RSS feed for James
  • Suicide Squad

    Suicide Squad

    Even more inept and inert than I remembered, with Robbie the only real (intermittent) bright spot in a sad jackalope of a movie, sawdust spilling from jagged seams, crooked antlers sagging at awkward angles.


  • Overlord


    A loving and knowing hybrid of some choice strains of schlock/horror/exploitation that also is just…not good. Whatever the intentions, in execution this is a just-the-tropes-ma’am clunker doused in corn syrup and food coloring, lurching about in lead-lined clown shoes, feeling more stitched together than edited.

  • Uncut Gems

    Uncut Gems

    Fundamentally I am not the audience for this movie because it never seemed loud or chaotic or anxiety inducing or whatever. I don't wanna be like New York just be like that buuuut while I may not exactly know a guy like Howard Ratner I have known a half dozen guys exactly like Howard Ratner, and I have gone to a great deal of effort to make sure that I'm never in a position to meet any more.

    This is…

  • Marriage Story

    Marriage Story

    Who woulda thought that 2019 would be the year Marty and Woody both made such strong late-career comeback pictures?

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    Scorsese has of course always been a moralist, but those of us who tend to wish he would be a little more didactic get what we wanted this time, for good and bad. It’s the usual tale of young men on the make guided and stifled by the mean old bastards, but the scope and the cast allow us to be in the POV of the mean old bastards this time, which makes all the difference in this latest tale…

  • Jojo Rabbit

    Jojo Rabbit

    This aint it obersturmführer.

    This movie made me think that my initial gut reaction to Taika Waititi's work (i.e., this is insufferable) was probably the more generally applicable one after all.

    A lot of funny comedy is tasteless, but so is a lot of smug, unfunny comedy. The script fails the New Yorker cartoon caption test: replacing every line with "Christ, what an asshole" would be funnier than what we get.

    No more adorkable fascist Sam Rockwell characters with redemption arcs plz.

  • Parasite


    The only thing I knew about this movie was that I was supposed to go in cold but I have no idea how you could meaningfully nutshell this movie anyway.

    Have to rewatch if only because seeing it back to back with Joker kind of shaped my entire first impression, in that this seems to be actually satirical and meaningful and a self-reflexively mocking ("that's so metaphorical!") depiction of class warfare catalyzed by antisocial personalities (including involuntary reactions to trauma).

  • Joker


    As a child of crime-riddled 80s NYC the production design & location scouting is nostalgia to the max.

    To criticize its worldview would imply that it has one; this movie is too hollow to deserve anything but pity with a dash of contempt.

  • 1917


    So I was primed by snarky reviews that 1917 would have similarities to video game tropes but I wasn't expecting to literally get simulator sickness during the early trench scenes thanks to low FOV and head bob.

    Mendes and Deakins: behold the endless horror of No Man's Land!

    Me: oh thank god I'm not gonna throw up now No Man's Land is AWESOMESAUCE!

  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Second viewing of the only Best Picture nominee I'd already seen. Was able to get more out of it on rewatch, freed from the illogical hope that QT would stop being QT.

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Ford v Ferrari

    Still sounds like a joke title to me. Anyway, it's well made but it's basically Statement Eyewear: The Motion Picture and never had, much less held, my interest. (This is one of the few times I can truthfully say "the Ron Howard one was more interesting" about a type of motion picture.) Bale is great as Bert the Chimney Sweep though.

  • Little Women

    Little Women

    Gorgeous, funny, moving adaptation. Did raise my eyebrows at some of the camera tricks early on (speed ramping, shutter angle manipulation) but either the film settled down or I settled in. A delight.

    How was Gerwig not nominated for director? How was everyone not nominated for everything?