• Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★½

    "Get the hell out of my universe!"

    The rare MCU film with a refreshingly genuinely dark edge, Multiverse Of Madness brings another take on the current multiverse trend of films (an odd trend lately, but definitely a welcomed one) with the signature bent realism of a Sam Raimi production. It's one of the few MCU films that really feels like it has its own identity, and it certainly isn't afraid to show some pretty dark and mildly violent stuff. It's…

  • Battle Beyond the Stars

    Battle Beyond the Stars

    ★★½

    "Live fast, fight well, and have a beautiful ending."

    Oh, what a disappointment. This thing had some interesting character concepts, a good story idea--Seven Samurai in space! hell yeah!--to start from, fantastic visual effects for its budget, and a solid sense of fun throughout. The problem was that it was held back so much by its limitations, including indifferent acting, poor direction, a stagnant climax, and not nearly enough of a desire to go as either bonkers or as serious…

  • Bad Lieutenant

    Bad Lieutenant

    ★★★★½

    "I’m no f*cking assh*le! I’m a f*cking cop!"

    Harvey Keitel is a freaking marvel in Bad Lieutenant, a movie about the mental decline of a law enforcement officer more involved in gambling, sex, and drugs than with any kind of actual detective work. This was a fascinating film, engrossing in its depravity in much the same way something like I Spit On Your Grave or Requiem For A Dream were. It's challenging, but there's a strange charm to Keitel's performance as we watch him do terrible things and dig himself into deeper and deeper holes and comes to terms with his actions and religion.

  • Kronos

    Kronos

    ★★½

    "We have half of the equation--we can turn matter into energy. But up there, they have the second half--they can turn energy into matter."

    The central concept is superb: a giant robot from outer space that gets stronger the more its enemies try to defeat it with explosions or bombs. It feels like a cold war critique and sharp look at Mutually Assured Destruction. The problem, though is that it succumbs to a lot of the same traps that sci-fi…

  • Princess Cut

    Princess Cut

    "Your heart's too precious a treasure to play games with."

    This is a pretty bad movie, with its cheesy story and poor production values making it difficult to sit through already. Combine that with its lame acting, unfocused narrative, and cast of two-dimensional characters, it's really difficult to feel anything except dull aggravation toward this thing. Sure, it's not as aggressively insulting as some other faith-based romances (doesn't have the random racism of Christian Mingle or the awkward marital grooming…

  • Barren Lives

    Barren Lives

    ★★★★½

    "There... there ain't much." [translated.]

    A matter-of-fact look at a family's struggles in poverty during a drought in northern Brazil and the feelings of hopelessness that comes with their demoralizing situation. This isn't exactly a happy film, but its dedication to its bleakness is almost refreshingly honest, emphasizing the moments in between of simplicities and despondent dreams of the future while doing the best with the circumstances as they are.

  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★★½

    "Are you talkin' to me?"

    Taxi Driver is a tense, uncompromising look at toxic masculinity, mental illness, violence, vigilanteism, and self-righteousness. It makes wild swings and hits a lot of targets, backed by mesmerizing direction from Martin Scorsese, gorgeous cinematography from Michael Chapman, a haunting score from Bernard Herrmann, and a tortured but powerful performance from Robert De Niro. This is a must-see for cinephiles--and I personally doubt there are many out there who have seen it fewer than two or three times--and begs for a reexamination from audiences that remember Travis Bickle as being a heroic figure.

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★★★★

    "The universe is so much bigger than you realize."

    This movie is a trip. It's a veritable cornucopia of emotions and ideas and gags and nonsensicals and madness and existential quandaries and fun action all rolled into an incredible package. It's the type of movie that made my wife and I cry at completely different times for completely different reasons. Some people will walk out going "Yeah, man! All life is beautiful nothingness!" while others will be entranced by its…

  • Mother India

    Mother India

    ★★★★½

    "I swear, I'm fed up of giving you loans. No sign of paying back what you've already taken." [translated.]

    A grandiose, melancholic Indian epic from the directing talents of Mehboob Khan and featuring an immensely powerful performance from Nargis as a woman struggling to keep her family together and fed in the face of an adversarial loan shark and piles upon piles of misfortunes.

  • The Headless Woman

    The Headless Woman

    ★★★★

    "I killed someone on the road." [translated.]

    After a woman fears that she has accidentally killed a person while driving, she is plagued by the lack of resolution she has and also with her own community's apathy toward her potential misdeeds. It's a complicated character study that leaves a lot more questions than answers, and its unsatisfying lack of answers is wholly morbidly satisfying.

  • The Bank Dick

    The Bank Dick

    ★★★½

    "Oh... I knew this would happen! I was a perfect idiot to ever listen to you!"

    It's probably not quite consistently funny enough for a 21st century audience to forgive the constant meandering pacing, but W.C. Fields carries a picture well and it certainly has a great deal of charm--plus the final act is genuinely exciting, making the entire experience a pretty fun ride.

  • The Crucified Lovers

    The Crucified Lovers

    ★★★★

    "No matter what happens to us, I never want to leave your side." [translated.]

    Kenji Mizoguchi's carefully paced direction and attention to the connection between his characters makes this dark tale of two lovers struggling to remain together in spite of their impossible circumstances makes it an emotionally resonant film of tragedy.