• The Proposal

    The Proposal

    ★★

    Saying I liked this is dishonest. It follows way too many romantic comedy tropes without subversion, and it took me way too long to accept the chemistry between Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock, which I still didn’t fully believe in by the end. Too simple as well, which ends up being three big things holding this back. But the thing making sure I don’t rate it lower is how cute and nice it ends up being. Even if the presumed…

  • Poser

    Poser

    ★★★★½

    I’m so happy that 2022 is finally getting more contenders for my best list, because I was getting bored. Decided on a whim to pick this up just because I needed to choose something to watch quickly. Sure glad I did, because shockingly, Poser kills. Possibly one of the smartest films about the pretentious underground music crowd since Almost Famous, I was struck immediately by how perfectly this meets the balance between being sympathetic to the characters and situations and…

  • Mary and Max

    Mary and Max

    ★★★★

    I guess it’s my problem that I never quite believed the hype surrounding this film. Honestly, I still don’t think it’s quite a cinematic masterpiece. There’s either not quite enough going on in the story or there’s not enough going on with these characters to make a fully interesting and captivating film for my tastes. But even with all of that, there’s no question that there’s so much creative artistic ambition going on here.

    I can point to the incredible…

  • Beastly

    Beastly

    ½

    Some of the reimagined Beauty and the Beast elements are almost interesting, although maybe it’s just that I really like Neil Patrick Harris in everything he does, but that’s about all that Beastly has going for it. Actually that’s not true, it’s also good in that it made me laugh a ton from how stupid it all is. Kyle running out into the street near the beginning and being scared by all the ugly faces he sees is pretty good, every…

  • Elvis

    Elvis

    ★★

    This review might surprise people. Not that I didn’t enjoy a Baz Luhrmann film, this is actually one of his better releases, but for why I didn’t enjoy it. Look, biopics aren’t my thing in general. They need to do a lot for me to really appreciate them. They need to be fantasy realism like Rocketman. Or they need to go crazy with fan theories like Amadeus. Elvis doesn’t really do either of these, following all the rules you’d expect.…

  • Stoker

    Stoker

    ★½

    Extra half star added because of how insane it ends up being, I respect the balls to the walls energy, but wow Stoker, the rest of you is horrendous. Park Chan-Wook’s worst and least inspired directing job that I’ve seen so far, Wasikowska and Kidman are fine as they always are but fully unmemorable, and the screenplay is so goddamn derivative of other “elevated horror,” whatever that means. Wentworth Miller is on the clock, guess I now have to see…

  • Ocean's Thirteen

    Ocean's Thirteen

    ★★★

    I’m tempted to say that you can more or less just copy and paste everything I said about Ocean’s Eleven and Twelve here, my issues with Soderbergh movies in general reflect poorly on almost all of his films, but I can certainly give Ocean’s Thirteen a lot of credit for keeping the fun wackadoo energy of the second film while actually having Soderbergh pull through and have fun in the director’s chair. I can’t say I loved this film on…

  • Ocean's Twelve

    Ocean's Twelve

    ★½

    Another one Kern sent my way, this time because it’s another film that takes a familiar Soderbergh set up and flips it on its head. And to its credit, it does that, and at the end of the day it’s better than the predecessor only because I was in pain far less while watching it. But it’s still pretty bad. It’s basically the exact same set up and rules and character archetypes, but this time around it’s all coated with…

  • A Mighty Wind

    A Mighty Wind

    ★★★½

    Gradually lost my attention as the jokes started coming in at a slower and slower pace, but the vast majority of this is a pretty hysterically funny mockumentary starring some of the best to ever do it and playfully taking shots at indie/folk singers that a lot of people seem to love. (Oh, who am I kidding, I love them too.) It’s not necessarily great particularly because of the slowly waning energy and pacing with those jokes that tie the film together, but it’s pleasant.

    Fucked Up Shit Ville Score: 2/10

  • Widows

    Widows

    ★★

    I went into this with high expectations, maybe I should have adjusted those before going in, but as is I was thoroughly underwhelmed. SilentDawn called this one of the best ensemble casts in recent memory, and I have to agree. Not only is this full of some of the best character actors of our day, they’re all doing incredible jobs. It looks very pretty, and McQueen clearly cared quite a bit when directing it. But nothing about this writing works…

  • One Hour Photo

    One Hour Photo

    ★★★

    It’s fun to watch Robin Williams in a hardcore villain role for once, and to the film’s credit it builds and holds tension smartly and effectively for a solid two acts, with the performances, writing and technical aspects bringing it over the top into strong seven territory. But once we get to the third act and things get really off the rails, I lose interest. It feels like a natural progression I guess, but it bothers me in the same…

  • The Girlfriend Experience

    The Girlfriend Experience

    I asked Kern, my personal Soderbergh expert, to help me with some recommendations to help me understand the appeal. And no hate to him, but I just don’t think Soderbergh will ever click for me in a consistent, meaningful way. I say all the time that what bothers me about Soderbergh films is basic character writing and blunt themes, and for this one in particular I should have been turned off by the blunt title. The directing here is arguably…