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  • A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born

    ★★★★

    Straight up, I hope Matty Libatique never returns to indie filmmaking again because, after this and STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, I can't, off top, think of a more exciting or dynamic pop cinematographer since Vilmos Zsigmond. Give this dude the biggest, most expensive canvases imaginable. Please.

    Incredibly taken by the chemistry on display here -- that initial performance of "Shallow" really gets at the sheer magnitude and unstoppable inertia of reflexive love -- and genuinely blown away by the performances, particularly…

  • Buffalo '66

    Buffalo '66

    ★★★★

    Gotta love spanneen time.

    Wish there was a bit more meat and heft to it, but probably the greatest aesthetic ever. Like a ‘70s dirtbag Wes Anderson movie crossbred with Xavier Dolan and late ‘80s/early ‘90s David Lynch. Ok, that sounds god-awful, but Gallo really makes it work. Instantly iconic. Essentially, the connective tissue between TAXI DRIVER, SOMETHING WILD and PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE.

    A lot of — perhaps *the most* — influences and stylistic choices going on, but can’t say I’ve…

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  • Burning

    Burning

    ★★★★½

    I don't believe I've ever seen a film that's equally cruel as it is empathetic to its characters. Watching these identities unfold -- or not -- becomes, stealthily, an almost unbearably draining, unsettling experience. The interplay of gender and class with paranoia and vulnerability here is something of an unprecedented chemical reaction; a serene, realistic waking nightmare.

    Imagine having this much confidence in your storytelling, pacing, form, and ambiguity... BURNING is essentially the cinematic equivalent of negative space; SCHRODINGER'S CAT:…

  • Annihilation

    Annihilation

    ★★★★½

    APOCALYPSE NOW x THE LAST OF US x 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY x UNDER THE SKIN x MISSION TO MARS x STALKER x THE THING x SOLARIS x THE VILLAGE x STARGATE x ALIEN. And yet... entirely its own brilliant concoction. Smart, adult, uncompromising. 

    The closest a film has come to depicting an acid trip, I think. Unnerving and scary as all hell. The score felt like SICARIO’s blended with ARRIVAL’s; foreign, alien, beguiling, almost welcoming, beyond tense. Shouts to Portishead, and RIP Johann Johannsson. Portman reeeeally improving as an actor - incredibly committed.

    2018 in film basically already better than all of 2017.