• Copshop

    Copshop

    Assault On Precinct Smokin' Aces. Shambolic as hell (it's a long goddamn 107 minutes) but Alexis Louder is the real deal, capable of rolling with Carnahan"s nonsense and making it look like it's her idea as long as she's on screen. Butler is coasting and Grillo has some fun playing mostly against type but there are as many movies here as there are characters in the ensemble cast (possibly more).

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  • Black Site

    Black Site

    CIA analyst who has never seen Three Days of the Condor spends just under an hour and a half trying to put two and two together while getting a bunch of people killed and not accomplishing much of anything on her own. When the Bad Guy gave his Evil Speech of Evil, I was nodding along in agreement.

    Provides some action footage for the participants' sizzle reels, but this does not hang together at all. (There's an "Additional Writing by" in the closing credits, never a good sign.)

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  • Crawl

    Crawl

    Extremely similar to, yet executed completely differently from, Burning Bright. Not just because of the people-eating alligators instead of a Bengal tiger, but in terms of production. Burning Bright was a throwback analog constrained-location thriller: you are trapped in the house with the protagonist. Crawl is also set in a storm-tossed Floridian family home, but never feels like anything but greenscreens and a water tank. The few moments that are nominally outdoors are worse, a garish nightmare of CG and…

  • Burning Bright

    Burning Bright

    Like the man said, all you need to make a movie is a girl, a gun, a Bengal tiger, a raging hurricane, a wicked stepfather, a child performing an extremely dubious autistic meltdown whenever it’s (in)convenient to the plot, and a Meat Loaf cameo.

    On a pulp thriller level, this is surprisingly solid, committing to its absurd premise and wringing every bit of adrenaline it can from the performers and the geography of the constrained location.

    The actual suspense bits…

  • The French Dispatch
  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    June twenty-ninth. I gotta get in shape. Too much sitting has ruined my body. Too much abuse has gone on for too long. From now on there will be 50 pushups each morning, 50 pullups. There will be no more pills, no more bad food, no more destroyers of my body. From now on will be total organization. Every muscle must be tight.

    A few years ago I got really into syncing movie dates with the real calendar as a…

  • All the Old Knives

    All the Old Knives

    A nearly perfect Le Carré–style riff, for good and ill, as well as one of those “two people talking intently around a problem” movies that either work or collapse entirely under the weight of their own misguided pretensions, depending on the viewer.

    Always thought it amusing that David Cornwell chose “the square” for his pseudonym when his novels routinely revolved around romantic/intellectual triangles, usually with a sentimental man at the apex, equidistant from a beautiful and intelligent but somewhat superficially-drawn…

  • Scream

    Scream

    I’m the opposite of a True Fan of the Franchise in that, with a few exceptions, I really hate slasher movies, and always have. For me the metatextual and intertextual bits, increasingly threadbare as they are, have always been the only worthwhile elements in the series. (One might even call it “elevated horror.”)

    This entry is shockingly inept and inert. The only surprise to be had is the double-bluff, when you realize that you were giving the filmmakers too much…

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Did not finish:

    Finally watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. (Have been saving it for In Case of Low Dopamine, Break Shrink Wrap purposes but a double feature was too tempting.)

    There’s a Cat Ballou visual reference 20 seconds in, and somehow I’m hooked before the movie’s even started.

    Oh no, this visual style is distracting to the point of physical discomfort.

    I’m as big a fan of Ben-Day dots as any middle-aged nerd, but I also can’t play a video…

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    I don’t think I ever quite recovered from the sudden realization that the villain was pursuing Their Dark Purpose via a chthonic-magic Zoom call, but this far surpassed my lower-than-low expectations.

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a sequel to a movie I was underwhelmed by the first time (and actively disliked on rewatch), in a franchise I continue to follow mostly out of habit and obsessive collector impulses. The more these movies give me exactly what I…

  • Ambulance

    Ambulance

    Trash. But also…great? Fuck, I don’t know. Easily the only thing I’ve ever seen from Bay (besides his Aaron Burr “Got Milk?” ad) that I didn’t find completely repellent from start to finish.

    (I don’t like early blockbuster Bay, loathe giant robot army recruitment ad Bay, and skip crankin’-it-to-Old-Glory Bay. Ambulance is at the sweet spot of the amoral vs. moralizing cops & robbers formula where I can swallow my bile at the many, many shitty things therein.)

  • Kate

    Kate

    Picked precisely the wrong day to watch this at random, trying to distract myself from my ailing and increasingly failing body. If I’d known there was a D.O.A. element to this I would almost certainly have chosen a different flick, but my own dread and anxiety about the fleeting nature of life paradoxically made me more receptive to this time-waster than I would (or should) be otherwise.

    In a sense this is exactly the #Content the poster and hero images…