• House of Gucci

    House of Gucci

    ★★★

    Surface pleasures, but man does it lack dramatic thrust. Extremely silly accents, sometimes to the point of brilliance in the case of Jared Leto's Borat-level Paolo.

  • Nope

    Nope

    ★★★★

    That Chimp scene is going to stick in my mind. The shoe standing on end, the bursts of violence, the drastic shift at the end where the chimp seems to recognize the humans, the hand reaching under the table...

    Peele is a very concept driven filmmaker, sometimes he’ll take two or three or four concepts and mash them together and hope their proximity makes the whole meaningful. UFOs as trainable and exploitable beasts, scary cloudspotting, interspecies domination and attempts at…

  • Murina

    Murina

    ★★★★

    Puts the suspend in suspense. Reminds me a little of Knife in the Water in that it is languorous, watery, slippery, and perpetually on edge. And speaking of monstrous men...

    Also I was vaguely reminded of The Wonders because they share a coming of age element and a Mediterranean sunny beauty, and turns out they share a cinematographer! Definitely making a note of Hélène Louvart, who is the common thread in a many of the arthouse gems of the past decade.

  • Both Sides of the Blade

    Both Sides of the Blade

    ★★★½

    Chaque phrase est une souffle. Its relative wordiness in comparison with the rest of Denis' work maybe makes it seem a little thin. Stifled words and outbursts, mutually pathetic bourgeois Parisians. Tindersticks' score working overtime to instill dread. Vincent Lindon is a whole lotta man. Discours on race a little headscratching, Lindon not letting his son get a word in edgewise. Still enjoyed.

  • Ginger Snaps

    Ginger Snaps

    ★★★½

    "Go back to your own little world, Henry, this one just confuses you."

    Maybe the ultimate puberty body horror, and while this movie gets a lot of mileage out of tying menstruation into lycanthropy, what really got me shuddering was Ginger taping and tucking that nubby, fleshy little tail. Also angel food cake is nobody's favorite.

  • Free Solo

    Free Solo

    ★★★

    A couple days ago I watched this video of Honnold peer pressuring Norwegian climber/Youtuber Magnus Mitbo into free soloing a giant wall sight unseen. You can tell the whole time that Magnus is terrified, his life practically flashing before his eyes, but Honnold doesn't seem to pick up on any of this. The man clearly doesn't understand something about how most people feel and express fear.

    Anyways, I almost like that Youtube video more than this movie. More real and…

  • Legend

    Legend

    ★★★

    Ran into my professor coming out of the supermarket and she invited me to her house where she was showing a group of friends this very strange movie, supposedly the urtext for her sexuality, thanks to a glistening, glittery, and perpetually squatting Tom Cruise playing some sort of woodland nymph. I must say, I completely understand.

    The story never seems to lock in to a sense of now, it's all floating, gauzy, almost music videoish, clouds flying overhead, flower petals filling the air, did I mention the glitter. This is a Ridley Scott joint, but the world here feels way more like Jim Henson.

  • Frozen

    Frozen

    ★★★½

    Final of the 5 movies I saw on my roundtrip plane rides (save for the first 20 minutes of King Richard). Good to catch up on ubiquitous pop-culture, but I think the culture has changed in the intervening years. I don't remember many conversations about white supremacist appropriation of Norse mythology in 2013.

  • Encanto

    Encanto

    ★★★½

    A surprisingly small and self contained story, a family drama whose whole structure hinges on shifting emotional dynamics. I find it interesting how so many animated films these days feature the externalization and visualization of emotions as major features and spectacles—emotions turning into weather systems and plants here, depression turning people into monsters in Soul, the complex bureaucracy in Inside Out etc... Classic villains are out, therapy is in. The real villain was inside us the whole time.

    I've noticed…

  • Final Cut

    Final Cut

    ★★½

    I had no idea going into this that it was going to be a French remake of the Japanese film One Cut of the Dead. One Cut is a an awesome movie, but it really plays off of expectations, so I can't really speak to the effect of watching this one first instead of the original.

    My brother and friend, however, had no idea what they were in for. In many ways, their reactions seemed similar to mine on watching…

  • Yesterday

    Yesterday

    ★★★

    I actually felt some emotions during the first few Beatles songs Patel plays. Found it an interesting thought experiment—what if your loser buddy pulls out All my Life (a song that means a lot to me) as something he's just written? What chemical reaction goes on in your brain when you hear a masterpiece for the first time?

    I just had that same experience a couple days ago when my brother played Idris Muhammad's Could Heaven Ever be Like This?

  • Bad Moms

    Bad Moms

    ★★★

    Gotta say, I found that the three leads had some pretty good chemistry, and Kathryn Hahn is dynamite.

    There are real life interviews with the actresses and their moms at the end. Christina Applegate's mom took her to see Cruising at age 9, a decision I fully support.