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  • There Will Be Blood

    There Will Be Blood

    ★★★★★

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

    I just watched this for the second time and it was better than I remembered it being. And that's saying something, because I remembered it being very, very good. This is Paul Thomas Anderson's best film by a significant margin, but going further, one could make the case that this is the greatest film ever made.

    I'm not going to do that because those kinds of declarations are fairly meaningless, but I will take a moment to say why I…

  • Art School Confidential

    Art School Confidential

    ★★★½

    During undergrad art school my classmates quoted and referenced this film incessantly, but despite being a fan of Dan Clowes I never got around to watching it until now, on the eve of my return to this strange dimension.

    Given that this is based on a short comic that has no plot or characters to speak of, I wasn't really sure what to expect beyond a few laughs, but I was pleased to find that the film is in fact…

  • The Skin I Live In

    The Skin I Live In

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

    God damn it but I am really angry and upset right now. I don’t know honestly why I have continued to watch Almodovar’s films despite such incredibly tone-deaf stories as Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down, but this is my last one for sure. No amount of beautiful photography and good direction is going to redeem this film for me. I’ve had it with Almodovar’s incredibly simplistic and reductive understanding of gender and sexuality, and clearly he is not about…

  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    ★★★★½

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

    David Lynch has now done three different takes on the story of Laura Palmer and Twin Peaks, each one a slightly different perspective. The original show used the story as an anchor point for supernatural horror mystery and parody of soap opera. The Return used it as an excuse for Lynch to make a (barely related) eighteen-hour epic. His most mature take on the subject matter is probably here, in Fire Walk With Me.

    The Bob of the original Twin…

  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    ★★★★

    Beautifully written, beautifully acted. The explicit three-act structure works perfectly in the context of the story as well. The third act in particular I found incredibly moving, probably some of the best film writing that I've seen in recent memory.

    I was a bit disappointed in the shot composition and score, though, both of which seemed like an afterthought.

    But don't let that stop you from watching this one. The script and performances shouldn't be missed.

  • The Last Temptation of Christ

    The Last Temptation of Christ

    ★★★

    Someday I'd like to see a film about Jesus that never posits his divinity. And one with less egregious, inexplicable misogyny.

    But it does have Harry Dean Stanton as Paul and David Bowie (of all people) making a brief but very charismatic appearance as Pilate.

    Keep an eye out for some of the most unenthusiastic extras of all time.

  • Popeye

    Popeye

    ★★

    Classic source material. Incredible set design. A cast and crew of incredible talent like Robert Altman, Jules Feiffer, Robin Williams, and Shelly DuVall. And yet somehow, this is not so much a jolly sea adventure as it is a beached whale.

    Popeye is big, long, and mostly boring. The iconic characters are barely recognizable. The songs are tedious and annoying. The jokes land about as well as a drunken ostrich. And our title character doesn't even eat a single bite…

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    ★★★

    Visually speaking, this is probably the most creative animated film that's come along in quite a while.

    But that said: Your effects artists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.

    What I mean is that there are a lot of moments, and indeed entire movie-wide aesthetic effects, when this film decides to emulate a comic book without really considering why it's doing so. Comics are a restrictive art form that use…

  • My Beautiful Laundrette

    My Beautiful Laundrette

    ★★★★

    The photography felt very uninspired to me, but other than that this is a pretty great film. The characters are well-written and diverse, and the performances are excellent, especially a young Daniel Day-Lewis as a gay teenage hoodlum. The script is human, funny, and sometimes suspenseful. It's well worth a look if it sounds like your kind of thing.

  • Lost Highway

    Lost Highway

    ★★★

    What can I say about Lost Highway? It's David Lynch playing in his usual sandbox of inexplicable weirdness and shifting identities, and as such you get the same things you've come to expect from him. The intense electric guitar score is a bit of diversion from his usual Badalamenti jazz, but it's fine in its own right. The characters are somewhat less defined or interesting than in many of his other films. At times it feels like a dry run…

  • Child's Play

    Child's Play

    ★★★

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

    This movie is dumb, gross, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. The decision to give Chucky control of Cloud-based devices was an ingenious way to bring this up to date, though they probably could have done more with it. The parody of idiotic tech marketing strategies was dead-on, too. Was it a significant film, or a classic by any stretch of the imagination? God no. But for some dumb fun, you could do worse.