess into Virgil, Texas…

  • RoboCop

    RoboCop

    ★★★★★

    Upgraded to 4K, which felt like a betrayal of my beloved OOP Criterion DVD, but both the expertly done and gorgeous restoration and the presence of subtitles made me feel like I made the right choice. It’s really remarkable how weirdly small the stakes are considering this is a movie about a dead police officer converted into a robot that fights crime - the final battle villains are some dipshit hoods and Clarence Boddicker, the secondary conflict is a pissing…

  • Better Luck Tomorrow

    Better Luck Tomorrow

    ★★★½

    Incredibly rooted in its time period in its overexposed shots and sped up motion and everything every person in this movie wears at every point, but movies with actual AsAm representation are few and far between, and this movie had toted a reputation as an indie to watch even before Han showed up in that one movie and then that other movie and then those other movies. And it’s pretty good! It’s raw around the edges and the narration is a…

  • Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    ★★★★★

    Wonderfully emotionally resonant, deeply sad and full of gorgeously composed shots and quietly exceptional acting and beautiful scenes that feel true to life, and stays compelling all throughout its lengthy running time. The length of the film honestly helps add to its resonance, as scenes take time to build and Hamaguchi focuses on faces in that way of his and allows the characters the space to develop and reveal their secrets and their heartache to us. The truly great credit…

  • The Social Network

    The Social Network

    ★★★★★

    Watched again, this time in 4K (which didn’t change much, it’s such a gloriously shot movie to begin with), and this time I really keyed in on how outstanding the editing is, especially in the deposition scenes - Mark’s facial reactions, snide or agreeing or petulant; the incredible moment where he reveals his “notes”; the dialogue ping-ponging back and forth at light speed; and, of course, the one-liners, as biting and wicked as anything that Sorkin has ever barfed out.…

  • M

    M

    ★★★★★

    A proper review:

    Ninety years old and still staggeringly relevant, both for its historical aspects (Lang inventing the modern police movie and like 30 different camera tricks on the fly), its approaches to how justice is served or at least should be served, and that it’s just a truly watchable and brilliant motion picture on its own merits. Yes, I still think it moves a tad slow, but then the number of movies like this for Lang to use as…