• A History of Violence

    A History of Violence

    Cronens Berg

    A History of Violence does a great job portraying a kind of false domestic bliss, built on a lie and corrupted by an unknown poison.

    We know from the title that something is lurking in small town diner owner Tom Stall’s past, but still the lighting and color temperature reinforce every second that a great evil is on its way back to haunt him.

    Viggo Mortensen as Tom masterfully conveys the sense of a man who is playing…

  • A Dangerous Method

    A Dangerous Method

    Cronens Berg

    An excruciatingly boring film that I only managed to finish as a matter of principle. There’s nothing at stake here, there’s no drama, there’s no real food for thought.

    I can’t help but think of Nope again, because in both cases, I want to grab the writer(s) by the collar and shout, “You can’t just spill a bunch of extraneous thoughts onto the page!! You have to write a fucking story where stuff actually happens!! Make a real…

  • Not Okay

    Not Okay

    ★★

    A few funny moments at the beginning made me want to like this, but the premise is about six years too old and there's not much here beyond a premise.

  • Nope

    Nope

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

    Good lord, what a tedious, self-absorbed piece of garbage.

    This is nothing more than a loosely connected series of first-pass ideas: stuff falls from the sky, speech about historical Black actors, a UFO – I mean a UAP, horse names on placards for no reason, child actors, a chimp goes bananas (sorry), the UAP blacks out electronics, the UAP is actually an animal, a weird cinematographer, floppy tube guys from the car dealership.

    I swear Peele got to brainstorming for…

  • eXistenZ

    eXistenZ

    Cronens Berg

    To me, eXistenZ will forever be known as “the movie I watched the night before I had to drive my brother to the ER during peak LA morning traffic.”

    But it’s so much more than that.

    It’s a fun sci-fi adventure driven by two strong performances from Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jude Law. It’s a fleshy contemplation of ontology and our collective construction of reality. It’s also David Cronenberg’s first and only foray into the world of video…

  • Slap Shot

    Slap Shot

    ★★★

    This semi-screwball comedy sports – sorry – some super funny dry humor, but it relies heavily on the idea that hockey guys fighting is hilarious. I can’t say it’s bad by any stretch, but I was expecting a little more clever comedy writing and a little less blood.

    Also: They used to play hockey without helmets?!?! Fuckin’ maniacs.

  • Election

    Election

    ★★★★½

    Biting deadpan humor that doesn’t seem to age, much like Matthew Broderick’s boyish face.

  • Who's That Knocking at My Door

    Who's That Knocking at My Door

    Movies by Marty

    With this, Martin Scorsese’s first feature film, I have finally completed his entire filmography. Having seen all his movies – including several I didn’t really care for – I now feel even more strongly that he fully deserves his reputation as one of the most creative and dynamic directors in film history.

    The thing about Marty is that he never gets artistically lazy. He’s obviously well-known for his gangster movies, but damn, the guy’s made 26 features!…

  • Paint Drying

    Paint Drying

    RIP Tony. You were only 79 years old. Just a fuckin' kid.

  • The Last Detail

    The Last Detail

    Watching this right after Five Easy Pieces has me thinking about how goddamn great Jack Nicholson was in his prime. He plays two wildly different characters, but both come off as completely natural, as if Nicholson genuinely lived both their lives.

    That goes for Randy Quaid too. He lives in the public consciousness mainly as cousin Eddy, but he does real acting in this movie. Like, really good real acting.

    The film is largely carried by these two performances, as…

  • Boxcar Bertha

    Boxcar Bertha

    ★★★½

    Movies by Marty

    This guy is so good at making movies that he took a Roger Corman budget, bought a desk lamp and a hand-crank camera, then used them to make a Martin Scorsese film.

    Full disclosure, though, any overtly pro-union movie gets at least three stars.

    Also full disclosure, the ham-fisted Christ symbolism at the end was very stupid.

  • Five Easy Pieces

    Five Easy Pieces

    ★★★★★

    While much funnier than I expected, Five Easy Pieces nonetheless drifts along with a melancholy aimlessness as we follow Robert Dupea (Jack Nicholson) on a journey of woeful self-exploration.

    When we first meet Robert, he’s an oil rig worker who’s dissatisfied with, well, everything, and also very mean to his girlfriend, Rayette (Karen Black). He really doesn't do much to win our sympathy.

    But when the pair go to visit Robert’s family, we come to learn – through a series…