RSS feed for Stew
  • A Field in England

    A Field in England

    ★★★

    Eh, it had its moments.

  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

    ★★★★

    This is probably my favorite Bill Murray performance. Also, there is nothing in this world and others that Willem Dafoe cannot do.

  • Killing Them Softly

    Killing Them Softly

    ★★★★½

    Fuck this was good.

  • Revolutionary Road

    Revolutionary Road

    ★★★½

    I recently read the novel this film was adapted from, and it instantly became one of my all-time favorites. It was so rich in dialogue, humor, and Yates’s ability to find the tension in suburban inanity. This adaptation follows so closely to its source that it should have been a slam dunk, but instead it proves that there are some things that simply cannot be translated to the screen.

    The performances are fine and everyone on screen has at least…

  • The Invisible Man

    The Invisible Man

    ★★★

    Considering how awful the trailer made this movie look, I was pleasantly surprised by... most of it. There were a lot of smart directorial decisions, and it’s a nice thematic twist on a classic story. 

    However, it devolves into something very predictable and familiar in its 2nd hour. We get the necessary but tired “nobody believes me” cliche, and then we’re subjected to some fight scenes that, while admittedly well-shot, can’t help but looking silly because of their invisible antagonist.…

  • The Passenger

    The Passenger

    ★★★

    One of those 70s films that moves so unbelievably slow that you find it hard to accept it’ll ever end. 2 hours feels like 3, and despite some beautiful camerawork and a gorgeous backdrop, I don’t feel like the runtime was justified. This is certainly not the thriller it’s described as; it’s much more existential than I expected. Like Hitchcock on Xanax.

  • The Ritual

    The Ritual

    ★★½

    I really adored the creature in this one: it’s seriously one of the most well-designed movie monsters I’ve seen in a long time. Very Lovecraftian and unexpected. 

    It’s just too bad that it couldn’t have been used in a better movie. This was boring, predictable, familiar, and it felt Netflix-y in all the wrong ways. Plus, the cast was full of some of the most blandly unlikable characters I’ve ever been asked to care about in a horror movie. If it wasn’t for the creature, this would be one of the most forgettable horror films I’ve seen in years. Who knows, it still might be.

  • Scream 3

    Scream 3

    ★★½

    Most series have the same problem: they establish likable, vaguely defined characters in the beginning, and then they lean into those characters’ traits too hard and turn them into stereotypes.

    The Scream series actually seems to have the opposite problem. 

    The obvious reason the first installment works so well is because it’s a meta-commentary on the genre. Characters exist to be killed, and even those that are the personification of archetypical roles that we’re already familiar with. But with each…

  • I, Daniel Blake

    I, Daniel Blake

    ★★★★

    This is a great film about alienation, bureaucracy, and individual agency in a world that seems hell-bent on scripting the humanity right out of us all. It’s hilarious, but it’s also extremely frustrating and often bleak. Daniel Blake might stand as one of the best fictional characters I’ve found in years; he’s certainly the most heroic.

  • Fish Tank

    Fish Tank

    ★★★★

    I truly appreciate a film that doesn’t ask you to sympathize with its characters. Fish Tank is about a 15-year old girl living in poverty and making dumb, awful, very teenage mistakes. But unlike other films in the same vein (there are plenty), this one never tries to portray her actions as anything less than shitty, even though we come to understand why she behaves the way she does. I found her to be annoying, unnerving, and difficult to watch, but…

  • Kicking and Screaming

    Kicking and Screaming

    ★★★½

    This is probably the most self-important Baumbach film I’ve seen yet, and that’s really quite an impressive feat.

  • Scream 2

    Scream 2

    ★★★

    This was shockingly decent! Not great, mind you, but horror-movie sequel decent.