goodhunterabbie has written 20 reviews for films rated ★★½ .

  • Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★½

    And they are dancing, the board floor slamming under the jackboots and the fiddlers grinning hideously over their canted pieces. Towering over them all is Tom Cruise and he is naked dancing, his small feet lively and quick and now in doubletime and bowing to the ladies, huge and grinning and free of wrinkles, like an enormous infant. He never sleeps, he says. He says he’ll never die. He bows to the fiddlers and sashays backwards and throws back his…

  • Belfast

    Belfast

    ★★½

    Pure distilled grandparents-core which means it'll absolutely win Best Picture in a few months' time—trades emotional specificity for broad sentiment at every point, can't summon a single political viewpoint beyond "Can't we all just get along?", and contains no fewer than six Van Morrison needle drops. Vacuously pleasant thanks mostly to its cast, and if it's what finally gets Branagh out of Shakespeare jail I'll take it, but I wish an allegedly personal picture felt as though its director had lived through any of it. Give me the sequel where grown-up Buddy finds himself having to grin and sweat through making Artemis Fowl.

  • Kingdom of the Spiders

    Kingdom of the Spiders

    ★★½

    The real monster here is prime middle-aged horndog Shatner, who leers, fondles, and otherwise ogles his spray-tanned way through flirting with both his weirdly incestuous sister-in-law and an entomologist who refers to spiders as part of the insect kingdom. Outside its context as an ego vehicle for its star, largely tedious, save for a couple unexpectedly gnarly moments of gore and an ending that is of course effective, having been stolen from Hitchcock. I'm certainly guilty of killing a spider or three in my time, but jfc how many innocent tarantulas did they slaughter for this picture

  • Night Moves

    Night Moves

    ★★½

    Has neither the deftness nor the interest in human nature needed to bring together its disparate threads—plays out like nothing so much as Chinatown if it cast Evelyn Mulwray aside at the third-act mark to make room for the plot, and that's implying a prior empathy toward and understanding of its characters that it doesn't possess (Hackman gets his own backstory neatly and artlessly delivered to him in a fistfight with his wife's monologuing side guy, while jokes about Delly's…

  • Furious 7

    Furious 7

    ★★½

    The occasional ruminations on mortality are laden with poignancy, and while I don't think Brian's ending works in the context of the series—the last few films have reduced him to Dom's supporting character rather than a co-lead, leaving this film with little dramatic thread to stitch things up—in its real-world context it's incredibly moving. I just wish the rest of the film had been worthy of that ending—instead, we get a sallow, frequently incoherent mess of self-indulgence. Wan is no…

  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice

    The Sorcerer's Apprentice

    ★★½

    Sometimes the only thing that can stop occult 9/11 is a healthy dose of BDSM.

  • Top Gun

    Top Gun

    ★★½

    Maybe the perfect movie for me to return to the theater with, in that it is mind-numbingly stupid and probably evil and yet when the planes zoom through the sunset it tricks you into feeling like you're watching something holy

  • The Fourth Kind

    The Fourth Kind

    ★★½

    The formal inventiveness of the constantly shifting splitscreen didn't permeate the rest of the movie for me, but alien abductions of any kind are catnip so I still had fun!! Perfunctory relationships and a general lack of tension are balanced out by some unnerving moments and a delightfully batshit sense of Sumerian history, the latter of which is like Philip K. Dick's VALIS by way of the History Channel. Milla Jovovich as Shelley Duvall should open all movies. Thanks, Esther!

  • Man of Steel

    Man of Steel

    ★★½

    Sorry Aleph :(

  • The Warriors

    The Warriors

    ★★½

    Mostly made me want to rewatch Assault on Precinct 13 - Hill remains the king of '70s blues and keeps the momentum going, but there's only so much I can get invested in this camp when the characters are so thinly drawn. It feels weird to say about a film where a leatherclad group of Boy Scouts swordfights a gothed-up rival gang with baseball bats, but if anything Hill treats this macho bullshit too seriously - being earnest requires humanity,…

  • Weathering with You

    Weathering with You

    ★★½

    "Maximalism" expressed not through form or emotion but through constant clutter, compositions weakened or outright destroyed by Shinkai's urge to fill every inch of the frame with meaningless noise (painstakingly detailed noise, to the artists' credit). Where Your Name skated by on its bluntly compelling emotional hook, this one is bogged down by meandering subplots and ultimately paralyzed by its neglect of its ostensible female lead - while I don't like reading movies through a Tropes 101 lens, the extent…

  • Auto Focus

    Auto Focus

    ★★½

    Back-to-back viewings of this and Hardcore have convinced me that Schrader—elementally compelling when he touches violence and/or spiritual conflict—is basically a hack whenever he touches sex.

    At least Hardcore, for all its shortcomings, is elevated by its towering central performer and its comparatively grungy vibe. Auto Focus, on the other hand, allows its performers almost nothing to work with (even Dafoe comes across as two-dimensional), and the scene-setting is similarly uninspired, its eleventh-hour swerve into a more attention-seeking style notwithstanding.…