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  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

    2001: A Space Odyssey


    Fourth or fifth viewing, 70mm Nolan print. Never noticed before but this movie gives me the same kind of obsessive satisfaction I get from putting things back in their proper spot, in the way that little nagging objects are picked out of the air, or how machines land and take off in the frame, not unlike one of those shape-sorting games that children play. There’s an unpretentious pleasure in watching objects waltzing in opacity, which only heightens the fact that…

  • The Heartbreak Kid

    The Heartbreak Kid


    Machiavellianism, the comedy, harnessing a specific male impulsivity that runs through Mikey and Nicky and A New Leaf before turning its ire towards a specific breed of social climbers (justified as determination) - those willing to sacrifice home, heritage and politics to ascend this illusory hierarchy. Grodin might be more redeemable if we saw some semblance of his self-loathing, but there’s little evidence to demonstrate that his actions are a byproduct of cultural captivity. He begins and ends in a…

Popular reviews

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel


    In a tight race with Rushmore for the top bill on my nerdy Wes rankings. All the Wes movies have the same current running through them – each constantly in dialogue with the others – but I feel like GBH is his first film that’s actually about artifice, in all its glory, both good and bad – a lifestyle choice that evaporated upon the invasion of rude men, etc. Gustave has Zero tagging along behind him, furiously taking down pointers…

  • A Quiet Place

    A Quiet Place


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

    Very tense, very stupid, though the trick is to ignore the stupid and just embrace the tense (alas, I failed). It’s not just the obliviously conservative pro-life nonsense - it’s the unwillingness to realize that it’s in the same pocket as a Final Destination movie, frequently tracking the malicious intent of inanimate objects (lantern in the corner, nail on the stair, toy on the shelf) - but where those movies are self-consciously stupid, this carries the posturing of its director’s…