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  • Serenity

    Serenity

    ★½

    A Cartesian nightmare of epic proportions — not a description of the movie, but actually my experience of sitting through it. Beyond failure there is a delusional commitment to a truly bad idea and the ability to convince all your collaborators of that delusion’s subversive brilliance...as they fight what they believe to be the good fight, a powerful feeling overcomes them and you...the feeling of Serenity.

  • Cyborg

    Cyborg

    Watched a 3 minute clip of this outside of a leather store in MacArthur Park...what I saw was powerful and iconic...even dare I say iconoclastic. Looking forward to seeing the rest of it one fateful day.

  • The Road Movie

    The Road Movie

    ★★★★

    Cinema as pure spectacle! Less a road movie than a Country Symphony. A look at the modern Russian soul, constantly in crisis and conflict. On the precipice of disaster in the face of the shittiest weather, propaganda and fellow humans. Great music though! Was fun and beautiful to watch a dash cam movie, as I gear up for my own!

  • The Departed

    The Departed

    ★★★★★

    Only gets better and better each time. A uniquely edited, kinetic epic of deception and performativity. Everyone is always lying and cinema reveals it all. Our identity is a matter of life and death, the tension makes the knuckles white, only dissipated by a relentless gallows humor. Amazing - Scorsese is god level and doing God’s work!

  • The Manchurian Candidate

    The Manchurian Candidate

    ★★★★½

    The most devastating political thriller besides “Z” — the desperation, sadness, selfishness and lost hope of the American psyche laid bare in the good and the bad — all are quite ugly. Never thought it fully made sense and honestly never needed to. It was a favorite of my youth and it was nice to see it in a theater.

  • Suddenly

    Suddenly

    ★★

    Good premise executed by oblivious filmmakers with boring, repetitive plot repitition and great school shooter monologue from Frank Sinatra

  • The Visit

    The Visit

    ★★★★

    High concept found footage fakeumentary horror from M. Night — a master of sleep creeps, uncanny frights and big reveals. An empowering and fun movie to watch, with lots of cringey moments, some good (poop in face), some bad (every rap) but all necessary. This was just the movie I needed to see just at this moment.

  • Split

    Split

    ★★★½

    Great performance from Macavoy and the rest of the cast. There’s no real twist here — idea is kinda beyond basic, and still through Shyamalan’s mastery of tension it all works and feels good...it maybe just has one too many boring scenes.

  • Unbreakable

    Unbreakable

    ★★★★½

    An actual and obvious piece of cinematic art. Indelible imagery, some of which I still remember nearly 20 years after first seeing it as a kid. Truly committed long take, long lens, miss en scene. Dare you to find a major American motion picture this side of 70s Altman that ever tried to create a movie from takes this long and this fixed to a tripod. Something very special going on here — very little camp, mostly draining drama full of pathos and revelations. Great performances from Jackson, Willis, Wright...

  • The Game

    The Game

    ★★★½

    Post Basic Instinct wanted to revisit more Douglas. Maybe the endless levels of performativity got to me here, but I just really felt like the constant hired hands element deescalated the tension for me. Also I didn’t really care about the guy at all...which is sorta embedded into the vibe of the film but I assume is the major complaint regarding the film.

  • Basic Instinct

    Basic Instinct

    ★★★★★

    Verhoeven knows how to make every decision tense and funny and stupid and desperate and cool all at the same time — the camera moves, the blocking, the eyes finding eyes, the performances and the pacing all work — because they have to! He won’t let them not work...bless his soul. He is depicting a heightened and fully immoral version of human nature and it’s extremely seductive. Things that seemed controversial and in bad taste at the time are of course iconic, highly copied and acceptable down the line. Name a better erotic thriller?

  • What We Do in the Shadows

    What We Do in the Shadows

    ★★★★

    Like a pop song that’s so obviously catchy and good you feel like you’ve heard it before, even though it’s original — Christopher Guest and Mel Brooks would be laughing along with this vampire mockumentary. I was!