• Citizen Kane

    Citizen Kane

    ★★★★★

    Undeniable. A dark, gothic fable, both broad and nuanced in equal measure. Orson Welles is magnetic. I was expecting a masterfully written, directed, and edited film, which it is, but his lead performance as Kane was every bit as captivating.

  • Touch of Evil

    Touch of Evil

    ★★★

    Caught the 1998 reconstruction at the Cinematheque in Vancouver, yet despite that seemingly optimal viewing experience, I was largely underwhelmed by Touch of Evil. Everything that has been said about the opening oner is true, it's well executed and engaging. The film on the whole was very well shot, except for a bizarre abundance of out of focus shots, which unfortunately cast the movie in an amateur light. Orson Welles and Janet Leigh were both wonderful, but they were both…

  • Sunset Boulevard

    Sunset Boulevard

    ★★★★½

    Maybe the greatest revelation is that Norma Desmond is kind of goals for zoomer Tik Tok girls.

  • Broadcast News

    Broadcast News

    ★★★★½

    Maybe overstays its welcome by five minutes, but otherwise this was near flawless. All three leads are stellar, bringing to life such vital and well-defined characters from script to screen. I do think the script really is key to these wonderful performances, because Brooks characterizes his leads organically through little beats and interactions that don't strictly move the story forward, but are the beating heart of this movie. One of the greatest thrills as a viewer is to watch someone…

  • Late Spring

    Late Spring

    ★★★★½

    I wonder if it originates from the design of Japanese homes, how people sit on the floor, but the dominance of low angle shots in Ozu's coverage is uniquely striking. On a literal level, the camera feels more grounded in the space, but the angle almost feels as though the camera is taking the perspective of the house, the film providing space for the characters to live.

  • Midnight Run

    Midnight Run

    ★★★★

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

    Just good fun. Wish DeNiro did more comedy, he has great chemistry with the always wonderful Charles Grodin (RIP). A perfect case study in integrating character development and drama into a comedy smoothly. The scene where DeNiro sees his daughter is genuinely heartbreaking, and so well acted. Most modern comedies wouldn't make time for a moment like that, or it would be resolved in some comedically saccharine way. A bold, but asinine choice on Danny Elfman's part to sore this movie with the Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 OST, though.

  • A Single Man

    A Single Man

    ★★★★½

    I mean... just devastating. Colin Firth delivers a career best performance here. Despite such a reserved, bottled character, we are still able to intuit so much from microexpressions his face. This is brilliantly supported by Ford's changes in colour saturation, which highlights the captivating drama in the smallest of interactions.

  • Star 80

    Star 80

    ★★★★★

    I feel nauseous. Viscerally upsetting, in a way only Bob Fosse could pull off. Only someone as intimately familiar with the dark, dark, dark side of the entertainment industry could craft something so unsensational, yet so tragic. First, the performances: pitch perfect. From Mariel Hemingway's heartbreaking innocence, and Eric Robert's slimy, sociopathic charisma, to every single bit part, all so well calibrated. This is supported by Fosse's impressive screenplay, which toys with the chronology, slowly doling out information, so that…

  • Damnation

    Damnation

    ★★★½

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

    "I realized that, between you and a world forever out of reach, there is a strange and empty tunnel. [...] I realize that I can never get closer to that world. I can only long for it, because it is hidden by a light and warmth that I cannot bear."

    The first thing that draws attention in Béla Tarr's Damnation is the cold, lifeless, perpetually rain soaked world the characters inhabit. Where is this place? Is this a purgatory for…

  • Eraserhead

    Eraserhead

    It's clear to me that this is a film not meant to be understood in logical terms, but instead appreciated based on the visceral, emotional reaction to its haunting, abstract imagery. Lynch certainly paints some impressively evocative pictures, especially for a film with such a low budget. On the whole, I was able to pick up clear thematic threads relating to fatherhood, genetic disease, commitment. Unfortunately, most of the film felt a little too esoteric to be engaging, lacking that visceral, emotional response I get from similarly surreal films. Still, credit to Lynch, he nails the ending.

  • Nope

    Nope

    ★★★★

    Much less of an explicitly "issues" focused horror movie than Get Out and Us, Nope fully delivers on the laughs and thrills while still providing thematic depth, albeit less directly. One clear through line from this first viewing is how humans seek to tame, dominate, profit off of nature, especially as it pertains to the imagery taken from Western films. On the other hand, the movie contains probably Peele's most impressively directed, suspenseful sequences yet, with extended bouts of tension…

  • The Card Counter

    The Card Counter

    ★★★½

    Lesser Paul Schrader, but still leaves you with much to chew on. Wasn't a fan of some of the music choices, but Oscar Isaac was great.