• Derek's Dead

    Derek's Dead

    riff/banter comedy bought to its aggressive breaking point, every laugh becoming more bitter the longer each bit is pressed. lotta friends in this one, always love to see!

    watched partially out of penance for laughing my ass off at Freddy Got Fingered in the same room as Curt Neill having a palpably bad time watching it

  • Freddy Got Fingered

    Freddy Got Fingered

    watched with friends up until the titular scene lmao

  • Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker

    Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker

    "so many wallpapers" - Clay Tatum

    only really holds together as a vibes piece, but admirable for its independent origins, and there is a surprising amount of pre-Spider-Verse Spider-Verse going on here

  • Death Race 2000

    Death Race 2000

    never comes within 100 miles of ideas like "taste" or "subtlety", all the better for it. admirable in its ability to maintain its specific high-energy level of bonkers for its (wonderfully sub-90) runtime, very funny for all of America to look like the outer stretches of Los Angeles. would be a lot funnier if Sly did this after Rocky instead of right before

  • Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza

    was using the bathroom during "Life on Mars?" the first time, so basically I didn't even see the movie; the gas station as the center of the Valley's thermal karmic pocket, directly adjacent to PTA filming our first look at the waterbed with the same reverence as Punch-Drunk Love's harmonium or any of Phantom Thread's dresses. even more moving looking at Gary and Alana two sides of the same coin of growing up in the place they'd be destined to…

  • Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza

    young mid-century life as a horseshoe between free time and the hustle in all its forms, personified here as fads, trends, and political idealism, adolescence as the necessity of venturing on even without adequate gas in the emotional tank (the literalization of which is simultaneously the funniest and most suspenseful scene of the year for me). Hoffman and Haim could not be more wonderful, accidentally crashing into/intentionally bouncing off each other and all manner of valley weirdos (Bradley Cooper in…

  • House of Gucci

    House of Gucci

    a bit too long in the tooth in the final stretch where it matters most, but when this goes it goes. Gaga, Driver and Pacino are phenomenal, I hate Leto but so does the movie, so he actually circled around to some kind of entertainment value lmao

  • C'mon C'mon

    C'mon C'mon

    Toaquin’ Phoenix :)

    Mike Mills one of those filmmakers capable of finding me when I need him most (had a truly awful day at work today, breakdown involved, whole thing). downright impossible to dive deep on the first watch, especially for someone like Mills who by now only makes rich texts, but found this freewheeling-yet-patient, a warm bath on an aesthetic level, and never sacrificing its profundity to make room for its sense of humor, or vice-versa. Joaquin in rare…

  • The Beta Test

    The Beta Test

    the rare industry takedown whose teeth feel sharpened and actually aimed at the jugular (less and less interested in wondering "who this is for" when more content than ever is made for as many people as possible and so little of it actually means anything), and a pretty uncanny narrative construction to mirror the real-life mesh/battle between late-stage hollywood with too-big-to-fail-era silicon valley, relentless in depicting the sociopathy necessary to succeed in both. Cummings performing on the verge of a…

  • Eternals

    Eternals

    52 2021, 48/52

    mostly telling that an MCU movie can spend over 2 hours doing things I ostensibly wish MCU movies to do more of, and I still don’t really give a shit

    does Ben Davis have a chip in his head that will explode if he ever frames a wide shot or what

  • Spencer

    Spencer

    the royal estate as the Overlook Hotel, Diana as the last living spirit fighting to keep herself and her sons from joining the specters inside. would ordinarily find this narrativizing a real tragic life objectionable, but the layers at work here with Diana's already narrativized, we-all-really-knew-her public persona makes this go down not only smoothly but bracingly; if she was destined to become the protagonist of a million ghost stories, I can personally find the beauty in one where she can find a resurrection. hard to not be disheartened by the way people scoff at me telling them that KStew's absolutely going stratosphere with this

  • The People's Joker

    The People's Joker

    52 2021, 47/52

    work-in-progress screening (I learned of this screening via my pledge to Vera's Patreon, full disclosure), which even in this state, is more livewire and energizing than just about any other recent comedy (four words: "Suicide Cop" running gag), its wild energy all easily resting on a personal narrative that's unafraid to dig deep into bracing personal trauma and explore the intertwining of self-realization with the pop culture we experience. couple recent SNL additions add a crazy, hilarious new wrinkle to this already dense text lmao. really special