• The Unholy Three

    The Unholy Three

    ★★½

    Give us a Farrelly brothers remake, you cowards.

  • Hotel Room

    Hotel Room

    ★★★★

    Ep. 1, “Tricks” ★★★½

    Ep. 2, “Getting Rid of Robert“ ★★

    Ep. 3, “Blackout” ★★★★½

  • A Simple Story

    A Simple Story

    ★★★★

    Sautet’s invisible style, ignored by cinephiles for how effortlessly it transposed a talky French variant of the Hollywood ideal of dramatic representation onto the lives of upper middle class businessmen, only protrudes from the cab to the curb. He shot cars like no one else, adding the smallest camera movement to destabilize the image, a symbol of lives in flux—the change happens before our eyes in the split second when a passenger becomes a pedestrian, crossing foot traffic to glide…

  • Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground

    Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground

    ★★★★½

    Sax/Cantor by Julie Dash only

  • Happy Hour

    Happy Hour

    ★★★★½

    I wish happy hour was always this long.

  • Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    ★★★★½

    Enacting or reenacting the startling fleeting moments of our lives, this time with grace. In both of Hamaguchi's great pictures of 2021, surfaces demarcate planes to refract emotions – a distant music of steps & escalators, windows & doors. Like the comedies of John Cassavetes according to Thom Andersen, the characters in these films face up to tragedy and reject it, and the people in the frame, acting, express wholeness, harmony, and life through their words, movements and arrangement, creating implicate order from a deep geometric reality.

  • Waiter!

    Waiter!

    ★★★★½

    Montand establishes the tenor of a scene with the way he fingers a long stem glass, giving the sense he could act entire movies with just his hands or, better yet, the muscles in his face. What's more winning than his pout-scowl every time he tries to come on to a woman? Judging by his success rate, not much. But everyone loses in the end, at least in Garçon!, and that's what I love about it. It's as beautiful as life but not as long, with more situational comedy and telephoto lenses.

  • The Matrix Resurrections

    The Matrix Resurrections

    ★★★½

    Trying to find yourself in your own story when you’re not the person you used to be, as the suits who bankrolled these fictions threaten to reincarnate them without your consent. Cursed by your own creation and only a little blessed, you refute the choice that was your legacy – “there was no way I was swallowing some symbolic reduction of my life,” says Bugs – and locate power in refusal, a preemptive strike. To go back without going back.

    As someone who drinks cortados, I feel both seen and called out.

  • The Matrix Revolutions

    The Matrix Revolutions

    ★★½

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

    And so the trilogy that achieved success & acclaim by flattering its viewers to believe that they would fight for freedom in a world of mindless brainwashed hordes, concludes with a call for viewers to construct their own meaning. This appeal to actually think for oneself – as opposed to being hand held through what it would be like for someone else to, like in the first picture – was unrecognized or completely rejected by audiences and critics, who wanted nothing…

  • The Matrix Reloaded

    The Matrix Reloaded

    ★★★

    Guy whose favorite of the first three Matrix movies is this one, because it's the most like Resident Evil, a woman on a motorcycle flying through the air, a gun in each hand, an action movie that begins at the end, and ends with a ramp-up, contradicting and deconstructing itself as tasteless hard rock plays us out, calls us back, and invites us to put the next one on right away.

  • Red Line 7000

    Red Line 7000

    ★★★★½

    What is a hangout movie but a temporary utopia, actors who don’t mind bad dialogue, a director who doesn’t mind a bad take, characters who pair off like dice from a cup, because romance, in this case, is going around in circles as fast as you can, the rest is happenstance. Vibes.

    Hawks remakes Only Angels Have Wings or Ceiling Zero with half the stakes. You don’t care who wins, not when Gail Hire talks like a panther. All you want…

  • The French Dispatch

    The French Dispatch

    ★★★½

    “A turning point in the evolution of human pictography, scratched and plastered into a reinforced cement aggregate gymnasium. He even painted onto the radiators!”

    The Cycling Reporter: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    The Concrete Masterpiece: ★ ★ ★ ★
    Revisions to a Manifesto: ★ ★ ½ ☹️
    Private Dining Room of the Police Commissioner: ★ ★ ★ ★
    Prologue and epilogue: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

    For all Anderson's exquisite fuss & bother, each section is basically as good as its sources – Ross, Thurber, Tati, Duveen, Baldwin, Liebling, and that interminable Mavis Gallant article.