• Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time

    Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time

    ★★½

    45/100

    A.V. Club review. Intriguing Marienbad-ish premise goes nowhere terribly interesting, alas.

  • In the Loop

    In the Loop

    ★★★★

    71/100

    Third viewing, last seen during its original theatrical release. I'm only just now finally watching The Thick of It (hence this revisit), and laughed much harder at Jamie than I recall doing previously—he's introduced as "the crossest man in Scotland," but is hard to differentiate from Malcolm Tucker if you're meeting both for the first time. Am also now surprised by how comparatively weak Malcolm appears here, frantically running around the State Department and taking nearly as much verbal…

  • Outside the Wire

    Outside the Wire

    ★★

    37/100

    A.V. Club review. Super-blah, but it's mildly amusing to see Mackie's android inadvertently expose how ludicrously superhuman action stars always make themselves. He's meant to be better, stronger, faster than everyone else yet does almost nothing you haven't seen from "ordinary" flesh-and-blood heroes.

  • Eden

    Eden

    ★★½

    46/100

    Second viewing (last seen just prior to its TIFF premiere), no change. Previous remarks can be found yonder, to which I will merely add good gravy this sucker is long—still monotonously so, to my mind, with a veritable vacuum at its center. Margins are slightly more interesting, but even there Hansen-Løve expects me to care about e.g. Cyril's suicide, though I don't know her brother personally and thus couldn't tell you why Cyril's in the movie at all, given…

  • Raising Victor Vargas

    Raising Victor Vargas

    ★★★★

    77/100

    Third viewing, last seen 2003. Rare indeed are the films that I treasure almost exclusively on the basis of adoring every single character, but this here's one of 'em. Every bit as charming as I remembered; what strikes me as retroactively bizarre is the critical fixation (my own included; see below) on its lack of danger, which everyone found either implausible or refreshing. This time the ordinariness seemed...ordinary. Kept an eye out for signs of white-dude tourism, didn't notice…

  • Irreversible

    Irreversible

    ★★★★½

    82/100

    Fourth viewing, last seen 2003. It doesn't get any easier, no matter how much I remind myself that Bellucci's just acting; among films that I consider genuinely great, only Funny Games (both versions) and maybe Audition are as painful for me to actually sit through. Nothing to add to my original Time Out New York review, appended below, except perhaps to register my amusement at Noé's recent decision to create a chronological "Inversion intégrale," since I'm almost certain that…

  • Tenet

    Tenet

    ★★★½

    69/100

    Increasingly occasional reminder that my non-professional thoughts initially get posted to Patreon, so if you'd rather not wait a month (or longer, depending on when I have time; lately it's been more like two or three months) for me to port them over here, you should sign on up. There are multiple tiers available but the reviews themselves will only set you back $1 per month, a pittance that cumulatively makes it possible for me to spend dozens of…

  • Let Them All Talk

    Let Them All Talk

    ★★★

    53/100

    A.V. Club review. Quite enjoyed this for a while, when it seemed as it could go almost anywhere, but it winds up feeling a bit more half-assed than it does adventurous. More evidence that Candice Bergen is being woefully underutilized by movies.

  • 76 Days

    76 Days

    ★★★½

    64/100

    A.V. Club review. My kind of fully immersive, present-tense doc, though the fact that it gets less harrowing and intense as it goes along (the opening 10 minutes in particular are tough to watch) makes for an atypical viewing experience.

  • The Lobster

    The Lobster

    ★★★½

    65/100

    Second viewing (inspired by its then-impending disappearance from Netflix—you're too late, it's gone now), no change, nothing of note to add. The rare film in which I actively enjoy each individual scene but am mightily frustrated by the whole they ostensibly form.

  • Gerry

    Gerry

    ★★★★½

    86/100

    Fourth viewing (but last seen way back in 2003), no change. Still seems miraculous that this got made as is, with no concessions to commercial viability whatsoever. As pure an act of box-office suicide as we've ever seen. I honestly don't think the film would work nearly as well minus the stuff that makes sense perhaps only to Damon, Affleck, and a few of their mutual friends. ("There's a man perched on the ledge ten feet in front of…

  • Twentieth Century

    Twentieth Century

    ★★★½

    61/100

    Second viewing, last seen 1995. Wrote it up for Watch This, so my gushing's located there; I do, however, still find both lead performances kind of exhausting by the end, even if it's clearer to me now that they're intentionally way over the top, as befits two people who can't distinguish between theater and life. Also takes much longer than I remembered to get onto the train—nearly half the film. Couldn't find an elegant way to include in my…