• High Crimes

    High Crimes

    ★½

    You know what I miss in movies? Cutting to a guy snapping a pencil in half out of frustration. We don't even hold pencils anymore. How can we snap pencils if we aren't holding them to begin with? Smart phones haven't just killed the art of slamming a landline phone as punctuation, but they killed the pencil too. A whole species wiped out.

  • Switchback

    Switchback

    ★★★½

    As an admirer of snow crime movies (which is a sub-genre specific to the late 90s sparked in the wake of Fargo fever), Switchback was somewhat of a gentle surprise, considering I had genuinely never even heard of it until maybe a year ago. But this is a sturdy mid-budget Paramount release, back in the golden age of mid-budget, and I can easily settle into a groove when seeing that nostalgic 90s Paramount logo. The movie mainly follows two story…

  • Eternals

    Eternals

    ★½

    Chloe Zhao going from Nomadland to Eternals is the bone-to-spaceship match cut from 2001, in terms of silliness of source material.

  • Cure

    Cure

    ★★★★½

    A masterclass in editing. I couldn't describe the cutting as simple cuts but as paper-cuts. Virtually every edit is a paper-cut slashing your eyes; slashing your spine. Little stings. A clinic in paper cutting.

  • Jackass Number Two

    Jackass Number Two

    ★★★½

    There were two theater experiences from the Fall of 2006 that were the absolute peak of "comedy engagement" with an audience, my audience, that will never happen again. It was sold out showings for Borat and Jackass Number Two. These experiences happened a month apart in my senior year of high school, when I was emphatically the target demographic, and it is still burned into my brain how raucous my theaters were. Even at the time, I was like, "This…

  • Hands on a Hardbody: The Documentary

    Hands on a Hardbody: The Documentary

    ★★★★½

    Couldn't look away. Tunnel visioned into this. I entered "the suck zone" with Hands on a Hardbody. Low-fi nirvana.

  • The Hot Rock

    The Hot Rock

    ★★★★½

    I don't know how someone makes The Hot Rock and The Friends of Eddie Coyle back-to-back and then makes Krull, but I'm here to celebrate it.

  • Red Dragon

    Red Dragon

    Few remember that serial assaulter Brett Ratner also assaulted both Michael Mann and Jonathan Demme simultaneously.

  • Clockstoppers

    Clockstoppers

    The beautiful twist is that they really did stop the clocks, and sealed a pop culture window in fossilized amber. The cusp of that pre-9/11 (but released post-9/11) blissful ignorance where it was technically the 2000s but still felt like the 90s as far as anyone was concerned. There really is a meaty list to be made about this topic - the January 2000 to roughly June 2002 era where movies reflected 90s holdover culture before the post-9/11 wave kicked in. Actually, I'd submit Minority Report as perhaps the first actual post-9/11 movie. That came out June of 2002.

  • Ice Age

    Ice Age

    ★★★

    A flick that I saw in theaters twenty years ago (with a younger sister) that went on to become... an institution? I imagine the Ice Age saga has embedded itself into the psyche of Gen Z like nothing else. But to me, a millennial, I remember that watch from twenty years ago when computer animation was still very much a novel thing. And it was clear that advancements were being made with the technology. Just the previous year, Shrek and…

  • Strange Days

    Strange Days

    ★★★★

    Ralph Fiennes doing Schindler's List, Quiz Show, Strange Days, and The English Patient in an uninterrupted row is one of the quietest flexes. Just the cast from top to bottom is in prime form. No one involved in Strange Days would be this sexy again; that's including Tom Sizemore and his Stoner Wolfman hairdo. Angela Bassett cocking a shotgun is the apex.

  • King Ralph

    King Ralph

    ★★★½

    A flimsy premise and even flimsier translation of said premise is held together by the life-blood of good-guy gorilla glue that is John Goodman. Goodman Glue. Simply apply a dab of Goodman Glue to your film and it will hold together a Jenga tower that's just dying to topple over. As one of the great character actors of his generation, he didn't get to star in many films, and here he stars in a fish-out-of-water comedy. I don't think he did another fish-out-of-water flick, but the simple act of combining Goodman and fish-out-of-water is the peanut-butter and jelly sandwich I didn't know I wanted.