• Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★★★½

    The worst "first day of school" nightmare you've ever had.

  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★★★½

    Under the Skin by way of Cronenberg's Crash and... the New Testament? Horribly ugly until, eucatastrophically, it's not.

    “I’m God. That makes him Jesus.”

  • Dracula

    Dracula

    ★★★★½

    A giddy, glorious everything-but-the-kitchen-sink extravaganza. As far as love letters to cinema go, some (say, Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood) may be sweeter, but I am not sure any are more passionate; Coppola is head over heels for his medium and everything it is capable of. The match cuts and fades! The sets and matte painting backdrops! The costumes and creature effects! The music, the colors, the way the camera moves, the "Wait, [x] is in this?!?" cast!…

  • Near Dark

    Near Dark

    ★★★½

    "Look, Jesse, there's something I've been meaning to ask you... How old are you?"
    "Let's put it this way: I fought for the South."
    "The South?"
    "We lost."

  • Spectre

    Spectre

    ★★★½

    “On this viewing, I was struck by the fact that Spectre’s torture scene is a direct counterpoint to Casino Royale’s. Le Chiffre attacked Bond’s body; he attacked Bond as a physical, sexual being. For the James Bond of Casino Royale, to be rendered incapable of carnal relationship with a woman would be a fate worse than death, but Spectre has different priorities – Blofeld attacks Bond as a mind, a soul. ‘Of course, the faces of your women are interchangeable, aren’t they, James?’ he taunts.…

  • Skyfall

    Skyfall

    ★★★★

    “It may be more style than substance – but good heavens, what style! Thanks to Roger Deakins, it is almost certainly the best-looking blockbuster of its decade: steeped in shadows, yet shot through with lush colors... over and over again, [Sam Mendes] finds the perfect balance between old and new, staging the proceedings with a deliberate, often old-fashioned glamour that never feels too self-consciously arty. Skyfall is very nearly the platonic ideal of this franchise’s particular brand of shallow romanticism.”

    In anticipation…

  • Quantum of Solace

    Quantum of Solace

    ★★★★

    “I like Quantum of Solace a whole lot, even if I can see why others don’t. It’s an oddly paced and structured little film that lacks the polished finesse of its canonized predecessor. That jagged, unruly quality is exactly what I like about it, though. In terms of plot and emotion, Quantum of Solace is a footnote to Casino Royale, which is why it is probably doomed to be a footnote in Bond movie history. In terms of filmmaking, however, it is entirely its own…

  • Casino Royale

    Casino Royale

    ★★★★½

    "[Casino Royale's] two closest analogues are Batman Begins, released the previous year, and Superman Returns, which preceded it by less than six months. All three of these films attempt to paint a definitive, comprehensive psychological portrait of a pop culture icon. Superman, Batman, and James Bond are ubiquitous household names; Batman Begins, Superman Returns, and Casino Royale tried to make them into emotionally realistic human beings, too.

    Of course, Casino Royale has to reckon with the fact that an 'emotionally…

  • No Time to Die

    No Time to Die

    ★★★½

    Out of all the possible options, I definitely did not expect this to be a rip-off of Big Hero 6.

  • Army of Darkness

    Army of Darkness

    ★★★★

    Spooky season 2021 starts now, baby

  • Déjà Vu

    Déjà Vu

    ★★★★

    Don't worry, baby
    Everything will turn out all right...

    Only so satisfying as a work of science fiction, or even as a procedural thriller, but as a movie about movies? Unbelievably romantic.

    In the end, this is a post-9/11 fairy tale (hence, "Snow White"); imagine if the tragedy-averting, peeking-beyond-the-veil ending of Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood was the result of actual, literal plot machinations. Comparisons to Vertigo make sense, but – and this is a huge but – Tony…

  • Strange Days

    Strange Days

    ★★★★½

    A Philip K. Dick-inflected sci-fi noir whodunit in the vein of Minority Report, pumped up with the relentless desperation of Uncut Gems and parlayed into a queasy investigation of cinema-as-voyeurism that would make Hitchcock* and De Palma proud – with a dash of Videodrome thrown in for good measure. "For good measure" in this case means a scene so stomach-churning it threatens to swallow the rest of the film whole; that Bigelow manages to pull it back from the edge…