• Millennium Actress

    Millennium Actress

    ★★★★★

    Japan’s legendary Ginei film studio has gone bankrupt. As a farewell, its last television producer and fellow cameraman set out to find the studio’s most famous but reclusive star, Chiyoko Fujiwara. For thirty years she starred in Ginei’s greatest hits, but since retiring, she has shunned all interviews and public appearances.

    Now, at her remote mountainside home, the three have gathered for tea, and Chiyoko is finally ready to tell her story.

    Director Satoshi Kon, one of the greatest directors…

  • Malmkrog

    Malmkrog

    ★★★★★

    You’re invited to Christmas Eve at Nikolai’s estate, somewhere in the snowy Transylvanian countryside. You’ll be joined by some of his bourgeois friends, a general’s wife, a young Christian woman, a Franco-Russian aristocrat and a noble French woman. It will be a day of food, drinks and conversation thanks to Nikolai’s hospitality and his army of household servants. The year is 1900.

    The latest film from Romanian New Wave director Cristi Puiu asks much from its audience. It’s three hours…

  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★

    Oof. If you’re going to intentionally obfuscate reality and fiction so recklessly, I need it to amount to a lot more than a thin tale of sustained grief. In its final minutes, the film pivots so sharply towards a message of arrested development, it’s as if the film is done using McDormand’s Fern as a vehicle to explore the real-life Nomads, and instead it has to dash together an explanation for why she self-sabotages.

    Fern’s connections with the enormity of…

  • Sound of Metal

    Sound of Metal

    ★★

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

    Its final message about a toxic but loving relationship ending, now that both parties are better, delivers strong. Unfortunately to get to its “Kingdom of God” moment it throws the heavy metal community (of which it has ZERO interest) and the cochlear implant community (yeesh!) right under the bus.

    Part of the Derek Cianfrance go-for-the-feels-by-undercutting-your-intelligence school of filmmaking. 🤦‍♂️ It’s also boringly shot like everyone of these American “squeaky-guitar” indies. Still Riz Ahmed is pretty great, tho.


    EDIT: The finale’s…

  • The Night of Counting the Years

    The Night of Counting the Years

    ★★★★★

    It’s the late 1800s in Egypt, an era before British colonial archeologists dig up King Tutankhamen and the Western World goes crazy for all things Ancient Egypt. Scholars from Cairo have acquired an ancient papyrus scroll, the Book of the Dead, near the village of Kurna, and suspect there’s more artifacts there. They send an expedition on a steamboat, down the Nile, to investigate. But the area surrounding Kurna is ruled by proud tribesmen. Consisting of many families, the tribe…

  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    ★★★★★

    Sasha Baron Cohen’s most famous creation, Borat, the reporter from Kazakhstan who became famous around the world in 2008, returns. Who knew he still had relevance?

    Cohen’s sequel is full of surprises. One, that they were able to make this film at all now that Cohen and Borat are famous. Two, despite the first film’s success, saturating pop culture, there’s still more fresh jokes to be had from this material. Three, that this satire of America continues to be relevant.…

  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    ★★★★★

    A young woman waits on the side of the road for her boyfriend, Jake, to pick her up. The two set out on a snowy day to the country, to visit Jake’s parents in the farmhouse they live in and where he grew up. Then there is the story of the old janitor...

    Charlie Kaufman’s adaptation of Iain Reed’s novel is one of his very best films and once again presents itself as a straightforward story, only to have bizarre…

  • Yumeji

    Yumeji

    ★★★★★

    Retreating to a spa resort at the edge of a lake, Japanese poet and painter Takehisa Yumeji isolates himself in hopes of focusing on his work. While there, he’ll get involved with a number of women, including the wife of Wakiya, a notorious womanizing author who threatens Yumeji’s masculinity and professionalism. But lurking just outside the spa is a killer with a scythe, who’s determined to hunt down Wakiya.

    Sejuin Suzuki’s third and final entry into his Tashio Period films,…

  • Godzilla Raids Again

    Godzilla Raids Again

    ★★★★

    Long derided as the Big Guy’s lesser sequel, there’s far more going in this film than what I’ve read about it.

    Off the coast of Osaka, a family-owned tuna fishery and cannery finds its future aspersions impeded by the return of Godzilla. He’s not alone. His return has brought his rival Andulus with him. Together they’ll destroy the entire company and the harbour of Osaka with it.

    If Honda’s original vision commented on the political and scientific future of a…

  • The Trial

    The Trial

    ★★★★★

    Joseph K. awakens one morning to an investigator bursting into his bedroom. Joseph’s under arrest. What’s the crime? The officer can’t say. Anyhow, what does that matter? As long as you feel like you’ve done something wrong, “they” have already won.

    The genius of how Orson Welles filmed this massive adaptation of Franz Kafka’s novel lies in the comings and goings of its hero, Joseph K (Perkins). Through the simple action of entering and exiting camera frames, rooms and doorways,…

  • Blood Quantum

    Blood Quantum

    ½

    One of the worst films I’ve ever seen. Does nothing with its premise. A miserable, cynical slog with no focus, no direction and absolutely no sense of humour.

  • 365 Days

    365 Days

    ½

    44:48 for 🍆. You’re welcome.