nocturnalduck has written 19 reviews for films rated ★★½ .

  • One from the Heart

    One from the Heart

    coppola's project where he's trying to present postmodern narratives but in a way that reappropriates the types of archetypal narratological devices that constituted the metaphysical fabric of pre-modern experience is really interesting, but this slips up by trying to apply this paradigm only to the external environments that create/fuel human melodrama and not the human melodrama itself. it creates this weird tension between a contemporary definition of mythological spectacle and interiority-less hollowed social drama that detracts from both. it is…

  • Apocalypse Now

    Apocalypse Now

    francis ford coppola's breakthrough work of art being about the intricacies of an unusual italian family forces him to learn the "write/direct/create what you know" lesson later than many other artists.

  • Thor: Love and Thunder

    Thor: Love and Thunder

    taika waititi's work gaining interesting characteristics as his self-infantilizing "likeable" public skin suit begins to show its flop sweat is a situation to monitor going forward.

  • Revolutionary Girl Utena

    Revolutionary Girl Utena

    chronically suffers from metaphor writing.

  • The River

    The River

    renoir is trying to do an interesting thing here, but unfortunately the central conceit is built around inhabiting this child-like perspective, and trying to artistically do that without being spiritually eight (lucas, malick) is a recipe for your framing device feeling contrived and inauthentic.

  • Cure

    Cure

    this kind of sparse minimalism doesn't feel creepy to me because that's just how a lot of real life is.

  • A Good Marriage

    A Good Marriage

    the sensibility of this ends up being slightly too slight to habituate itself within the lead's forceful self-perspective.

  • Tabu

    Tabu

    gomes is onto something really great here conceptually, but in practice executing something like this probably requires more sociological and dramaturgical detail work than what he willingly does here. poor director/material synergy.

  • Juliet of the Spirits

    Juliet of the Spirits

    great form ultimately struggles to outweigh fellini diving head-first into complete impressionism without really knowing how to do it. very much the work of a man who had just discovered acid.

  • Spider-Man: No Way Home

    Spider-Man: No Way Home

    a perfectly scrubbed mechanic, devoid of all fault lines and hidden social dramaturgical projections, finding and intercepting all attempts to socially signal above and below it, a modern machine built for a modern man. all of these artificial social capital boosting "anti-assimilative" assimilative strats are going to be gone in 20 years so hopefully folks can enjoy the tenuous social identarian niches they operate in now before they evaporate.

  • Three Colors: Blue

    Three Colors: Blue

    it's a tragedy that kieslowski didn't live long enough to artistically mature and learn to embrace his moment-making operatic impulses instead of constantly subduing them for no reason like he does here. his divine comedy trilogy would have been amazing.

  • First Man

    First Man

    for two thirds of this chazelle builds this amazing thing about the catharsis of channeling your traumas and pain to service an ideal bigger than yourself while also documenting the emotional devastation that this kind of single-minded pursuit creates, but then biffs it a bit with an ending that tries to counter this with a melodramatic arc that ties the catharsis to the act of achievement itself rather than the pursuit. it creates a flip-flop on the validity of meta-narratives that turns a very good movie into a solid one.