• What Is Man and What Is Guitar?

    What Is Man and What Is Guitar?

    ★★★★

    Lean and beautiful little doc about experimentalist Keith Rowe.

  • The Many Saints of Newark

    The Many Saints of Newark

    ★★½

    Enjoyed a lot of this. I miss the pre-prestige TV days of not having to slog through 700 hours of a show to find out some surprising stories - itself, ironically, an artifact of the Sopranos legacy. 

    Yes, many of the performances were caricatures of the originals. Lots of boomer Scorsese-esque soundtrack choices. Cringey Black power storyline. But overall, a cozy way to spend an evening.

  • Tammy and the T-Rex

    Tammy and the T-Rex

    ★★

    First glimpse of Denise Richards doing her camp thing. Amazing how little she's changed. Paul Walker is unbelievably bland, as to be expected. Gotta say that the film looked great, even as the fundamental ideas of the thing were clearly unmoored from sanity. Nonetheless, a great B-movie spirit to the whole thing. Solid cinematography!

    Lots of bloated, period-appropriate hard rock from a band called Jaded Heart.

  • No Sudden Move

    No Sudden Move

    ★★★½

    Super smart script, loved Cheadle’s black mid-century Detroit dialect work. I didn’t entirely understand the unusual camera technique but felt like every shot and performance was carefully considered.  Would like to rewatch as a good deal of the dialog was mumbled (deliberately?) and I felt like I was missing a good amount. 

    Serviceable if unimaginative score from David Holmes.

  • The Day of the Locust

    The Day of the Locust

    ★★

    I don’t doubt the talent and ambition of Schlesinger, nor his sincerity in wanting to illuminate the “dark side” of Hollywood. But this was an exhausting, tedious, overwrought film, with every performance pushed to 11. The cumulative effect is an endless, drunken rant that rarely achieves much clarity of vision. Didn’t really care for any of the cast, including a mildly interesting Sutherland. John Barry score pretty much sucked, too. 

    Love the book tho!

  • To Die For

    To Die For

    ★★★★½

    Can’t believe I waited this long. Wow. I always thought this was a simple, “sexy psycho lady does bad things” movie. But this is much deeper.

    First of all, obviously: Kidman. Brilliant, funny, ICONIQUE performance. A movie star (Kidman) playing someone who wants to be/embodies a star (Suzanne) is not an easy task. The nuance she wrings out of this. She actually reminds me so much of IG genius Meg Stalter, another star in the making…

    Maybe it’s the times…

  • The Green Ray

    The Green Ray

    ★★★★½

    What a pure distillation of depression. Love how Delphine is not suicidal, not destroying people in her path, just quietly and persistently adrift. Happy people are uncomfortable to be around; children are intrusive. Dare I say, we've all been there, girl! Perhaps not while vacationing in the Alps and the south of France, but still!

    My first Rohmer and just love the way people talk to each other. Once again I must ask, is this a French thing? (See: Assayas).…

  • Chungking Express

    Chungking Express

    ★★★★

    Another visual feast. Unreal cinematography. Faye Wong is a Gen Z superstar! And manic pixie! The first half with its trippy shootouts, man- so cool to watch.  
    That said…
    Second story here is annoyingly meet cute. Lots of corny noir-esque puns. And I just don’t get the obsessive repetition of Cantonese Cranberries or California Dreamin’. I feel like Wong’s movies could be on another level with a sophisticated score. Instead the music quickly becomes grating.
    All in all, Hong Kong looks incredible, and there is something radical worth paying attention to here.

  • Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream

    Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream

    ★★★★

    What I want from most docs: Pithy, excited interviews with all the subjects, big name celebrities speaking candidly, discerning historical footage, super smart talking head interviews with critics, unobtrusive music. 

    This delivers on all those fronts. Fun and I learned a lot.

  • The Beguiled

    The Beguiled

    ★★★★

    Supremely disquieting. A psychedelic mess of a score from Lalo Schifrin. Union soldier gets saved by Confederate women…But he’s a horn dog and they are too. Allegory alert! Could feel the Vietnam parallels all over the place. Masterful creepy performance from Geraldine Page. This felt like a Get Out predecessor as much as anything I’ve seen. The claustrophobia and the decadence and the way Eastwood stumbles into some Faulkner-esque southern craziness. Excited to see the remake.

  • Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed

    Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed

    ★★

    The filmmakers really wanted this to be a barn-burning, “he said what??”-style expose. But actually, this is a pretty humdrum story about a lovely celebrity who made a lot of money and died too young. Saw lots of Errol Morris techniques to make certain of the characters appear like monsters but a really, they didn’t bother to make a good case that anyone acted nefariously. I feel bad for his son but, actually, you need good businesspeople to create a…

  • Too Funny to Fail: The Life & Death of The Dana Carvey Show

    Too Funny to Fail: The Life & Death of The Dana Carvey Show

    ★★★½

    Light, funny, efficiently told a complicated story without getting bogged down in tedium.