• Bodies Bodies Bodies

    Bodies Bodies Bodies

    ★★★½

    Zillennial panic mounts in a whodunit of anxious social currencies. Who trusts their friends? What have all our relationships become and who do we know anymore?

    As a bottle night movie, BBB works extraordinarily well. It’s off the strength of its ensemble, truly a special generational group, that we buy into their weird friendships and have any curiosity about how they interact in their world.

    There is so much sociological exploration here of generational anxiety and content that is specific…

  • Glorious

    Glorious

    ★★★

    The contemporary horror movie is an open-ended playfield anyone can contribute to at any scale. The most inclusive of modern genres, horror is rife with opportunities. Anything can fit inside the box. Any kind of wacky story. Oddball characters. You can make big ideas in small spaces. It’s the best place for new voices, outside the all-inclusive form of documentaries. We get to see totally new perspectives, like this peculiar chamber film about Lovecraftian horror orbiting around a glory hole.…

  • Free Puppies

    Free Puppies

    ★★★

    Sounds like a trap. “Free Puppies!” Yeah right, sure there are. Where are they then, huh? You know what we came for. Free the pups. What is this then, some twisted horror flick that uses an innocuous name and puppy imagery to twist a transgressive message in support of pup rescue? We could only be so lucky… Could it really be? A prim and proper piece of advocacy for the puppies? It’s a popular decision and everyone who is not…

  • Out in the Ring

    Out in the Ring

    ★★★

    Fantasia 2022

    Entertainment sports have a dilemma to grapple with: the performers are real people. They are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning. In the history of their sport, they have largely been allowed to be one thing: straight, except when it is convenient to be queer. The queer wrestler only gets to hold an identity for the beats of a storyline. Like so much wrestling kayfabe (the acting of events in wrestling that read as true to the…

  • Sirens

    Sirens

    ★★½

    North Bend Film Festival 2022

    Documentaries about fresh new (to us) bands are always captivating for me. Yeah, I’ve followed all the Prominent Rock Bands from start to finish already. I know their stories. But a women’s metal band from Lebanon? I don’t know anything about that. So it’s fun to sit in and see the internal drama of it all. Unfortunately in this case, that mostly resolves around one shaky friendship. The social reasons around the issue are infinitely…

  • 3 Women

    3 Women

    ★★★★★

    Just come soak in the Altmanisms. The water is fine. Every idea is terrific. The three performers wonderful. The cinematography as good as cinematography gets. No notes, no critiques, almost nothing to say at all for the movie that speaks for itself. Just vibes.

  • Labyrinth

    Labyrinth

    ★★★½

    I love every time David Bowie is on screen and wish he were as productive in movies as in music. Cause it’s always just as joyous (especially Roeg’s magnificent The Man Who Fell to Earth).

  • The NeverEnding Story

    The NeverEnding Story

    ★★★½

    You’ll have to see all the movies you liked again if you had a kid. You’ll have to retrace it all, if you want to give them cinema literacy (even if it only matters to you), and to see them wear the same expressions you wore when you watched the movies on VHS for the first and twentieth time. And then, your own critical brain matters far less, than the vicarious joy of your child. Eventually that is all that…

  • Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson

    Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson

    ★★★

    False idols are renegotiated in Robert Altman’s revision of the American Mythos. Everything it has to say is unambiguous. You’ve already worked it out from the title and won’t need me to explain. It is a film that is all decoration and not too much depth but Altman’s predilections for simultaneous speech are present and well worn here. Paul Newman is good in it. First act hangs after a good opening and then the rest of the film is more engaging. A novel and contrasting choice next to the perfect McCabe, to rework Western deconstructions in a totally different way. Worthy of at least one watch.

  • Mad Monster Party?

    Mad Monster Party?

    ★★½

    The question mark is appropriate. Is this a Mad Monster Party?, really? Not really Mad, not really a Monster Party, but likely questionable. Rankin/Bass stalwarts may wish to have the Halloween flavored stop motion version of the Christmas movies they reliably cranked out like a made for TV animation factory. Like several of those specials, this just doesn’t really work, you wish it did, and are probably in for it anyway because you have some idea of how it could be, and it consistently falls just short of that.

  • Trainwreck: Woodstock '99

    Trainwreck: Woodstock '99

    ★★★

    Pop documentaries come in pairs these days. There are signature differences between HBO / The Ringer’s documentary and the one commissioned here by Netflix. While the particulars are the same, they use different perspectives to lead down the same path. Here we get more insight from the folks who put the festival on. Whereas in HBO’s effort there were many concert goers with their limited firsthand perspectives (while not invaluable), it’s more helpful here to see why and how decisions…

  • An American Hippie in Israel

    An American Hippie in Israel

    ★★★½

    What if the opening of McCabe & Mrs. Miller were stretched to fit an entire movie? The same weeping lyricism of the soundscape of that revisionist Western, placed into a stranger in a strange land film where nothing particularly happens, there is no story, but there are quasi Italia Western clacking instrumentations and a sense of fluid wanderlust. The film is floating in the water and basking in the sun on a hot day. Landlocked by sharks and an elegiac sense…