• Punishment Park

    Punishment Park

    Where's the lie, though?

    In less than week where we've seen the murders of Duante Wright and Adam Toledo at the hands of the pigs who are so unspeakably thick they can't tell the difference between a gun, a taser, and nothing at all, the last 'act' of Punishment Park is truly unsettling and horribly analogous with this shithell of a planet. It was prophetic then, and it's prescient even now, 50 years after its release. ACAB now and forever.

    An incredible piece of mockumentary filmmaking.

  • Catch Me Daddy

    Catch Me Daddy

    Intensely unpalatable from the moment it started, and yet I found it entirely impossible to care about a single minute of its bloated, sluggish 2-hour runtime. Miserable, endlessly ugly, and possibly exploitative? An assured debut, but not one I would comfortably recommend to anyone.

    Minus points for the skippable dance scene. Directors, please stop including these tedious scenes as a substitute for story; its transparent padding and they always suck.

  • Nocturama

    Nocturama

    A group of teens who are inexplicably good at orchestrating a city-wide terrorist attack then can't figure out how to stay the fuck still and shut the fuck up for 12 or so hours? Once they get off the streets and into the department store I genuinely thought it would give me some meat as to what brought them all together; what they wanted to see happen as a result, and, mostly, who the hell they actually were. Rather, we…

  • Near Dark

    Near Dark

    Always missing Paxton.

  • 3 Women

    3 Women

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

    Played at HomeFest.

    I’m generally impressed how actors embody one character during an act and then, through narrative intention, seamlessly flip into someone entirely new, as if the first character we saw was never there and the audience has been gaslit into believing that the actor was never this first character at all. This is the case with many ‘split-personality’ films, either through amnesia (Memento) or feigning mental illness (Primal Fear) (a fine-line between both films), but Spacek absolutely owned…

  • Promising Young Woman

    Promising Young Woman

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

    Played at HomeFest.

    The burning issue with Promising Young Woman, is that, for better or worse, it approaches the vigilante out-for-revenge sub-genre in a novel way, but too frequently toes the line by veering away from the excesses that make it what it is. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing entirely, and it is admirable that it aims to carve a different path, but where films such as I Spit On Your Grave and The Nightingale (to highlight…

  • Dead Pigs

    Dead Pigs

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

    Played at HomeFest.

    Though the cast succeeds in elevating the disappointingly unremarkable story (a shame for the true story to be relegated to such little screentime) oftentimes this nonpartisan approach means it lacks in a satirical bite that it desperately needs. Yan aims to vivisect the economy and capitalism with an idiosyncratic backdrop but doesn’t quite know which side she wants to fall on, and neither does the final product have the brass to take a fully centrist view on…

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

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

    Played at HomeFest.

    Shaka King’s direction bears special mention: what could have been repetitive scenes of gang recruitment felt fresh due to his approach and framing of Hampton’s peers (especially how it gives level authority to a white supremacist group, the direction of which suggests a troublingly authentic lack of police surveillance toward the hate group), and he utilises blocking to great effect in order to create an understructure of near-constant tension. King and cinematographer Sean Bobbit show savvy in…

  • Feels Good Man

    Feels Good Man

    This is such a bizarre time capsule for the internet. It's pretty wild to see people who I presume are my age call themselves "Pizza" with no irony, and yet still self-stylise themselves as 4channers and NEET (which admittedly I'd never heard, but is as smelly and pathetic as you can imagine). "Mills" here, goes for the 'we were all edgelords once' schtick, which is true of my community of friends: I remember Myspace and Livejournal accounts were just everyone…

  • The Wild Goose Lake

    The Wild Goose Lake

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

    Yi'nan Diao’s neo-noir crime thriller The Wild Goose Lake meticulously mimics the sepia grime of 1970s New York but flips it on its axis, expertly transposing it to the Far East in an oversaturated, neon-drenched compilation of the stylish era. It’s been a minute since a film has looked this good revelling in its rain-lashed, detritus-filled, funereal muck: I couldn’t take my eyes off this exquisite filth.

    A large part of what makes Jingsong Dong’s cinematography such a winning component…

  • Alien: Covenant

    Alien: Covenant

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

    Recently it took me by surprise that I wanted to revisit every film in the Alien franchise. It wasn’t exactly pleasurable anticipation faced with the threatened triple bill of Alien³ (more atmospheric in ways I’d forgotten, but also more of a wreck than I wanted to believe), Alien: Resurrection (still less a sum of its fun, experimental parts) and the dreaded nadir of Prometheus (which I skipped over as it was still displeasingly fresh in my mind). Alien: Covenant -…

  • The Little Things

    The Little Things

    I've quite the fondness for mid-to-late 1990s thrillers, whether that was because I was seeing them as an impressionable child/teenager, or because now they hit the sweet spot of grimy nihilism that I rub my knees over as an adult. The Little Things isn't them, but rather a paint-by-numbers copaganda imitation that wouldn't look out of place on the Blockbuster shelf, rented blindly because it has an A-lister on the cover and sits with The Bone Collector and Kiss the…