• Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    ★★★

    60

    1) i don't like wuxia.
    2) i don't like chow yun-fat.
    3) ang lee is pretty hit or miss.
    4) i could only find the dub. (i know, this should've been point 1)
    5) the choreography is ridiculous.
    6) i don't like chinese period pieces.

    found this to be pretty good for what it is, but don't go into this expecting a masterpiece, or you'd just be severely disappointed. yeoh was a standout. everyone else felt just…average, nothing more,…

  • Breathless

    Breathless

    ★★½

    42

    okay...

    i have a mixed history with godard. scratch that, i dislike godard. i think his style is experimental, if we're being kind, and borders on apathy, to be really frank. and his debut is a solid foundation for what we are to be expecting in the rest of his work for the rest of his cinematic lifetime. constant, irritating jump cuts that disrupt the flow of the entire piece. there are so many strange and annoying editing choices…

  • Alps

    Alps

    ★★★

    57

    not as weird as dogtooth, that's for sure, but i feel like lanthimos doesn't suit the mundane. he's probably at his best when he goes all wacky with his ideas (hence my feverish anticipation for both killing of a sacred deer and his new movie(s), poor things). style definitely feels hammered down, however, especially with the deadpan expression and comedic editing that's rarely seen nowadays. didn't really satisfy me quite like his later works would, though, but would easily be a career-topper for any normie director. it's just a glimpse into the psyche of this eccentric man, and i love it.

  • Misery

    Misery

    ★★★★

    72

    had a day to mull over this, but nothing i say can really fault this. this hits every beat that i wanted to hit over the course of the film really well. there's a slow buildup that crescendoes over the entire work, and bates's transformation was amazing. well-shot and very well-lit. i wished they had accentuated their loneliness better, which would've tighten the emotional aspect for me. also could've been better executed in terms of its final ending, but…

  • Air Doll

    Air Doll

    ★★★½

    62

    perhaps his most basic film, thematically, but kore-eda still manages to wallop the viewer with a pound of sadness as he heads towards the resolution. the score is beautiful and absolutely gorgeous. the real hidden gem beneath this. the performances are great, but kore-eda's films are really great because of his screenplay, which is fantastic here. a bit weird and quirky, and i kinda wished he'd develop the story threads a bit clearer, but it's a genuinely fascinating and…

  • Polytechnique

    Polytechnique

    36

    the ugly duckling of villeneuve's filmography. there really is no reason why this is shot in black-and-white. there should be no reason why they decide to focus more on the killer rather than the situation itself. this doesn't buck the trend as much as i would've liked. with films like elephant and zero day, villeneuve looks like he's merely following a trend rather than attempting to forge something new, like his later works. it's probably not a terrible work,…

  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

    Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

    ★★★½

    68

    several notes on this (in decreasing order of importance):

    - every performance in this is genuinely beautiful. i don't often describe performances as beautiful (they'd be engrossing or interesting or fantastic, but never beautiful), but every actor genuinely feels like they're perfect for the part. these characters feel lived-in, breathed-in and truly inseparable.

    - subset of the previous point, but hepburn and tracy are truly made for each other. really sad to hear that tracy felt ill and died…

  • The Trial

    The Trial

    ★★★½

    63

    an interesting take on kafka's novel. welles is brilliant, as usual, and gives an intriguing dissection of the notion of something being kafkaesque without too much prodding and sticking about. the black-and-white really accentuates this grimy, filthy story to its fullest and truly engrosses the viewer. perkins is great, almost as good as his performance in psycho. i feel like i should have more to say on this, but i'm blanking out. watched this right before my exam instead of studying (as usual).

  • Blow-Up

    Blow-Up

    ★★½

    44

    antonioni tries his hand at introspection but experimentation often got the better of him. found it so not-compelling for a myriad of reasons, not least of which i found that his style didn't really feel like it suited this at all. the final moment where it posits a question to the audience feels laughable and would've only been accepted had this been antonioni and no one else. nothing felt genuine, everything felt ridiculous, crass and just plain obnoxious. still interested in di palma's adaptation, but this? very much not for me. a ridiculous caricature of a city.

  • The Cordillera of Dreams

    The Cordillera of Dreams

    ★★★

    56

    it tries its hand at creating an analogous narrative between the nature of chile itself and the untapped potential of the country, but doesn't really connect for me. there's some interesting moments when it begins to talk about how the regime cursed their society, and the visual consequences are fundamentally the backbone of this documentary...but it takes too long to overtly draw that conclusion that i wound up feeling a mixture of anger and narcolepsy. good effort.

  • Nostalgia

    Nostalgia

    ★★½

    41

    unbearably lethargic. tarkovsky is interested in a certain type of film that i'm not interested in seeing (if only for stalker, i would've given up long ago). for now, the only interest which i have with tarkovsky is trying to discover another gem like stalker, which is his magnum opus, imo. this, with the exception of its infamous last scene, is dreadfully boring and padded with emptiness. lacks a point.

  • High and Low

    High and Low

    ★★★★½

    86

    criterion challenge 2022:
    prompt 21: bill hader's top 10

    thoroughly impressive filmmaking. kurosawa manages to extract the tension out of every scene, and this, of all his works, gives the greatest indication of how skilled he was when it came to conversation. take the opening scene, for example. there are three executives who are busy, trying to convince one man on a separate sofa as to why they should be selling cheaper shoes in favour for higher profit margins.…