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  • 3:10 to Yuma

    3:10 to Yuma

    Most of the real action takes place in a long scene in a hotel room in the form of a conversation.

  • The Slender Thread

    The Slender Thread

    I thought this film would be about finding a reason to keep going when times are hard. But, it ends up being more about what lengths we'll go to to save someone.

    Also, they have to physically trace the phone call and it's a major part of the plot.

  • The Fits

    The Fits

    It’s strong, deliberate and unnerving.

    It’s also striking in how it looks. It’s very brightly lit without feeling like a TV soap opera. The actors glow and the colors, especially purple, pop off the screen.

  • Delicatessen

    Delicatessen

    My first thought as soon as it ended was that it was much more nihilistic than I expected. Maybe it hits everyone differently, but even the happy ending felt hollow to me.

    There are several scenes I definitely want to share and come back to over and over (the first date, fixing the squeaky bed), but the rest of the film felt really cynical and I’m unlikely to want to revisit it.

    I suppose that’s consistent, though, with Terry Gilliam,…

  • Shaft

    Shaft

    I really love super stylish noir type films, especially in this dark and gritty reboot world we live in. There are plenty of revenge based shoot-em-ups, but give me beautiful frames, an impossibly well dressed lead, and good music. John Wick is probably the best recent example, but films like Drive also come to mind.

    That journey for stylish films quickly led me to the 60s and 70s where there there are plenty to choose from. And Shaft is a…

  • Near Dark

    Near Dark

    It feels iconic. We should all be talking about this more. Right now it feels like a well kept secret.

    How did they get the tone right? It’s not campy, but it’s not over serious. The performances are also spot on. It should be silly, but it just keeps working.

  • Oslo, August 31st

    Oslo, August 31st

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

    Quiet, real, and completely brutal.

    I had this hope, even from the opening scenes, that he’d go through this day and find a new lease on life. But, things don’t really work that way, do they?


    I maintained that hope until the very last moment. But, the film almost seems to be about hopelessness, so my hope wasn’t rewarded.


    Brutal.

  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

    Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

    It’s audacious. And on a second viewing it’s easier to appreciate and enjoy that. I think you have to make a conscious choice to do so, though.

    However, I still can’t connect to the leads. They remind me of 13 year olds. They talk like adults but you know they don’t really have the life experience to back that up. Is it the writing? The casting? The performances? I’m not sure, but I think if they were 5 or 10…

  • Raging Bull

    Raging Bull

    What a deeply unpleasant experience. Like taking a bath in misogyny. Actually, a shower sounds pretty good right now.

    Looks good, though.

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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

    Tuco deserved better.

    I don’t understand the morality here. Out of the three, Tuco is the closest to “good.” There is the implication Tuco has a history of awful stuff, but if we’re just looking at this film: He turned on the man only as payback for being betrayed AND he shared his half of the secret first, showing trust and good will. And what is up with the ending? Tuco didn’t deserve that.

    The film itself takes full advantage of the fact that movies are a visual medium. It’s constantly moving, showing rather than telling, and filled with interesting and dramatic frames.

  • Upstream Color

    Upstream Color

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

    This film has the most literal Chekhov's gun I've ever seen in a film.

    To describe the experience of watching this I think you have to go to extremes and say something like "the plot is incomprehensible, you have to let it go, it's more of an experience." I think that gets across the feeling.

    But, it's also not true. The plot really isn't incomprehensible, at least not towards the end. It doesn't exactly come together like a whodunit, but…

  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    Every moment is a feast. If it’s not the visuals it’s the dialog.