Rane has written 29 reviews for films rated ★★★ .

  • Seeing Allred

    Seeing Allred

    ★★★

    Netflix Originals (2018) #10

    Hagiography, but obviously necessary.

  • Mary and the Witch's Flower

    Mary and the Witch's Flower

    ★★★

    So simple, so pleasant to watch, so narratively and visually derivative.

  • Wonder

    Wonder

    ★★★

    Decent enough for a time-killer before Star Wars (the allusions to padowans and Chewbacca were a strange but pleasant coincidence) and Chbosky manages to find some genuine grace notes for such a baldly manipulative feel-good flick.

    (Interesting how we see almost everyone's parents except Justin's mom, though. Hm.)

  • Thor: Ragnarok

    Thor: Ragnarok

    ★★★

    Well, it's definitely the funniest of the Thor movies. And, um...Cate Blanchett's in it? Yep, I think that covers everything.

  • The Princess Bride

    The Princess Bride

    ★★★

    I wish I liked this film better, I really do. As it stands...eh.

  • The Guest

    The Guest

    ★★★

    Everybody told me to check out Adam Wingard and THE GUEST. Nobody told me he was a total goofball.

  • A Ghost Story

    A Ghost Story

    ★★★

    Very reminiscent of GOODBYE, DRAGON INN. And I really didn't like GOODBYE, DRAGON INN.

    Not sure I was emotionally open enough for this film's themes. That, or the idea of fleeting, near meaningless existence isn't exactly revelatory at this point.

    Also: pie is good, vaguely racist depictions of Native Americans are not.

  • Play Misty for Me

    Play Misty for Me

    ★★★

    No wonder Eastwood's still directing films almost 50 years later. Too bad his idea of terror revolves around being so sexy it drives Jessica Walter to crazed homicidal fury.

  • Beauty and the Beast

    Beauty and the Beast

    ★★★

    Wow, did Belle's father picked the absolute WORST village in France to live.

    Putting the utterly reprehensible townspeople aside, this is a Disney musical full of great songs and lovely moments. Belle is a great character, ernest but with a sharp mind, and she's never made to seem helpless or overly meek. This version shares a crucial flaw with Cocteau's 1946 adaptation in that they both rush key development for the eponymous couple, but the small scenes of the two…

  • John Wick: Chapter 2

    John Wick: Chapter 2

    ★★★

    Still fun, with some great set pieces in Roman catacombs and a po-mo art installation, but missing the first movie's formal cleanliness. I continue to be fascinated with the various men in this universe who choose to react violently even in instances where it's clearly unnecessary (and foolish). Didn't care for the sequel-bait ending, as it ignores exactly why the first film deserved a sequel in the first place. If you're so excited about this clearly-superior idea for a John Wick movie, why not just skip this franchise bridge and make that movie instead?

  • 20th Century Women

    20th Century Women

    ★★★

    Well-meaning and good-natured, but never really vibed with the film as a whole. Great performances all around, despite a clunky and meandering script jumbling characters atop one another - an effect probably intended by Mills, with mixed results. Cinematically, the camera moves generically (pushing in for emphasis, pulling out for a scene change) and editing flourishes accomplish little more than surface effect. The 70's period never feels fully evoked, obviously intended to expand thematic scope but rarely becoming more than…

  • Jackie

    Jackie

    ★★★

    Idiosyncratic, to be sure, but finding it slips away as easily as most other awards season biopics. Mica Levi's wavering score deserves all the praise it gets and cinematographer Stephane Lorraine composes some aggressive close-ups and snapshot compositions. But Portman's performance/accent contains as many highs as it does lows, and even three (!) framing devices can't keep the narrative from jumbling to near incoherence. This looks and sounds like a good movie, but the image can't quite measure up to the legacy it's creating for itself.