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  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    After my mom quite enjoyed the first, she decided we should give this one a go too. I warned her.

    The whole time, she kept pausing so I could explain why X character wanted Y MacGuffin and why they were doing what they were doing in the place they were doing it. It's almost impressive how tiresome and convoluted the plotting of this film is (while, essentially, nothing is *actually* happening). But what's really impressive is how Verbinski directs the…

  • Onward

    Onward

    Second viewing (this time w my mom) confirms what I suspected (but previously chalked up to my being starved of animation for months): that this is an excellent, lovingly made, deeply felt adventure.

    I think Pixar films like this one, Monsters U (also directed by Scanlon), The Good Dinosaur, and the first Cars get dismissed as second tier work from the studio because they're not as clever or obviously "original" as their more revered works, and also because they're more…

  • The Emperor's New Groove

    The Emperor's New Groove

    Light and very fun, just as it was when I was a kid, but also slightly bittersweet w "The Sweatbox" in mind.

  • Ghost Stories

    Ghost Stories

    Banerjee's contribution was consistently entertaining and actually interesting, too much so to be surrounded by stuff like the other three. I guess Kashyap's had some okay imagery + body horror? And Akthar's was reasonably good at generating some empathy for its lead? Johar's is so fucking embarrassing that my mom and I kept looking at each other and laughing out loud. "Lust Stories' and "Bombay Talkies" were also uneven, but neither of those made me feel like I wasted my time.

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Heartless, artless, clunky, and somewhat embarrassing. John Williams still absolutely brings it, though, so that's something it has going for it? That's all I got. I've never been less interested in reflecting on a Star Wars.

  • Joker

    Joker

    Texted this to a friend when he asked me what I thought:

    Reminds me of the empty nihilism of like a drunk dude at a party who you end up in a one-on-one conversation w and you can't leave without being impolite, and they start speaking boldly but very unspecifically about how everyone and everything sucks and life is a lie and the status quo doesn't care about you and me etc etc without any real point of contact w something real or lived through, and you're kinda trapped there nodding your head and going, "Totally, yeah, I get it."

  • It Chapter Two

    It Chapter Two

    Quick thoughts:

    The high budget allows for the kind of top-notch VFX that you don't ever see at this scale with R-rated horror, but I suspect that's also why the film strains to be appealing; it's clear a broader audience has been kept in mind.

    The thing about both these films is that the never try to get under your skin in any real sense. They're fluff. They pull their punches constantly. They're interested in momentary shocks, but not in…

  • Ezra

    Ezra

    Quick thoughts:

    "Ezra" is interesting in how it attempts to explore the stigma against mixed marriages across different periods in Indian history (while quietly making some observations about class as well), but it's ultimately clumsy in weaving its text and subtext into something truly potent.

    The seeds of a great ghost story about how history repeats itself have been planted, but they're watered poorly by misjudged pacing and a particular disinterest in the POVs of the films' female characters (a…

  • Hellboy

    Hellboy

    Despite the bad reviews, I walked into this hoping it would join the long list of trashy, schlock films that I enjoy. A Van Helsing, or a Dark Shadows, or at the very least a John Carter. Nope. This is just an incomprehensibly bad piece of junk that gives you not one molecule of anything to care about.

    At the start, I perceived some suggestions that this was a good film ruined by studio meddling: terrible seemingly last minute song…

  • Kabir Singh

    Kabir Singh

    ½

    The theater fucked up and played a three-hour-long rough cut of the film by mistake. Took some time to adjust to the sloppy editing and the actively distracting, clippy sound, but that's just a rough cut thing. Excited to find out if the final cut is somehow not an empty, insufferable drag.

    Edit: At the time of that writing, I couldn't find the energy to get into how incredibly anxious I was throughout this film for all the wrong reasons.…

  • Men in Black: International

    Men in Black: International

    I charted my emotions watching this onto a graph:

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  • Godzilla

    Godzilla

    ★★★★½

    Even more magnificent than I remember.