• Fire of Love

    Fire of Love


    A few weeks back my brother texted me, incredulous that this doc wasn't directed by Wes Anderson. I understand his sentiment, considering the almost uncanny Life Aquatic aesthetic to the opening section, a number of unexpectedly cool song syncs, and dozens of perfectly composed 4x3 frames. That said, Sara Dosa's Fire of Love is not some cheap imitation of Anderson's style. It's a unique marvel.

    During Avatar: The Way of Water my jaw dropped at how convincing the visuals appeared…

  • To Leslie

    To Leslie


    Think I'm tapped out on movies centered around self-destructive addicts seeking redemption.

    Andrea Riseborough, no stranger to tormented characters, is technically good, but it's a showy performance that lacks subtlety and favors hysterics, especially in the first half. In fact, virtually everyone in the film seems in search of authenticity save for a great Allison Janney and Owen Teague. The latter, playing Leslie's neglected son, is essentially the heartbeat of the story and responsible for nearly all the emotionally resonate…

  • The Banshees of Inisherin

    The Banshees of Inisherin


    Try as I might (and I've seen them all), Martin McDonagh films just don't do it for me. The Banshees of Inisherin is home to the most beautiful on location photography I saw out of 2022, a refreshingly tender turn from Colin Farrell, and a probably-really-clever-if-analyzed-in-a-YouTube-video rumination on the nature of conflict among men. I found it intriguingly morbid and only mildly engaging; the characters outside of relatable grasp.

    Previous Review: The Fabelmans

  • The Fabelmans

    The Fabelmans


    Undoubtedly my prefered love letter to cinema from last year, with 100% less piss, shit, and cocaine.

    Stephen Spielberg's place in modern film history has long been secured, but he continues to reminds us why he's still among the best working, as he did in 2021's soaring West Side Story. The Fabelmans is far less showy, sharing more in common something like Catch Me If You Can. That doesn't prevent if from having one of my favorite scenes in recent…

  • Athena



    After an all-timer bravado opening shot, Athena follows up with a succession of logistically stunning single-take sequences that recall the gritty oners that made up Children of Men.

    As the excellent behind the scenes doc reveals, director Romain Gavras fully channeled 1970s William Friedkin, regularly putting his actors (and crew) in peril, even encouraging physical force to elicit performance. The morality of his approach can be questioned but the results speak for themselves. For me among 2022 releases the movie…

  • Skinamarink



    Skinamarink has been compared to David Lynch but even Lynch would have given the viewer more to work with. Kyle Edward Ball's debut is a nightmare modern art museum exhibit video drawn out to feature length. There are undoubtedly unnerving moments - the "come upstairs" scene for one - but the framework is so austere and unwilling to compromise that it frustrates more often than it frightens.

    The most charitable compliment I can give is that Ball plays with the…

  • The Whale

    The Whale


    Like the recent Pearl, The Whale's central performance towers above the material. This is not to say the play that Aronofsky chose to adapt isn't without its merits, offering a small but mighty cast plenty to chew on within the confindes of a dingy, claustrophobic single location (heightened by a 4:3 aspect ratio - all the rage in Indies these days). I particularly liked how DP Matthew Libatique often captures Charlie from behind at half profile.

    Since Downsizing put her…

  • Babylon



    Damien Chazelle's Boogie Nights; a sprawling chronicle of early Hollywood excess, boasting a talent rich cast, flashy cinematography, and even a third act riff on the classic drug dealer scene from PTA’s Valley porn epic.

    After blasting off with a raucous 30 minute party prologue that screams “definitely not a COVID production”, Babylon settles in for a while as a sorta rated-R Hail, Caesar!, offering a chaotic behind the scenes tour of large scale production, where newcomers ascend amidst casualties…

  • Infinity Pool

    Infinity Pool


    Brandon Cronenberg is out here quietly making some of the most compelling sci-fi in years. Possessor was full of grotesque visuals, big ideas, and skin crawling morality. It also was as chilly as a meat locker. Infinity Pool is comparatively more accessible, providing an entry point for the audience through Alexander Skarsgård’s insecure, failed writer.

    Cronenberg doesn’t waste much time before turning the WTF dial to 11, matter of factly normalizing the impossible and perverse with captivating confidence. Mia Goth…

  • I Love My Dad

    I Love My Dad


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

    Cute. Directer, writer, star James Morosini cleverly visualizes the well intentioned and expectedly disastrous cat fishing perpetrated by Oswalt's dopey dad. However, for a road trip movie with such a predictable destination, Morosini fails to deliver on a payoff as outrageous as the antics leading up to it promise, not quite selling the gear shift to drama and consequence. Quite a charming showing from Claudia Sulewski.

    Previous Review: Pushing Tin

  • Pushing Tin

    Pushing Tin


    Somehow I missed this back in my highest volume movie watching days, and to see it now 20 years removed is a fascinating time capsule. Prime John Cusack, a still ascending Billy Bob Thornton, an unrecognizably babyfaced Cate Blanchett, and a soon-to-explode Angelina Jolie (here a bonafide smokeshow). Opening with multiple shots of the World Trade Center and closing with a now impossible plane scene, it wears its goofy pre-9/11 energy on its sleeve, the low stakes innocence of that…

  • M3GAN



    Sharing unmistakable DNA with the Childs Play franchise, M3GAN intelligently carves out its own path, building genre thrills atop a foundation of amusing satire. Whoever decided to include that now iconic dance scene, which amounts to mere seconds of which all were in the trailer, earned this movie at least 10 million extra dollars at the box office.

    I admittedly thought it looked silly for that exact reason - it's hard to fear a dancing robot - yet in the…