• My Neighbor Totoro

    My Neighbor Totoro

    ★★★★★

    No idea why I didn't 5 star this the first time, it's basically perfect.

    Took my kids to the theater for Ghibli Fest because this is their favorite. I'll remember this for a long time. My daughter singing the opening song and dancing in her seat was all I needed to restore my faith in humanity, if only for a day.

    God I love this movie.

  • Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

    Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

    ★★★★

    Reviewed last year, still slaps.

    I just love the music, production design, costumes and Buddy so much.

    Also, Forest f'n Whitaker.

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas

    A Charlie Brown Christmas

    ★★★★

    Reviewed last year, still awesome.

    Poor Charlie, man. He needs some new friends lol.

  • Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas

    Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas

    ★★★★

    How do they keep doing it???

  • The Karate Kid

    The Karate Kid

    ★★★★

    Family Movie Night

    Another staple of my childhood shared with the kids. My daughter liked Mr. Miyagi and my son thought the movie was pretty cool.

    If we're taking off the rose-tinted nostalgia glasses, it may not have aged as well as we think. There is a ton of build-up leading to a very brief showdown, some of the acting is iffy and I hate how some of the Allie stuff plays out. When Johnny forces himself on her, kissing…

  • Holiday Affair

    Holiday Affair

    ★★★½

    What a charming movie. How dare Robert Mitchum be so good and watchable when he's not being a sinister piece of crap?

    I had never heard of this until stumbling on it in the HBO Max holiday collection, and I wonder why it's not discussed more around this time of year. Maybe because we're just inundated with delightful holiday fare at this point.

    One aspect that may not age particularly well is that Connie, played by Janet Leigh, seemingly can't…

  • Dark Skies

    Dark Skies

    ★★½

    Concept over execution.

    An alien abduction tale presented like a demonic possession horror story was an intriguing idea, and I was sold when I saw the cast included Keri Russell and national fucking treasure JK Simmons. But it turned out to be pretty disposable and generic, unfortunately.

    It has some decent chills, but most of them you can see coming. And for something with a setup I'd personally never seen before, it played out like they followed a formula and…

  • Loan Shark

    Loan Shark

    ★★★

    If you're a noir fan and have under 90 minutes of free time, this might be for you. Currently on Prime.

    This is the only Seymour Friedman film I've seen, and it was fine, but not remarkable. It takes the infiltration angle, as an ex-con's brother-in-law is killed by a loan shark ring that has taken ruthless control of the workers in a tire factory, hooking them with loans they can't repay. It immediately starts with multiple characters being beaten…

  • I Wake Up Screaming

    I Wake Up Screaming

    ★★★

    Warpped up Noirvember the right way. I really wanted to go to bed, but saw a friend on here putting up some admirable noir numbers so I hopped onto the Criterion Channel and powered through!

    This wasn't the strongest title, but it was solid enough. I was immediately sold based on the title, although I'm not exactly sure what I expected. Perhaps I subliminally assumed it would be scarier, I'm not sure.

    This is another story involving a dead actress…

  • Nightmare Alley

    Nightmare Alley

    ★★★★

    Fuck HBO for canceling Carnivale.

    What a gloriously dark movie to wrap up Noirvember. I must admit, as much as I love the genre, I didn't make a dedicated effort to watching a ton of films noir this month, but much of what I did catch was quite strong, and this may have been the most memorable. And the timing is perfect, one month away from Del Toro's coming remake, which I can't wait to check out.

    Tyrone Power is…

  • The Broken Hearts Gallery

    The Broken Hearts Gallery

    ★★★

    Cute little movie for a date night on the couch with wifey. Sometimes I have to remember that not everyone wants to watch film noir, thrillers or heavy dramas...

    The story goes absolutely nowhere that will surprise you, but its premise is decent enough and the performance by Geraldine Viswanathan is quite enchanting. She brings a spirit to Lucy that is watchable and relatable, even if she takes mourning past relationships to an extreme. Her scenes with beat friends Amanda…

  • Encanto

    Encanto

    ★★★½

    As soon as we left the theater, we embarked on our annual Thanksgiving weekend tradition of picking out a Christmas tree. So basically, Saturday was pretty rad.

    This wasn't my favorite Disney offering, but it is very enjoyable, charming and well-constructed. The artwork is beautiful and vibrant, the songs are catchy and it takes care to develop several of the characters within the magical Madrigal family.

    The story centers around a family where everyone acquires a special power when they…