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  • All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

    All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

    ★★★

    Was on this film's wavelength for roughly its first third, before my capacity to follow Adam Curtis's myriad stream-of-consciousness diversions was exhausted. But even if hard to fully digest the sheer cosmic momentum makes it very watchable.

  • Godzilla vs. Kong

    Godzilla vs. Kong

    ★½

    The cinematographic signature of a good Kaiju film has to do with two things: tactility (as in, an actor in a monster costume wreaking havoc over a miniature city set that's probably 80% foam core) and scale, with the monster shot in such a way that he appears huge, feet squashing throngs of people running for cover, etc. Despite the affordances of CGI, which perceptibly yields more bombast and mayhem or more mobilized fighting (it's endearingly apparent in old Godzilla…

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  • Annihilation

    Annihilation

    ★★½

    For the first third or so this is ominous and self-serious in the tradition characteristic of all cerebral sci-fi movies, which permits a precariously narrow margin of error. So when a line of dialogue is delivered amusingly, or the appearance of a CGI creature isn’t convincingly material enough, the laughter that follows is concentrated because it’s been stifled for the time leading up to it—because up until this moment you don’t know if it’s going to fall on the side…

  • The Dead Don't Die

    The Dead Don't Die

    ★½

    Jim Jarmusch’s genre films (with one major exception) are rather vacuous exercises, probably because “A Jim Jarmusch Film” is in itself a genre, one defined by sardonic observation more than plot. So the resulting combination of sensibilities, obnoxiously on display here, is a film that never satisfactorily coheres into anything. One one hand you’ve got a genre exercise without any new approach to the storied material, and on the other a bunch of reliable actors going through the motions without…