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  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★½

    I like this movie because it is a Paul Schrader. His themes and tendencies are in there. The humor is dry but sometimes silly. His style is aggressive. He has things to say and he'll do so painstakingly. But First Reformed reached some hysterical levels---ones I don't associate necessarily with Schrader. And the stuff he borrowed from Bergman (Winter Light is all over the film's set-up, as well as a couple of scenes) didn't do much to enhance his otherwise…

  • You Were Never Really Here

    You Were Never Really Here

    ★★★★

    A vicious, gruesome, artful, striking, sparse film about a messed up mama's boy of a hitman. A genre film hitting all the marks while subverting the usual heavy handedness of the vigilante movie. Grade A stuff.

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  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    ★★½

    After rethinking, retalking, and revising my thoughts, I'm giving this one another go:

    I didn't love or even super like Moonlight; not because of the subject matter (which I happily champion its existence, especially as an "Oscar movie"), or because it's a "victim-movie" (a crude term I've encountered after seeing a few critics pussyfoot around the idea of not liking a movie because it victimizes its characters, which, you know, is dumb, because it is the prerogative of the filmmaker…

  • Max My Love

    Max My Love

    ★★½

    Nagasi Oshima's Max Mon Amour isn't like Sam Fuller's White Dog. This isn't an allegory for racism. Nor is it a Bunuelian attack on the bourgeois, despite Bunuel's hands being on the production. So what is this movie?
    Like it's billed to be, it is probably the greatest ape-on-woman romance since King Kong (though Max, the ape, is life-sized). The eerie truth is that Oshima's "comedy" (which is antagonizing in its unfunniness) is a comedy because it makes us uneasy,…