• David Cross: The Pride Is Back

    David Cross: The Pride Is Back


    Had a chance to see David Cross live last month and jumped on it. I never see live comedy anymore, and was curious about what he does on-stage these days. (He is first-ballot hall-of-fame, of course, for Mr. Show. His stand-up albums stuck out to me as largely joke-free, but it's been a while since I've heard them.)

    This 1999 special isn't bad, with a couple of delightfully absurd moments, but otherwise fairly routine observations on religion and pop culture.…

  • Josie and the Pussycats

    Josie and the Pussycats


    This film showed up in many remembrances of Adam Schlesinger, the Ivy / Fountains of Wayne / "That Thing You Do!" / Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star who died of COVID at the start of COVID. While he did handle production on a lot of the songs, he only wrote a couple, leaving the rest to a fever-dream roster of late-90s legends: Letters to Cleo's Kay Hanley, Babyface, Jane Wiedlin, Adam Duritz (yes that Adam Duritz), Bif Naked, Jason Falkner from Jellyfish…

  • Demonlover



    A sexy thriller, without a lot of thrills, nor anything particularly sexy, now that I think about it. Does a good job of not over-explaining the fairly dull plot, which pertains to adult entertainment on the internet, to focus more on the interpersonal back-stabbing and political maneuvering between people. Which is also not terribly interesting. Everyone's better than the script, but particularly Sevigny and Gina Gershon, who doesn't give a clear sense that she knows she's in a movie. There's…

  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie

    The Super Mario Bros. Movie


    Maybe I'm not cut out for French films.

    (...the joke being that this was primarily produced in Paris by Illumination, and France itself has a rich tradition of filmmaking, and... you know what, never mind.)

    Had low expectations going into this, and then my wife and 13yo daughter came back from a screening with rave reviews. So I maybe got my hopes up - and I saw Bob Hoskins / Dennis Hopper in the theater, so I am no stranger…

  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band


    Do you have a vague sense that you have seen this before? I certainly felt like I had. Then someone pointed out that Steve Martin sings "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and George Burns is the narrator / star, and I thought "no fucking way have I seen whatever fever dream you're describing there".

    Indeed, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is actually Peter Frampton and the Bee-Gees, and they battle not just Steve Martin but also Aerosmith and also Alice Cooper.…

  • The Ten Commandments

    The Ten Commandments


    Only got halfway through this, as I'm not sure that anyone's gotten any further than halfway through this.

    I was simply mesmerized by it, but I should point out that Minnesota has legal edible THC now.

  • Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

    Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool


    Pretty PBS-y documentary about a musical legend I don't know a ton about. It's fine, but offers nothing terribly compelling.

    In the last office I ever occupied, I had a record player and a pair of bookshelf speakers. I was playing records late one Friday, and my boss walked in.

    "Hey what's this?"

    "It's Miles Davis, Kind of Blue."

    "Oh. I like it!"

    "Yeah, it's one of the most widely acclaimed albums in the history of recorded music, but great, glad to have you on board for that."

  • mother!



    Ah, that's a killer ending. Up until about 1 hour 43 minutes, I was thinking "this doesn't have any idea what it wants to say" and then BAM it says it. I was thinking Aronofsky had lost his marbles (The Whale is overall pretty terrible) but as recently as 2017 he apparently still had it.

    Which is not to say that the first 90% is at all ineffective - it works as a crazed fever dream about interlopers, and a…

  • John Wick: Chapter 2

    John Wick: Chapter 2


    I was remarking to a friend that John Wick is sort of outside "film franchise" mode at this point. They're like Wrestlemanias or Eminem albums. He countered that they were enjoyable on their own terms, and I talked myself into the idea - America never took full advantage of the slick Hong Kong action movie tradition, and this is what we're getting as a reverberation, decades later.

    That doesn't mean that they're great or anything. Most of what you remember…

  • The Whale

    The Whale


    I am behind by a couple of Aronofskys, having loved Pi, having found something to appreciate about Requiem and Black Swan, and having been a little confused by The Wrestler.

    I didn't find that this was technically "about" very much - so I admit that I flipped through some reviews on here to get my bearings. I don't think this film is very curious about its subjects - either the people or their conditions - aside from the nurse friend,…

  • Wolfwalkers



    I was only kind of half-watching this, as my wife is excited for some animated-movie bracket that should, eventually and finally, declare a victor across all time and age groups. At least we're watching a lot of animated films. I remember we saw it on St. Patrick's Day and it's got an Irish theme.

    Pretty in spots, and predictable in others, I thought this traded far too much on the idea that there are things that children Should Not Do…

  • Women Talking

    Women Talking


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

    Notable for a stunning reveal of setting - having established itself as a document of the battle for women's rights and the acknowledgement of their own mistreatment, we learn that this is actually happening more or less right now. Because of course it is.

    Nothing is quite as memorable as that - the titular talking is punchy and effective, and the one male character we get to know anything about is written and realized superbly. But the film itself meanders,…