• Pleasantville

    Pleasantville

    ★★★★

    A genuine technical feast for the eyes and oddly prescient to a lot of the issues we're facing right now in 2022. I'm not entirely sure all of the messaging holds up to super close scrutiny today but it's heart is clearly in the right place and the cast makes it all go down like a delicious old fashioned cherry coke.

    But more important than everything else, why hasn't Joan Allen had a bigger career than the one she got after this? There is truly no justice in the world.

  • The Courier

    The Courier

    ★★★½

    Really solid little spy thriller here. Nothing groundbreaking or particularly original but stories like this tend to work their magic on me.

    And a big fuck you to Russia as always.

  • ABBA: The Movie

    ABBA: The Movie

    ★★★

    I saw this once years ago at home and came away thinking it was a fairly ridiculous piece of fluff. In the time since then my love of ABBA has grown and I got to experience this viewing in a theater with incredible sound and ya know what? It really won me over.
    The scripted moments are naturally not God's gift to cinema and one wishes that simply more of that time was spent with the band backstage but the…

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★½

    Second viewing in 4DX didn't change my opinion on the film but it did give me a chance to see the visually stunning Avatar 2 trailer so there's that!

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★½

    A comic book movie this bonkers was genuinely unthinkable 20...hell, maybe even 10 years ago and in some ways that is reason alone to celebrate the truly insane vision that Sam Raimi has brought to life here. His horror and action direction bona fides lend a style and level of tension to a script that ultimately sacrifices much in the way of character development for a pace that moves from one big scene to another without much room to breath.…

  • The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    ★★★½

    This was fun! Cage is perfectly unhinged and it was great to see Pedro Pescal doing something lighthearted but I also couldn't help find myself thinking that it covered a little too much similar ground thematically as Cage's far superior 'Adaptation'. The jabs (both large and small) at Hollywood throughout this were all basically made in the earlier film (with much more potent effect IMHO) and felt a little like a case of diminishing returns despite being entertaining to watch.

  • The Northman

    The Northman

    ★★★★

    The epitome of a movie that constantly made me simply say, "Cool" under my breath.

    I didn't have an overwhelming emotional connection here to either the story or the characters but I was so thoroughly wowed by the technical film-making at work that I really enjoyed the experience overall.

    And of course the experience was all the more rich by seeing it in the same theater that Nicole Kidman filmed her infamous AMC "We come to this place for magic" ad. I felt that glittery pantsuit energy from start to finish.

  • Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange

    ★★★½

    My overall thoughts on this being a lower tier MCU film haven't changed but on this re-watch I was particularly struck by how economical and tight the first twenty minutes are! It thoroughly introduces the character, his tragic accident, and his obsessive urge to be cured without wasting a single second. Just absolutely efficient and strong storytelling to kick this baby off.

  • The Mummy Returns

    The Mummy Returns

    ★★

    I didn't necessarily remember this fondly from the first and only time I saw it in 2001, but I definitely didn't remember how wonky the whole thing felt. From special effects that were way too ambitious for their time to a poor child actor who was forced to spew lines not even a little bit realistic for the 1930s setting, this whole thing feels like a cheesy misfire aside from a few fun action moments scattered throughout.

  • The Lost City

    The Lost City

    ★★★

    Let's be honest, this whole premise and screenplay is VERY stupid. But the movie gods shine on the charms of Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum who make this entertaining and occasionally laugh out loud funny with their potent chemistry and comedic timing.

    The constant glorification of Tatum's body didn't hurt either.

  • The Wolf Man

    The Wolf Man

    ★★★

    Whereas some of Universal's other early monster flicks waste no time getting right into the thick of it, 'The Wolf Man' actually spends a long time building up the character before his big transformation. This isn't necessarily a bad thing per se but the film then races to a finish with an only slightly satisfying murder investigation conflict that emphasizes melodrama over horror. Overall, it's a tale fairly well told but not necessarily my cup of tea.

  • The Invisible Man

    The Invisible Man

    ★★★★½

    First time seeing this early Universal Monster pic and honestly? It might be my new favorite!

    The special effects are incredible for their time and I love that the man is unapologetically NUTS and ready fuck around (and kill) people left and right almost as soon as the movie begins! You want 30 minutes of backstory where we see him transform for the first time? Too bad! He struts his invisible self into that pub right from the jump and starts terrifying people as soon as humanly because they won't leave him the hell alone. I respect it.