• Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★

    You (new cinema) kids get off my lawn: the movie. 

    It’s the first time I’ve ever thought of Tarantino as an old man.

  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    ★★★

    The framing story lacks the meanness/bite of the stories themselves, but gotdamb each of the creatures is appropriately nasty (and likely traumatizing for the generation of kids lucky enough to get it in their eyeballs).

  • Pet Sematary

    Pet Sematary

    ★★★★

    Why didn’t we get a ton of Denise Crosby on film and TV?
    Cast with TV actors and ratcheting the melodrama up to 11, it’s still effective for how its performers and director ride to the material (Stephen Kong’s most heartbreakingly grim work).

  • Spider-Man: Far from Home

    Spider-Man: Far from Home

    ★★★½

    Like Homecoming, the balance of the action is on teenaged Peter Parker with Spidey always hovering at the margins. It’s a joy.

  • Searching

    Searching

    ★★

    It’s like an entire season’s worth of SVU episodes in under two hours.

  • The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion

    The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion

    ★★★½

    I’m secretly pretending this is a weird half-sequel to Kitamura’s Alive. 

    Your first tip-off that you might not be getting a completely satisfying story is on the Part 1 appended to the title. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its pleasures. I was largely on the movie’s side withholding the major blood and guts beats until the last quarter, focusing instead on letting us observe its lead character (IMDB weirdly doesn’t have a cast listing). 


    What action there is remains quick, dirty, and in need of some clear rules about how the psychic murder teens’ powers work. I suppose that’ll be explored in part 2.

  • Always Be My Maybe

    Always Be My Maybe

    ★★★

    Park and Wong are so thoroughly charismatic, I could watch them for hours playing off one another’s vibes. I just wish their script gave the pair more time to be a convincing couple.

  • John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

    John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

    ★★½

    The movie’s rhythm and flow are as tired as John Wick’s character seems to be in its opening scenes. 
    Busy in the way the other two weren’t, plotty in a way that exhausted me. Worse, action beats were repeated over and over, stripping it of the weird, vicious glee of its predecessors.

  • Escape Room

    Escape Room

    ★½

    The clues to its puzzles exist out of sight of the viewer, so you never really feel part of the experience when one of its traumatized characters makes a leap in deduction. It only gets dumber as the plot vomits a mess of mythology/mystery all over you in the closing minutes.

  • Dear Ex

    Dear Ex

    ★★★

    At turns aggressively sweet and misanthropic.

  • The Heroic Trio

    The Heroic Trio

    ★★★★

    It’s like Charlie’s Angels but the angels are all connected to an esoteric cult and live in some kind of 40s-themed dystopia.

  • Yes, Madam!

    Yes, Madam!

    ★★★★

    The Yeoh/Rothrock vs. Everyone throwdown is one for the ages.