• Bones

    Bones

    ★★

    After starting with dog harm, we cycle through projectile maggot vomit, gendered violence and plenty of fatphobia.

    The Snoop / Harris scenes and the practical effects made me laugh. I liked returning to the music video sensibilities of the Buffy era for 96 minutes.

  • Kagemusha

    Kagemusha

    ★★★★

    What a gorgeous tapestry of deep colour, with plenty of room for humanity. This film presents an extraordinary vision. I might think more of it, though, if the (admittedly way over-budget) battle scenes stuck closer to the history. What about the rain before Nagashino? What happened to the sieges there and at Takatenjin?

  • BlacKkKlansman

    BlacKkKlansman

    ★★★

    Despite a great soundtrack, good performances, and interesting concept, I felt this movie dragged and stuttered, before flopping into a falsely cathartic ending. I think the script lacked vision. Why the hell do they have two men playing the same undercover persona?

    Listen to Patrice.

  • Earwig and the Witch

    Earwig and the Witch

    ★★

    Though not nearly as bad as some have claimed, Earwig and the Witch lacks clear stakes or an arc, and fumbles its resolution. Child abuse goes without comment.

    Without set-piece scenes, character development, plot progression, or hand-drawn art, the film ends up unmemorable. But at least Mandrake expresses himself beautifully and with charm. I like the unconventional couple vibe.

  • Coco

    Coco

    ★★★★

    Watching this in 2022, it feels like a blueprint for most subsequent Pixar and Disney movies.

    I think it drags a bit near the end.

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    ★★★★★

    The Weimar experience: you reveal the demented criminal who masterminds all the depravity, and they reward you by locking you up and giving him the key. Hats revolve, brimmed with pigeonshit.

  • Crimes of the Future

    Crimes of the Future

    ★★★★½

    Giger's eroticism, brought within, fosters an atmosphere somewhere between porn and immersive theatre; but a composition perfect for film.

    Given the over-egged acting and difficult script, I might have preferred less dialogue. I ignored whatever terf politics this film has in favour of enjoying its steaming sensory treasury: abdomens bursting with Sharpied sausages; organic, riveted, chitinous automata; a dark, hot, farting soundtrack; barnacled Cheerios adorning abandoned tugs; rotting, gleaming stick-and-poke membranes; an lust for the seepage from trans DIY; vibrating chairs assembled from unnamed bones; silent, empty streets; and Neo-Aragorn auditioning for Batman.

    Time for the new sex.

  • Like the Clouds, Like the Wind

    Like the Clouds, Like the Wind

    ★★★

    A strange curio, this. For a TV movie, the character designs and animation punch above their weight. Despite appearing to adhere to a historical setting, the plot actually adapts a contemporary fantasy novel. We endure a bizarrely open-minded lecture about gender and sexuality in a 1990 anime set in 17th century China. All in all, I found it rather charming. The story reaches for quasi-epic status, but really just rolls through a bunch of nonsense.

    Shout-out to ancient fansubbers enjoining me 'do not steal'. Reader, I stole.

  • Turning Red

    Turning Red

    ★★★★½

    The funniest, best-looking Pixar in years allegorises menstruation and competes in the surprisingly active current field of liberal-wholesome Chinese-American mom/daughter dramas. (Canada is America.)

    My bitterness unfortunately forbids accord with reconciliation endings featuring controlling families.

    This movie features the most expressive effects and facial animations I have ever seen in CG. I think the technology has finally started to compete for pizzazz with drawings.

  • The Keep

    The Keep

    ★★★½

    I love the schlocky way jargon gets thrown around in this movie. Scleroderma, a rare degenerative condition from which my mother suffers, ails Cuza (McKellen), apparently causing him to confuse imperative with declarative moods; and American with Romanian accents.

    Cut footage makes its absence abundantly known. Abuse and genocide receive depiction devoid of subtlety. The audio mix aggressively sucks. I think the takeaway intends to warn against revenge fantasies.

    For all that, the music (by Tangerine Dream) rules. A beautiful dog briefly features. A smoking beef king slaughters Nazis. I cannot hate such a film.

  • Us

    Us

    ★★★

    I guess I don't find 'a good horror movie' particularly interesting.

    The character movement, delivery and musical choices elevate this film. And I can see the agenda about class in the US at the core. But Us just doesn't feel coherently thetic in the way Get Out did, for me.

  • The Acrobatic Fly

    The Acrobatic Fly

    ½

    Humans consistently demonstrate themselves unfit stewards of this Earth.