• Bullet Train

    Bullet Train

    ★★★½

    Sometimes the success of a movie is measured in the number of times it has you involuntarily shout/whispering “oh SHIT.” So, three and a half oh SHITs from me.

    Pitt adds immeasurably to the movie’s success, especially once you do the thought exercise of subbing in someone like, oh, I don’t know, totally picking at random here, Ryan Reynolds in for the lead. The John Wick diaspora definitely understand the benefit of undergirding their action with an actor who can…

  • Predator

    Predator

    ★★★

    Arnie good.
    Bill Duke good.
    Sonny Landham good.
    Jesse the Body good.
    One liners good.
    Cinematography very good.
    Stan Winston God level.
    Slow motion machine gun deaths oh how I have missed you.

    Yeah first time seeing Predator. A good time.

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★★★½

    Brilliant astonishing moving transcendent and also maybe 15-20 minutes longer than I needed it to be?


    ++


    Despite that stretch in the back half where things got draggy for me, every time I conjure up Yeoh’s face, or Ke Huy Quan’s, or Stephanie Hsu’s, I think there will be no better film this year. 


    I also think the film accomplished something I haven’t seen attempted: using the concept of the multiverse to bridge the gap between generations. Time is a…

  • Not Okay

    Not Okay

    ★★★½

    Placing the burden of real life trauma on a kid (the very good Mia Isaac) was risky and arguably ironic (isn’t writer/director Quinn Shepherd, like Danni, exploiting the trauma of others for the benefit of her art?), but Shepherd ultimately does right by Isaac’s Rowan. But the movie lives and dies on the performance by Deutch, who is terrific. If it felt like more a fascinating artifact of our era than a fully satisfying narrative, it still shows Shepherd to be savvy with actors with a keen sense of tone.

  • Meet John Doe

    Meet John Doe

    ★★★½

    A heavy-handed concept-first drama that doesn’t really work except: every performance is aces and as a collection of moments and scenes, it’s still pretty special.

    According to Capra’s autobiography, they started shooting the film without an ending. They ended up shooting five different endings. Capra himself admitted that none of them really worked, including the one they stuck with. He was correct.

  • The Lady Eve

    The Lady Eve

    ★★★★★

    Trying to think of another comedy that, when it ends, you find yourself wanting more of every single character no matter how small. Not just the leads but them, too, of course; but Demerest, Pallette, Meliville Cooper, and especially Eric “The Sorrow of Sidwich” Blore. 

    Also taking me by surprise this time: the real heartbreak at the midpoint of the movie. It takes its time, and you really feel for Stanwyck’s Jean.

  • Thor: Love and Thunder

    Thor: Love and Thunder

    ★★★★

    The comedy may or may not work for you (I laughed just as hard the second time), but there’s a point to it. Love and Thunder is about the stories we tell, the gods we make, the heroes we glorify. Waititi is reminding us that none of these things is an accident; and that we don’t have to accept the gods or heroes that society or culture provides us. (Or, worse, forces upon us.) They don’t always mean the best…

  • Nope

    Nope

    ★★★★

    Peele is just so good at establishing a casual, but emotionally/politically/racially charged world for his characters to inhabit. The tension comes from the action of the film, but also from the countless ideas - some sincere, some possibly misdirections - that make up the film’s subtext. Wholly original and hugely entertaining.

    The increasing unreliability of images along with the fixation on documenting trauma are the ideas that are sticking with me for the time being. 

    Keke Palmer. What a star. Kaluuya. Yeun. So good.

    Van Hoytema. The best.

  • Sense and Sensibility

    Sense and Sensibility

    ★★★½

    The cast is so good, the direction so precise, the writing so witty and moving, that you find yourself making excuses for what has to be the most contrived, preposterous and soap operatic of Austen’s plots. Nothing against soap operas, but these characters are so grounded in emotional realism that they put the contrivances in even sharper relief. Still a pleasure to be in the company of such exquisite talent though. 

    Highly recommended: Emma Thompson’s production diary, which was published as a companion to her screenplay.

  • Elvis

    Elvis

    ★★★★½

    I’m going to go ahead and log this even though I was yanked out of the theater with a quarter of the movie still to go due to a family emergency that thankfully turned out not to be an emergency. 

    It’s very good!
    Not really a biopic at all, but a witty, sexy, visceral portrait of an artist as dreamer/genius undone by compromise, manipulation and the Powers That Be. To the movie’s credit, this Elvis is more symbol than real…

  • Thor: Love and Thunder

    Thor: Love and Thunder

    ★★★★½

    The only Marvel movie I’ve genuinely loved. Gloriously free of MCU baggage and a deeply necessary antidote to the stomach-churning nostalgia of the last spider man movie. Also hilarious from start to finish, and, yes, I think genuinely serious in its way about grief and revenge and the stories we choose to tell about those things.

    All it had to do was fulfill the promise of its prog rock title. It did that and more.



    One of the reasons…

  • Forrest Gump

    Forrest Gump

    ★★★★

    Is melodramatic fable a thing? That’s what this is, right? I think it works damn well.

    Hanks has maybe been better, but he’s never been more essential to a movie’s success.

    There is absolutely no way they didn’t know exactly what they were doing with those needle drops.