Drew has written 25 reviews for films rated ★★★½ .

  • Ten Minutes in the Morning

    Ten Minutes in the Morning

    ★★★½

    All power to the swoletariat.

  • Nightmare Alley

    Nightmare Alley

    ★★★½

    A heartfelt tribute to two of cinema's greatest achievements: Carol (2015) and the promo for season 10 of Degrassi.

  • A Hero

    A Hero

    ★★★½

    The commodification of a good deed, continuously repackaged, redivided, and meted out. Everyone with standing has to preach their own benevolence, so it's unexpectedly jarring when Rahim's creditor lays bare his own motivations. Each new development adjusts the balance of power slightly, but mostly it brings us closer to a resolution we knew was coming.

  • Empire

    Empire

    ★★★½

    I just finished through watching ("watching") all of Empire in one sitting. Selected notes:

    1m It's really overexposed. I can see the outline of the Empire State Building and the peaks of a few other towers are faintly visible. Otherwise it's hard to make anything out.

    18m Much easier to make out the building now. I can see all the setbacks going up it. They're shooting from an odd angle that makes the right side of the building look like…

  • The Nude Vampire

    The Nude Vampire

    ★★★½

    A moody, atmospheric dream in which a young man tries to unravel the mysteries of a vampire woman, a secret society, and how Lemaître ended up in this movie.

  • Schmeerguntz

    Schmeerguntz

    ★★★½

    The montage here is so rapid that I'm just now noticing this may be history's first ironic use of women laughing alone with salad.

  • In Fabric

    In Fabric

    ★★★½

    Peter Strickland's back with more ASMR magick and dumb fun, but if he keeps moving in this direction it's like two more features before he makes Rubber.

  • Everybody Knows

    Everybody Knows

    ★★★½

    Another good melodrama from Farhadi. The opening shots of the old clock tower landed with me, and his attention to the workings of the town is so good that I wish he'd followed that thread to the end.

  • Helter Skelter

    Helter Skelter

    ★★★½

    "The dust settled. O finally! Lilico was propped up against the mirror which reflected her ravishing beauty. A chunk fell off her face showing the bruised rot under her rouge. How can we get to it?

    "Lilico is chatting and smiling beside the ten-foot lips floating among the clouds. She is wrapped in cherry red ruffles. As she plays the scene the makeup lady furtively dabs make-up on her. She stumbles and leaves a glossy pink smear across Lilico’s mouth,…

  • BPM (Beats per Minute)

    BPM (Beats per Minute)

    ★★★½

    The first act is such an absolute powerhouse, I was thrown for a loop when it swung into the relationship drama. The editing made it hard to synthesize the decentralized narrative with the personal narrative, and it wasn't until the ending that I got how they were trying to relate the two modes. That said, so many of the scenes hold up on their own, and seeing the legitimately tender scene where a guy with KS gets jerked off on a 40-foot screen makes me grateful for the Castro Theatre.

  • Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

    Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

    ★★★½

    All of my favorite Wiseman films have understood the value of our time and our work, judging our institutions based on how our society has directed it. In our successes, In Jackson Heights shows us engaged with our communities, listening to constituents' issues, counseling each other, and arguing for the rights and freedoms of our neighbors. At our worst, we stumble thoughtlessly through professional routines: the casually choreographed judicial process in Juvenile Court or the petty discipline of High School.…

  • Standard Time

    Standard Time

    ★★★½

    I was not prepared for this. It's similar to <---> in that there's an incredibly stressful effect from the Snow's pummeling camera motion, occasionally revealing small but unexpected changes in the surrounding space. Here, the lateral camera motion gets balanced by the intermittent audio, which works to pull the viewer in or out. It's wonderfully immersive.