RSS feed for Russell
  • Broken Arrow

    Broken Arrow

    ★★★★

    Woo in his bag here. righteous action, clean and effective narrative, and A+ Travolta hammery.

    plus, any movie with a hot park ranger fighting to protect cryptobiotic soil wins my heart instantly.

  • Escape from New York

    Escape from New York

    ★★★★½

    fuck fascists. don’t forget the film’s second hero: that lady who hijacked Air Force One at the beginning.

  • Game Night

    Game Night

    ★★★★

    Jesse Plemons was the biggest Oscar snub of the decade.

  • Apollo 18

    Apollo 18

    ★★

    terrific premise-- we stopped public report of the Apollo program because we found aliens on the moon.

    terrific production-- it definitely feels like authentic old film footage, and the movie doesn't really stray from that or "cheat" as much as you'd expect it to. for what must have been an incredibly low budget movie, it looks authentic. if the pitch was "Blair Witch in space," it achieves that goal...

    ... except that Blair Witch is scary. whenever the aliens appear…

  • Airplane!

    Airplane!

    ★★★★★

    my birthday watch. few movies are guaranteed to put me in a good mood like this one.

  • Money Plane

    Money Plane

    Kelsey Grammar says "you want to bet on a dude fucking an alligator? money plane." but then we never see someone bet on a dude fucking an alligator. we don't see anything close to that. it seems to be, outside of one brief Russian Roulette moment, an extremely normal casino.

    the "alligator fucking" thing is a microcosm of what's wrong here-- Money Plane wants to benefit off the meme-ability of its awesome idea, but it far too often doesn't deliver…

  • The Old Guard

    The Old Guard

    ★★

    very silly, yet the tone is gravely serious. a truly unfortunate combo.

    happy for the representation, but longed for this to either go in new directions or become a full-blown blast. there's a world in which this talented cast gets to cut loose, kick ass, smash heads, and genuinely play. we've seen Theron, Schoenarts, and Ejiofor throw themselves into stunt work before. the pieces are all there.

    instead, it's a slog: no memorable action, scenes, etc. lots of moping over…

  • Palm Springs

    Palm Springs

    ★★★½

    not going to act like there's much new here or that they took this as far as they could... but genuinely needed something this light and reassuring this week, and credit where it's due: it's damn hard to make a movie this charming for ninety minutes straight

  • The Parallax View

    The Parallax View

    ★★★★½

    the assassin training montage is next-level cinema.

  • Miami Blues

    Miami Blues

    ★★★★½

    trying to think of movies with better endings. if any exist, the list is mighty short. and Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alec Baldwin are doing all-timer work here.

  • Cutter's Way

    Cutter's Way

    ★★★½

    "it's never their asses on the line. always ours."

    took a while for me to settle into its rhythm, but the back half of this scorches.

  • The Matrix Revolutions

    The Matrix Revolutions

    ★★★½

    like many of the Wachowskis' other terrific films, it's packed to the brim with larger-than-life, giddily unironic emotion. Teenage Russell thought "that's stupid, bring on the robot war," but the emotion plays way better than it gets credit for.

    the robot war is mind-boggling, and the climactic battle between Neo and Smith looks incredible-- people point out the couple of dodgy CGI shots in Matrix Reloaded, but there's basically *none* of that in Revolutions.

    a few gripes: the Train Man…