• Grounded: Making The Last of Us

    Grounded: Making The Last of Us

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

    *Spoilers for the game and show below!*

    Don't have the time or inclination to write regular reviews (at least in the foreseeable future), but I think I'll do a review of season one after its finished. This will be it's placeholder. Thoughts so far:

    There's interesting things happening: tendrils of themes coming together into something that hasn't fully coalesced yet. I wrote earlier that Season One of "The Witcher" made a fascinating change from the books by clearly bifucating the…

  • Love, Death & Robots: Three Robots: Exit Strategies

    Love, Death & Robots: Three Robots: Exit Strategies


    Note: I'll just use this entry to post my thoughts on each short from season three, so I don't clutter up my feed

    If you’ve grown up on 80’s or 90’s animated kids shows, you may have taken a brief gander at some of today’s animated offerings and lamented how there’s a distinct lack of robots compared to the ones you grew up on. This series has been a brief salve for those that yearn for a more innocent time…

  • Holy Motors

    Holy Motors


    This movie is a cinephile’s wet dream. It’s playful and self-referential. It’s abstract and arty, but like Lynch’s films it has a core narrative thread that’s easy enough to follow, even though you might be lost to what it could be alluding to on a larger symbolic/metaphoric level. I think the problem some people have with Lynch in particular is that they try to see too much in his films, and deliberately try to decode what something means as they’re…

  • Moon Knight

    Moon Knight


    Wow, this actually didn’t suck. I’ve been Marveled out for awhile now and decided to check out the first episode after hearing some good things about it. To my amazement, I quickly found myself compelled to watch the entire thing, and I now think this is the second best Marvel series after “Loki.” One of the biggest reasons for its success (if not the biggest), is Oscar Isaac’s dual performance depicting two completely different individuals that inhabit the same body.…

  • The Worst Person in the World

    The Worst Person in the World


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

    The thing that immediately jumps out at you about this film is the direction. This movie just pops, as if it were pulsing with the juice of creative life that it's barely able to contain. I’d only seen one other film from Joachim Trier previous to this (“Oslo, August 31st”), and while I liked it, it didn’t really stick with me; it didn’t leave a lingering after-image etched into my mind that great films have a unique habit of doing.…

  • The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent


    This is one of those movies where the idea of it is intrinsically funny, but after viewing it you get the deflated sense that simply watching the trailer would’ve sufficed. I don’t know if a film like this makes me appreciate Charlie Kaufman’s brilliant scripts like “Being John Malkovich,” and “Adaptation” even more than I already do, but it certainly reminds me of how difficult it is to achieve that delicate balance they all maintain between high concept ideas that…

  • The Northman

    The Northman


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

    If you ever watched “Valhalla Rising” and wondered how good it would be if it actually worked, well, this movie is indeed that overcharged Nordic fever dream come to life. Very quickly (within about the first five minutes), this movie signals that it isn’t going to be told the traditional way, with a straightforward plot, and grounded characters etc. It isn’t so much a Viking revenge tale as the impressionistic echo of an old Norse saga—one that intertwines its blood-drenched…

  • Nightmare Alley

    Nightmare Alley


    I think cinema has warped my perception of what a depression-era circus lifestyle was really like. The reality of it was surely deplorable in many cases, but in my mind, I imagine that living amongst a motley collection of freaks, outcasts, and smarmy carnival barkers would be weirdly fun, with grand adventures to be had with eccentric, likeminded chums. I think the way that I view this old-time circus environment with a kind of adolescent wonderment is partly due to…

  • Dead of Night

    Dead of Night


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

    Heavy Spoilers Below!!

    It’s always a delight to discover a good anthology film, simply because of how rare they are. It’s easy to understand why, as most suffer from an inconsistency in vision or tone, either due to having multiple directors, or because of the inherent difficulty in weaving tangential stories together into something narratively and thematically coherent. However, a side effect of this obstacle is that, whether intended or not, nearly all anthology collections (which date back to antiquity)…

  • Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza


    For years, I lived with the weight of a secret that I was forced to keep hidden. You see… I merely pretended to like Paul Thomas Anderson’s early films, even though I found them distant, overwritten, and even somewhat pretentious. Of course, I played the fool, and even wrote long diatribes on the old IMDB boards exalting their rich characterization, deftly interwoven narratives, and poetic insight into the inexplicable connections that link us through the muck and beauty of the…

  • The Tragedy of Macbeth

    The Tragedy of Macbeth


    It’s a question that’s been posed from practically the beginning of cinema: how do you adapt The Bard onto screen? Do you keep the prose intact? Do you dare change around any major plot points or characters? I’ve seen a good amount of Shakespeare’s most famous film adaptations, and from the results, it’s clear there’s no easy answers. It’s been posited for ages that many of Shakespeare’s best plays—like “Hamlet”—work better on the page than the stage. I would say…

  • All That Jazz

    All That Jazz


    Wow, why didn’t any of y’all tell me about this film? This is one of those movies where after the first five minutes, you already know you’re watching something great that’s hitting on all cylinders and will manage to keep it up until its very last frame. It’s pretty surreal in a lot of ways too. Musicals are an inherently abstract genre, and they often incorporate a theme on the conflict between fantasy and reality—a conceit that “La La Land”…