• A Straightforward Boy

    A Straightforward Boy

    ★★★½

    Incomplete film (only about half of the original 28 minute runtime apparently survives?) that, nontheless, is complete enough to suggest kind of a pure wry joy throughout, a young, deadpan glasses-wearing boy, unruffled even when one of the kidnappers is having a slapfight with him(that part's a little bit jarring) who proves to be sort of a pokerfaced Dennis the Menace style curse to his abductors, keeping himself entertained and ruining their plans in the process. Despite the short length and focus on broad comedy, stands as an interesting example of Ozu's examination of generational differences, particularly between adult and child priorities

  • Speed

    Speed

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    moral of the story: There's a time and place for everything, and while you might think you have a legitimate reason to tell Keanu Reeves you're smarter with him, it's NOT a good idea to give into temptation and do it while you're choking him on top of a moving subway train going through a tunnel with signal lights and other obstacles sticking out of the ceiling.

  • 12 Angry Men

    12 Angry Men

    ★★★★

    the original 12 Angry Men (Lumet version) was a seminal experience for me, a film I watched when younger that kind of changed my ideas about what movies could be, and what they could say, and really struck me cinematically despite (because of?) being 12 guys in a room arguing.

    So of course I held off on the Friedkin remake for years, despite an award-winning performance from Jack Lemmon being at the center of it, but, having watched it now,…

  • A Hidden Life

    A Hidden Life

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The last couple of Terrence Malick films I'd seen (note: I haven't seen Song to Song, which doesn't currently appear to be streaming anywhere) felt a bit like he was pushing the boundaries of 'Terrence Malick films' whatever that means -A Hidden Life is very much a Terrence Malick film, recognizably so, to the point where it might be more striking or powerful if you're unfamiliar with his work, than it could be if you've seen say, Days of Heaven,…

  • Dangerous Game

    Dangerous Game

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The Bad: Madonna gives a fairly determined performance, but she doesn't get to DO much, mostly react (see below) and doesn't get much in the way of catharsis or closure - it's a thankless role, really, especially given the way the film ends (it doesn't end so much as it just kind of finishes--not very many ways it COULD end, I suppose, but it does feel a bit like the filmmakers flinching, at the end, when confronted with the implications…

  • The Good Lord Bird

    The Good Lord Bird

    ★★★★

    Solid adaptation of a challenging, striking novel, powered by a central pair of performances (Hawke and newcomer Joshua Caleb Johnson) and the dynamic between them.

  • It's Him

    It's Him

    ★★★½

    Pretty good at saying the unsayable

  • How to Steal a Canoe

    How to Steal a Canoe

    ★★★½

    A short story about two Nishnaabeg people rescuing a canoe that's on display in a museum, and giving it a proper burial. Striking stop-motion animation and haunting music create an effect of a film that's much deeper and broader and contains more than just the few minutes it exists on screen. The birch forest on display could stretch for MILES.

  • Glorious

    Glorious

    ★★★

    or 'This ghost blowjob brought to you by The Canada Council for the Arts'

    Despite (or because of?) feeling largely uninterested with giving viewers an easy path into the story here - one that's put together with sharply fragmented imagery, and aggressive uh, ghost violence and ghost sexing, this feels like it's Maddin leaning into some thoughts about humanity and the infinite more directly and bluntly than he often does in his work. Interesting, in other words, but I wouldn't necessarily pick it as somebody's first exposure to Maddin's filmography if they were unfamiliar.

  • The Princess

    The Princess

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    fun, tightly-wound no-thrills action showcase disguised as a modern fairy tale about empowerment for girls (or it might be a fairy tale about empowerment disguised as an action showcase, who can say?) but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to being a LITTLE bitter that Olga Kurylenko had to job to some weird kid in a tutu.

  • How to Fish

    How to Fish

    ★★½

    Definitely the weakest jokes of the three Goofy 'How To...' shorts I've watched over the past couple of days, but the storybook framing device IS charming, and if you overlook the jokes, the focus of this seems to be Goofy running away to the mountains and engaging himself in a life-or-death duel with (SPOILER) a rogue outboard motor after spiraling into MADNESS (first from the Zodiac and then, perhaps, from the altitude and high mountain air)

  • Prey

    Prey

    ★★★½

    Watched the Comanche dub - a very straightforward, very direct genre piece that unpacks themes mostly by showing the viewer what's happening rather than giving a lot of speeches or even overly complex plotting - the first half does take time to breathe by setting up too parallel first hunts - Amber Midthunder's Naru, trying to become a true hunter in the eyes of her brother and his peers, and the young predator with the big skull helm who gets…