• Cowboy

    Cowboy

    ★★★★

    You don’t always get the girl. Sometimes there are no beautiful words to say as a man is lowered into the ground, only the plain utterance that he was good with cattle. A hard job requires practicality that sometimes verges on spiritual neglect. But you don’t have to die inside. Your toughness doesn’t have to become misery.

  • Switchback

    Switchback

    ★★★½

    I’d have watched this cast bake a cake, let alone get into the inspired shenanigans on display here.

  • Army of the Dead

    Army of the Dead

    When Zack Snyder thinks about James Cameron’s Aliens, does he imagine that it only accidentally does not include long expository scenes a good hour and a half into its runtime?

  • Dante's Peak

    Dante's Peak

    ★★★★

    A true late-analog extravaganza: beautiful illustrated backdrops, miniature buildings and trees, tactile atmospheric effects. Pierce Bronson and Linda Hamilton are also fantastic.

  • Smooth Talk

    Smooth Talk

    ★★★★½

    For much of its runtime, this is a richly detailed, unhurried portrait of a girl and her family, but it curdles into something darker as a maniacally charming sexual predator played by Treat Williams sets his sights on Dern. However that sounds on the surface, somehow it’s neither a straightforward Bildungsroman or a thriller. The scope is too limited for the former, and the plot mechanics aren’t there for the later. It sort of revolves around itself, cycling through the days and nights of a restless young woman, until the moment this dark other breaks the pattern, and throws everything that came before into relief.

  • The Mist

    The Mist

    ★★★½

    This has the look and feel of a TV special or a truncated mini-series, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I’m not sure the material always matches that approach.

  • Godzilla vs. Kong

    Godzilla vs. Kong

    ★★½

    Dougherty greater than Wingard

  • The Outpost

    The Outpost

    ★★★½

    I’d be lying if I said this didn’t totally rivet me.

  • The Loveless

    The Loveless

    ★★★★

    A Day at the Liberty Truck Center Wax Museum.

  • Dead Bang

    Dead Bang

    ★★★★

    this feels like a TV pilot that got punched up at every level. The script is clever and often quite funny. It’s got a great cast with minor delights such as Bob Balaban as a PO just trying to get home for Christmas. And it’s consistently exciting. The whole Oklahoma sequence crackles.

  • Lifeforce

    Lifeforce

    ★★★

    Director’s Cut - this was my first viewing of the film in any form, but I can’t help but think this could have been cut by at least 15 minutes. I’ll try the theatrical cut one of these days.

  • Dirty Dancing

    Dirty Dancing

    ★★★★

    Good clean fun.