• Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    ★★★★

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

    Is this the only comedy sequel to come out more than a decade after the previous installment and actually work? I think it is.

    This was never going to be as good as the first one, which remains perhaps the finest pure comedy of the century. Just based on the construction alone, with the more cleanly plot-driven narrative and clearly set up character arcs, it was not going to have the spontaneity of the original. Another unfortunate thing is that…

  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    ★★½

    It's only been a couple days and I'm already liking it less than I already did. Feels like Kaufman's laziest exploration of his favorite pet themes (identity, memory, mortality, lonely and depressed guys in general) with a half-assed The Usual Suspects conceit.

    I think part of my issue with Kaufman between this and Synecdoche is they lack the emotional complexity and three-dimensional vitality of his earlier screenplays (which is also in Anomalisa for a bit, though I want to note…

  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    ★★½

    I think Kaufman may be better served with taking a leave of sorts, allowing some separation between himself and and the industry that he seems at this point to loathe if all the jabs at Hollywood are anything to go off (the Zemeckis joke was the biggest eye-roll I've had in a while). We get it, Charlie, you think anything other than abject hopelessness is a falsehood humans tell themselves to feel better.

    Perhaps I was never an out-and-out Kaufman…

  • To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

    To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

    ★★½

    Using the same sickly green color grade used in The Matrix for what should be a sprightly teen rom-com is one of the most baffling creative decisions I've seen in a long time.

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★½

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

    The film establishes Arthur as a mentally ill, socially incompetent guy from the jump. The extent of the film's sympathy lies in basic human compassion and the knowledge that vulnerable people are more likely to be taken advantage of, but it does this in such a minor key that it's hard for me to think most audiences would ever identify with him, especially since Phillips doesn't quite dig deep enough into the soul of Arthur and see what makes him…

  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★★★

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

    - You know how every other modern period piece by a major filmmaker is called a "love letter" to that setting? Well, that actually applies here. This is Tarantino's love letter to late '60s Hollywood and just like a real love letter, it's extremely romanticized and uncritical of its subject. There are no skeletons, prejudices, or abuses in this Hollywood. Hell, they don't even try to cover up for a stuntman who maybe, probably, almost definitely killed his wife. And…

  • Avengers: Endgame

    Avengers: Endgame

    ★★★½

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

    Some thoughts:

    1. For a franchise that feels a lot like a '90s sitcom with movies instead of episodes, this was the big love letter finale I expected. Full of fan-service and reliant entirely on you already being emotionally invested in these characters. I was there for a good bit of it, though I can't say by the end that it blew my hair back or made me feel like a kid again but rather I just thought, "oh, this…

  • Eyes Wide Shut

    Eyes Wide Shut

    ★★★★★

    Recently re-watched this in preparation for an upcoming project and part of what has fascinated me in this instance is Kubrick's full engagement with the unconscious on a diegetic level. In most of his interviews, he would frequently discuss his interest in trying to tap into an audience's unconscious*, but this is the most in his filmography he works with themes regarding repressed desires and the dreams of his characters. He doesn't merely work with these ideas, these ideas are…

  • Ready Player One

    Ready Player One

    ★★★½

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

    An example of a thought I have after midnight because my brain hates the concept of sleep: I appreciated how Spielberg was able to balance the warnings about obsessive preoccupation to false worlds with a technology-positive message that digital interconnectivity can allow genuinely caring but otherwise powerless individuals to band together and effectively resist a conglomerate with unlimited resources. But even that tech-positive message carries with it the sad undertone that the people were willing to let the whole world…

  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Solo: A Star Wars Story

    ★★★½

    It was fun! Certainly better than Rogue One and doesn't have as many problems as Infinity War. It had a nice sense of character, had the old school serial feel with our heroes constantly getting themselves out of a pickle only to be caught in another, the cast was uniformly excellent, Bradford Young was born to shoot a Star Wars film, the staging of the action was really good for the most part (I think some parts near the end…

  • Avengers: Infinity War

    Avengers: Infinity War

    ★★★½

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

    PROS:

    - I want to give a shout-out to Dave Bautista right away since I've hardly seen anyone bring him up and he's far and away the most naturally funny and entertaining presence to me. The character of Drax was much better written here than in Guardians Vol. 2 where everything and everyone in that movie had an ugly mean streak going through it.

    - Josh Brolin really does a lot to make what could have easily been a flat,…

  • Spider-Man 2

    Spider-Man 2

    ★★★★½

    So this acquaintance on Facebook shared a meme about how Tobey Maguire was a bad Spider-Man and the Raimi films have aged poorly, I commented how I felt Spider-Man 2 is better than every other Marvel film. Apparently that struck a nerve and they blocked me. Worth it as far as I'm concerned, Spider-Man 2 is too damn good for that kind of disrespect.