• Sausage Party

    Sausage Party

    I'm generally on board with rogen and goldberg's work. I laughed myself sick watching Pineapple Express and This Is the End. I even chuckled at plenty of ribald jokes in the first few scenes of this very movie. I say all these things to establish my bona fides re: not being a prude or a scold.

    but, look. early in Sausage Party there's a scene of violent sexual assault, and it just made me feel sick and sad. of course…

  • The Number 23

    The Number 23

    few movies have ever left me this angry. I was excited to see schumacher collaborate with carrey after they failed to connect on Phone Booth -- which with colin farrell in the lead was a strong, compact little thriller. here the ambitions are broader and the goodwill evaporates immediately.

    carrey's character becomes deeply, compulsively obsessed with a self-published noir that leaves him spotting 23s everywhere he goes. yet somehow his entire family manages to finish reading the novel before he does.…

  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

    vacillates between slackly directed live-action shadowboxing and pretty good all-CG spectacle, with frequent detours into the uncanny valley. a generally propulsive throughline makes this the best of the prequels, even if the specifics of the drama don’t exactly hang together. the order 66 sequence still goes hard. the actors are blameless. it’s pulp and it’s fine.

  • The Tree of Life

    The Tree of Life

    ★★★★★

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

    where were you?

    I was there.

    shapes momentarily become faces, figures. brother, mother. slowly shifting, coming into sight. the texture of a sunflower, huge, too close. you have to learn to focus your eyes.

    one fine morning in a year when you have all left home, the waves crash on your family and the light shining through the branches goes black. your mother is alone when she’s struck by the letter announcing your brother’s death. she goes to her knees.…

  • Gunpowder Milkshake

    Gunpowder Milkshake

    several times in its opening half hour, Gunpowder Milkshake assembles the components of a bombastic shootout and then elides it entirely. director navot papushado keeps cutting to black or angling the camera away from the bloodshed, choosing to skip straight to the more easily photographed aftermath of defeated, crumpled bodies. there's no hard rule for how long you should make an audience wait for the action in an action movie, but this first act so conspicuously delays gratification that I…

  • Venom

    Venom

    ★★★★

    a hysterical movie, in the literal sense that I felt myself going insane while I watched it. early on riz ahmed (who seems to have been told to deliver his dialogue at 1.5x speed) has a conversation with tom hardy (who plays eddie brock with a mushmouthed accent like he's from the bronx, or mars) and I cackled like sutter cane.

    hardy brings all the physicality of his max rockatansky to this, which does a lot to ground the action…