Alex has written 14 reviews for films during 2019.

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    ½

    I’m not looking forward to a repeat viewing of this documentary on how Joe Biden’s empire will come to a fiery end 3 months from now either.

  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    ★★★★

    Compelling as a vision of hell, with hell depicted as being trapped in a 19th century New England lighthouse and being gaslit by Wilhelm Defoe’s sea shanty pretensions and farts, but I don’t know if it has a lot to say beyond that. Still, what a vision! Visually arresting and impeccably acted, the film takes particular glee in repeatedly reminding us just how much more literary prior generations were to our own.

  • El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

    El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

    ★★

    A totally superfluous exercise in getting the band back together well past its ‘sell by’ date. The oh-so-convenient plot twists really felt contrived to inject some drama into something that was overall pretty lifeless. While I enjoyed seeing poor Robert Forster one last time, it troubles me that we are already into the 'nostalgia for prestige TV from 6 years ago' phase of human affairs.

  • Knives and Skin

    Knives and Skin

    ½

    What if someone remade Twin Peaks but entirely incompetently? Wonder no more. This is not without its charms, sadly those charms are all unintentional. Recommended, but for all the wrong reasons.

  • Batman Forever

    Batman Forever

    Batman Forever is a grim artifact of the cultural moment that was peak Jim Carrey. We have now escaped it, though only narrowly and with the collective scars to show. That performance as the Riddler will continue to haunt my nightmares, but maybe that was the point?

  • Batman & Robin

    Batman & Robin

    ★★★★★

    Batman & Robin is the movie where Batman gets a lap dance from a woman in a bear mask, that is filled with close-up shots of rubber-suited asses and which boasts bat costumes complete with hard nipples. In short, it kicks what was already the kink overload that is Batman Returns right off its deviant throne. 10/10!

  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★★½

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

    While this is reactionary art in some ways, 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' also remains compulsively watchable, revealing a a number of moments of pure cinema. While the listless and drifting first half worked better for me than when "the plot" actually kicks in, the story and some of the scenes surrounding Sharon Tate do seem to suggest a wider world view than mere nostalgia.

    Allowing the differences between Margot Robbie (who is, as always, impressive in this) playing…

  • Even Dwarfs Started Small

    Even Dwarfs Started Small

    ★★★½

    The last thing my brain will replay to me as I die will be the endless maniacal cackle that one of the dwarfs in this movie emits. In many ways, this cackle would also serve as a perfect testament to the human race as a whole. If they send up a second golden Voyager disc into space, it would be an obvious inclusion.

  • The Face of Another

    The Face of Another

    ★★★★★

    Hiroshi Teshigahara's "The Face of Another" has been a long time list of shamer for me (particularly as I've owned that Criterion Teshigahara boxed set for a long while). It was nice to finally remedy this oversight and see the film.

    The movie deals with an engineer who has much of his face burned away in an industrial accident, leaving him horribly disfigured. His wife becomes repulsed by him and he becomes rueful and withdrawn. Fortunately, a doctor has an…

  • Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper

    ★★★★½

    'Light Sleeper' is one of my very favorite films. I think this movie is absolutely incredible in its scope: all that is at stake is the very notion of whether transcendence is possible or if we will be eternally doomed by the sins and mistakes of our pasts.

    I think Willem Dafoe's John LeTour is an incredible character as a man divided against himself. He has overcome his demons but must continue to struggle for the the deeper meaning that…

  • Solaris

    Solaris

    ★★★★★

    I remember the first time I saw ‘Solaris’ I was so affected by it that the movie became too much for me. It filled me with this extreme sense of disquiet that I just couldn’t shake. I had to stop watching it about 2/3’s of the way through and take a break. When I came back to it the next day, that feeling immediately returned.

    I’ve subsequently watched it a number of times, and, as a piece of science fiction,…

  • Under the Silver Lake

    Under the Silver Lake

    ★★★★

    It was with some mild trepidation that I finally got to watch David Robert Mitchell's follow-up to 'It Follows', the wickedly bent Los Angeles mystery, 'Under the Silver Lake'. As a fan of 'It Follows' I was excited to see what Mitchell would do next, but given that the film was originally supposed to be released theatrically in the US last year, but was quietly pulled following some so-so early reviews only to re-emerge this year (but is not showing…