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  • Rocketman

    Rocketman

    ★★★★½

    This just feels like Elton John put on a one man show with an insane budget and some producers decided to recreate it down to the last pause and shudder as a proper kaleidoscopic experience. And it feels honest in exactly the way those one-man shows so often do. Not so much in what's being said by the performers in the asides to the audience, which is surface level truth, nor in the scenes themselves which are theatrical truth. But…

  • Rocketman

    Rocketman

    ★★★★½

    A good biopic should be reflective of the subject.  That’s why Steve Jobs is a compartmentalized and controlled machine and Love and Mercy is an emotional bleed between fraying parts of a breaking mind.  And it’s why, beyond the actual production issues, BoRhap was so unforgivable.


    And it’s why I so appreciate this rock opera musical fantasy trip that rolls and judders through chaos and pageantry in equal measure.  Clever and original in execution but heartfelt and emotionally honest under…

  • Long Shot

    Long Shot

    ★★★★½

    I really just appreciate the Seth Rogen stamp that he puts on films he has a hand in shepherding.  That specific brand of good people trying to do good things with fairly low stakes or very silly high stakes.  Plotted films that get a lot of narrative work in while feeling like lackadaisical hang out movies.  He loves to laugh at himself and let us laugh along with him and he has no problem letting the people he shares the…

  • Fish Tank

    Fish Tank

    ★★★★½

    The second half of a scarring double feature at the New Beverly.  I saw this once a few years ago, clearly didn’t get it or get anything from it, and then more or less blocked it out.    But this time watching it, as the dread and discomfort mounted over the incredibly painful two hour runtime, it started to click into place.  Partially from having watched Me and You and Everyone We Know right before but partially just from being a…

  • Me and You and Everyone We Know

    Me and You and Everyone We Know

    ★★★★★

    Permanence and impermanence. Youth, adulthood, the sticky intermingling.  

    My first visit to the New Beverly was a double feature of this and Fish Tank. Which is a rough pairing. Because this film is so quirky and delightful and singularly exciting. And Fish Tank is so raw and upsetting and rough to watch. But putting the films side by side made a certain kind of sense.

    Fish Tank is about children playing at adulthood. And this film is presented almost as…

  • Fast Color

    Fast Color

    ★★★½

    What a quiet little gift of a film.  The perfect complement to the towering monstrosity of Avengers Endgame.  A soft film about finding your voice and autonomy and planting your feet in the ground, stiffening your spine, knowing yourself, and refusing to move.

    I lucked out and got to see this with a Q&A featuring Julia Hart and Gugu Mbatha-Raw at a packed showing.  It was the first time I’ve been to a movie where they paused the projector to…

  • Avengers: Endgame

    Avengers: Endgame

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    My favourite movies in the MCU are Iron Man 3 and Black Panther. Iron Man 3 treats Tony Stark like a person and deals with the personal ramifications of saving the world and surviving. Black Panther is about the world today and has a genuinely thoughtful conversation about colonialism and isolationism. They are films that can be fun and action packed and silly at times but they also exist in the real world and treat their characters as such. So…

  • Trouble Every Day

    Trouble Every Day

    ★★★½

    Sex and lust as destruction and consummation.  Told halfway between lyrical stylistic poetry and heavy handed, vague exposition heavy narrative piece, it continually nibbles at ideas and thoughts and threads, only to then either back off right as it’s about to get interesting or unlock something worth exploring or to indulge and take a big, bloody bite that serves the graphic, exploitative nature of the film.

    This is my second Denis film and she reminds me something of NWR, just…

  • Avengers: Endgame

    Avengers: Endgame

    ★★★★★

    I don’t know where I stopped being a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and when I became a hostage to it. Begrudgingly seeing each installment despite what little I was getting out of them anymore. Frustration building with each film that failed to live up to the boundless and rich potential of the medium, art form, and genre. And I certainly went into this skeptical. Most of the 20+ movies leading here don’t have endings, rather teases for whatever…

  • 2010

    2010

    ★★★★½

    What an interesting film. That this even exists is boggling to the mind and that it is even coherent or watchable is a minor miracle. The balls on Peter Hyams for even trying to make a sequel to 2001. And good on him for getting as far as he did. And for going his own way with it. That's the key, right there. Also, whoever picked him for the gig at least understood the importance of hiring another control freak…

  • Under the Silver Lake

    Under the Silver Lake

    ★★★★½

    There’s a moment where Andrew Garfield looks at the Hollywood sign and he finally, after everything he’s gone through, after putting himself through hell, having a breakdown, running around town, watching people die and getting people killed and barely avoiding death himself, having his world and ideology and sense of self shattered in front of him, maybe kills some dogs(?), and he finally just GETS IT.

    He accepts it.  The city.  Living in it.  The meaningless of life swirled in…

  • Cléo from 5 to 7

    Cléo from 5 to 7

    ★★★★½

    Begin as a vain singer consults a psychic about her upcoming misfortunes, a decidedly difficult place from which to derive connection or understanding from an audience.  And end on a melancholy moment of confused wisdom as the same actress watches a car drive away with her future and accepts the present moment.

    You can’t ever really judge people.  Some would say you shouldn’t judge people you don’t know, but who are we to ever judge someone?  We’re all living our…