• Dracula

    Dracula

    ★★★½

    Uneven, to say the least, but, man, the highs are very, very high. Probably the horniest movie ever made?

  • Heaven's Gate: The Cult of Cults

    Heaven's Gate: The Cult of Cults

    ★★★½

    The first three (of four) episodes are semi-superfluous, in the fashion of all elongated docuseries in the Tiger King era. But the finale responsibly compensates, considering the demise of Heaven's Gate from both internal and external perspectives, and honoring the fates of those therein tenderly and without judgmental remove.

  • The Way Down: God, Greed, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin

    The Way Down: God, Greed, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin

    ★★

    Rather run of the mill documentary about cults that was suddenly derailed by the death of the main subject. This complication is shoehorned into the narrative but it remains, like many films of this sort, an overlong and one-sided foray.

  • The Naked City

    The Naked City

    ★★★★

    This is a thorough procedural, and an even better anthropological survey of NYC in the 1940s.

  • Toy Story 4

    Toy Story 4

    ★★★★

    1. Having just rewatched The Matrix trilogy I can say semi-authoritatively that Keanu Reeves is spectacular in this.

    2. I don't know if being a parent has softened my response to films this emotionally manipulative but during this I was brought to the verge of tears more than once.

  • Ravenous

    Ravenous

    ★★½

    I'm not enough of an aficionado of zombie movies to scrutinize what makes this one distinctive apart from its Québécois setting. Besides this it's sparer but not altogether different from a block of The Walking Dead episodes.

  • My Psychedelic Love Story

    My Psychedelic Love Story

    ★★½

    Not quite as self-incriminating and nowhere near as substantive as other of Morris's profiles (Mr. Death, Tabloid). Even if Joanna Harcourt-Smith — whose titular book, describing her life with Timothy Leary, is the basis for this film — is a storied and engaging protagonist she's ancillary to a larger, more dynamic narrative. Her story is told with ample visual flourishes (designer Jeremy Landman is named soon after the director in the end credits) and as with other of Morris's late films this is impressive but disguises the film's narrative deficit, and in my mind shortchanges the straightforward clarity describes his superlative early work.

  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle

    The Friends of Eddie Coyle

    ★★★★½

    As far as grimy 70s crime thrillers go this is way understated (the heist scenes are breathtakingly suspenseful), prioritizing the lead up and aftermath of a criminal event, positing the criminals and the Feds as peers in some tangly mess of corruption and double crossing. Robert Mitchum's Eddie Coyle is in the middle of all this, and his noble intentions aren't enough to spare him from being one of the game's casualties. When he drinks glasses of beer his eyes are closed and his mouth is wide like a drowning man gasping for air.

  • The Matrix Revolutions

    The Matrix Revolutions

    ★★★

    On one hand this is about as ambitious and cerebral as blockbusters come, and on the other this is as emotionally deep as one of those puddles Agent Smith and Neo step in during the climactic battle. For every compelling, puzzle-like philosophical statement there is Neo or Trinity expressing their love for each other without any semblance of believability.

  • The Matrix Reloaded

    The Matrix Reloaded

    ★★★

    Third viewing, and the third time I thought "who tf is that?" at the sudden cliffhanger reveal.

  • The Matrix

    The Matrix

    ★★★★

    I've mentioned this before but the one thing in this film that doesn't make any sense to me is why Morpheus's crew dresses so conspicuously when they enter the Matrix. They need to elude the world's most merciless and lethal antagonists and they dress like they're attending the red carpet premier of Blade.

  • To Die For

    To Die For

    ★★

    A far less judgmental, more tonally asynchronous prototype for I, Tonya.