• A Good Marriage

    A Good Marriage

    ★★★★½

    Rohmer is at his best in this key - beautiful scenery, effortlessly insightful character study centering around the indecision of relationships, unexpected music used briefly, and ultimately uplifting but without a concrete resolution. The central character of Sabine may seem to be an impulsive gold digger, but her actions are truthful of the human condition; people naturally look for relationships where they will gain something that suits them. Her practical explanation of her own behavior makes perfect sense: she believes…

  • Fall Guy

    Fall Guy

    ★★★½

    Love that theme song. I'm just going to write the lyrics here as my review, because for some reason when I search online they don't appear anywhere. Also who wrote these song lyrics (and music)?

    Kamata, city of rainbows, harbor of light, the world of film
    Flowers and the smell of spring everywhere you look
    Even a short romance gets burned into the camera's eye
    Brimming with youth and full of life is the world of film

    Gripping the heart,…

  • Over the Garden Wall

    Over the Garden Wall

    ★★

    Did not care for the simplistic animation (it's so flat, lacking dimensionality), did not care for the disconnected story structure, did not find the characters to be remarkable. Moments of peculiar intrigue keep this from being a total waste of time, but there's a lack of thematic and emotional depth, and it's not much fun, which leaves us with...what? A scattered handful of semi-interesting asides, held within a thin and partitioned shell, decorated with some sense of adventure, but quite…

  • Queen Millennia

    Queen Millennia

    ★★★★

    A hidden gem of animation and music (quite literally hidden; message me for a good quality english subtitled version, it's very hard to find). It's kind of like a cataclysmic version of Princess Kaguya where she must turn against her own kind in order to protect humanity from invasion. The fantastical and action elements are executed with a mixture of elegance and terror, alongside a solid reservoir of emotion. There's a tv series of the same name that stretches out…

  • The Return of the Soldier

    The Return of the Soldier

    ★★★★

    What a tragically underseen mini-classic. Circling around memory, love, lost time, and social construct, powered by the women at its core. The opposing forces of Julie Christie and Glenda Jackson, discreetly maneuvering through the shattering prospects of their lives being turned upside down. Ann-Margret is unrecognizable in a very demure role, filled with sensitivity. Is happiness via ignorance something that should be allowed, when the course of your life was drastically altered because of a simple miscommunication? Can 20 years just be set aside?

  • The Prodigal Son

    The Prodigal Son

    ★★★★

    Most films of this type are eye-rolling schlock to me, but this was actually hilarious and the fighting was very well executed, with somewhat more purpose behind it. There's a knowing understanding here of how silly these stories can be, with tongue-in-cheek dialogue and scenarios that create a fun sense of heightened reality, but still with a kind of seriousness towards the desires and motivations of the characters. It's a very tricky balancing act that takes quite a bit of skill to pull off, and this is one of the best I've ever seen of a kung fu comedy threading that needle.

  • Oblomov

    Oblomov

    ★★★★

    Interesting character study of ennui and lacking self-confidence, with imagery I found bewitching. There's constantly a musty darkness being contrasted with the comforting repose of nature. Attractive homes and clothing and food, but with a kind of rot underneath, a reflection of Russian society at the time it would seem. The director uses distance within the frame quite well, and camera movements, although on a technical level there's something lacking with the cinematography to fulfill the complete vision (and the…

  • The Animals Film

    The Animals Film

    ★★★★

    Very well made and crucial film for its time, while still being timeless with how it queries animal rights. The cross-cutting of small animals being caught in traps where they suffer, with fur coats going down the runway of a fashion show. Quite potent, as are other visualizations and implications presented here, most notably how overdone animal experimentation is. Other docs have expanded further on the extent of environmental and biological issues with the meat industry, but to have the…

  • Mur Murs

    Mur Murs

    ★★★★

    Colorful, sexy, personal, cultural. Public murals as a means of expression, of community coming together, of social protest, of local personality and history. Minorities finding a way to heighten their voices. A vision of putting space to use. An inkling of how humanity can help each other. Finding beauty everywhere and in everyone. Shirtless well groomed men glistening in the sun. Bodies bulging in clothing. Los Angeles as the ultimate melting pot and place where dreams can become reality, partially. Whispers from beyond. Varda's best documentary.

  • Gandhi

    Gandhi

    ★★★

    So many reviews about this one are like "it's too tedious and simplistic, but Ben Kingsley's performance is great"...but on revisit his performance is extremely overrated. I was constantly aware of the acting, wasn't convinced of the supposed transformation, and got only surface level thought and emotion from him (aside from a single scene where he cries). There is a knowing grin throughout too much of Kingsley's performance that ruins the sense of realness, of danger, and of being the…

  • The Thing

    The Thing

    ★★★★

    Amazing physical tension John Carpenter is able to create throughout parts of this, and an authoritative mixture of gruesome and patient visuals (also thanks to the stunning effects/makeup work). Compared to ALIEN, the setup here gains something extra with the creature being able to take over human bodies, although the script for The Thing doesn't fully maximize that potential. There's also a fear of death that's missing here, an existential dread. The characters are mainly concerned with barking at each other and acting tough, they aren't multifaceted enough, and the performances don't reach the level that someone like Sigourney Weaver was able to achieve.

  • Diva

    Diva

    ★★★★

    Orgasmic sound design and music. Beautifully paced and wonderful cinematography in the second half. I loved the relationship between the fan and the diva, how their bond grew without any crazed theatrics (while the rest of the film is swirling with craziness), how gently he was there for her at all times and how she comes to find something that had been missing. The overall plotting of the film could have been a bit better and the tertiary characters better…