• Crimson Tide

    Crimson Tide

    ★★★★½

    I love it when a movie is able to make me relate to the side of the antagonist -- where he isn't necessarily wrong... just not as right as the protagonist. And this movie does this well. Of course you root for Denzel (how can you not), but Hackman's Capt. Ramsey's reasoning was sound. The ensuing conflict between these two strong characters is riveting to watch. Very tense; very exciting.
    Score marked down a half point because some of the dialogue is a bit cringy, and the ending felt too quickly & cleanly wrapped up considering the intensity of the proceeding conflict.

  • The Zone of Interest

    The Zone of Interest

    ★★★½

    This movie does its one thing very well. Focusing purely on the Nazi family and totally excluding the Jewish experience is a sharp and effective rebuke of all other holocaust movies. It created its own form of horror via the profane banality. The direction is extremely antiseptic, nearly removing the director as a creative entity -- further emphasizing this as a response to films like Schindler's List (a film I love) which is imbued with Hollywood tropes, showy direction, & artistic…

  • Extraction 2

    Extraction 2

    ★★★½

    This movie has some well-crafted action set pieces with combat that's a few notches more intense than what I've seen in other action movies. Those are worth the price of admission. However, the rest of the movie is pretty standard fare.

  • Unknown: Cosmic Time Machine

    Unknown: Cosmic Time Machine

    ★★★½

    One of my favorite sub-genre is smart people doing difficult tasks competently and this definitely hits that mark. It was great seeing some details around the creation of the telescope and the passion behind the team that brought these images to us.

    This doc leans way more toward the feelings & emotion. I would've liked a deeper dive into the engineering and astrophysics, but that's not what this movie was going for. That said, I was certainly along for the emotional ride and really felt the elation and pride of this accomplishment.

  • All the Light We Cannot See

    All the Light We Cannot See

    ★★★½

    I found this very good, but not great. Very competent, great production values, but the story fell slightly flat for me. Maybe because there was little nuance. The good guys are unimpeachably good, and the bad guys are, well, literal Nazis. The story then just hit all of the expected beats (again, very competently).

    One thing that struck me while watching are the very different acting styles comparing Hugh Laurie and Mark Ruffalo. Both are great performances, but Laurie always…

  • Killers of the Flower Moon

    Killers of the Flower Moon

    ★★★★

    After most movies based on historical events, I’m always left feeling like the story wasn’t fully told — wanting more detail and having to do more research. With this movie, I felt satisfied with the story (at least regards to the facts). This movie was as exactly as long as it needed to be.

    It was a great study into the duality of man. How men could do such awful things, but be able to justify it to themselves & believe that they are good people. 

    I wished there was more from Mollie’s perspective.

  • Broken Arrow

    Broken Arrow

    ★★½

    I feel like there were a lot of these types of action movies in the mid 90s -- with our vanilla heroes going up against a bad guy with an excess of personality (Speed, Face/Off, etc.). This one was a bit below average. However, it's pretty easy to watch and keeps you entertained the entire length of the film, despite the paint-by-numbers plot & action pieces.

    Watched this for Unclear and Present Danger podcast.

  • Nixon

    Nixon

    ★★★★

    A fascinating character study of a very unique individual. The comparisons reviewers have made to Shakespeare and Citizen Kane are apt.

    A lot of talented, familiar middle-aged (white) male character actors in suits reading lines. Seems boring, but I was fairly riveted despite the extremely long running time. It was very impressive how well Hopkins was able to mimic Nixon's mannerisms so closely. When he grinned and held up his hands, he was almost indistinguishable from Nixon despite not looking…

  • The Enemy Within

    The Enemy Within

    ★½

    I found this movie implausible and hard to follow. Some really cheesy shooting scenes — you can actually see the outline of the squib just underneath their clothing. 

    Watched for Unclear and Present Danger podcast.

  • Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

    Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

    ★★½

    I thought that Pinocchio was insufferable in this. So damn self-centered & just plain annoying. Geppetto deserved better.

  • You Hurt My Feelings

    You Hurt My Feelings

    ★★★

    I felt like the main conflict in the film (he couldn't tell her he didn't like the book she authored) are such small stakes to base a whole movie around. This isn't the first movie that could've been resolved in a single conversation, but

    Also, I didn't see overarching theme connecting the plot lines -- such as his problems at work and the goings-on with other family members. It all seemed rather arbitrary.

    My positives are that it was pretty well-acted (especially Julia Louis-Dreyfus), connecting with the realistic, naturalistic dialog. I also could've spent much longer in the marriage counseling sessions with David Cross.

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi

    Obi-Wan Kenobi

    ★★★½

    This show served as an epilogue to the prequel series, with many of the same cast & characters, and continuing plot threads -- particularly from Episode III. I thought it was a perfectly serviceable bridge between the first two sets of movies. In particular, I vastly preferred the portrayal of Anakin/Vader in this show over than the prequel movies.

    Like The Mandalorian, I felt that it held strongly with the tone, setting, and characters of the original series.

    Young Princess Leia…