• The Other Side of the Wind

    The Other Side of the Wind

    ★★★★½

    I was able to watch the one-two punch of 'The Other Side of the Wind' (a movie that I've been desperate to see and even donated to the kickstarter to finish it a few years ago that proved to the be impetus for Netflix finally acquiring it) and the accompanying documentary on Wells and the film, 'They'll Love Me When I'm Dead'. I absolutely loved both.

    'The Other Side of the Wind' is so Orson Welles! It dovetails beautifully with…

  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★★

    I went in with no expectations and having read nothing about the movie – I wanted to be pleasantly surprised – but I have to say this film, for me, wasn’t very successful. I will try to avoid plot details, but some degree of spoiling is inevitable.

    First, to its credit, the new Suspiria more or less does its own thing. I was pleased to see that it wasn’t slavishly indebted to the original, nor did it try to copy…

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★½

    First Reformed is a tremendous film from Paul Schrader. The film was something of a surprise to many after the last few Schrader projects haven't quite hit the transcendental high water marks of some of his very best work. This film deals with some of the weightiest political and spiritual considerations of our time with a depth and intelligence that even this atheist could understand and appreciate.

    Ethan Hawke turns in an at first subtle and increasingly bold performance in…

  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ★★★

    A film that did alright in its first and second acts and then went a bit off the rails in its third, falling into some typical horror tropes. It remained visually smart and I particularly enjoyed the nods to Oni Baba (which created a fun moment in the theater where different members of the audience noticed what was hiding in the corner of the frame at different times) and, of course, Rosemary's Baby (to which this film is most strongly…

  • Return of the Jedi

    Return of the Jedi

    ★★★★

    Jabba's palace is maybe a glass + chrome coffee table and a Nagle print away from being the ultimate '80s cocaine den. Dig those blinds!

    I feel like had David Lynch directed, as George Lucas originally wanted, Boba Fett would have been replaced by Frank Booth and Luke + Leia would have been recast with Kyle McLaughlin and Laura Dern, respectively.

    Hey Disney, when are we going to get that standalone Salacious Crumb movie/ Carlito's Way remake?!

  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

    Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

    ★★

    Would have benefited from much more Angelina Jolie in an eye patch.

  • Red Sparrow

    Red Sparrow

    ★★★

    For a piece of reinvigorated Cold War propaganda, Red Sparrow was pretty entertaining. It did appear to occasionally slide into the realm of torture porn and the Russian accents were uniformly shaky from the whole cast, but no one is perfect. For all its twists and turns, I also got the sense that it did not need to be over 2 hours.

  • Night Moves

    Night Moves

    ★★★★

    I finally caught up with the 2013 Kelly Reichardt film "Night Moves". I love Reichardt as a filmmaker, and the Oregon/ Pacific Northwest surroundings (where I grew up) and gorgeous tracking shots thereof were always going to be an easy sell for me.

    While this movie got mixed reviews upon its release, I think it is a solid eco-terrorist caper film that deals more with the psychological impacts of doing a bad thing and how the combination of paranoia, guilt…

  • The Death of Stalin

    The Death of Stalin

    ★★★★½

    While 'The Death of Stalin' is less funny and tonally darker than some of Iannuci's other work, the film is no less enjoyable. Brilliantly constructed and well acted, this ended up being a lot of fun. The dialogue isn't as sharp as in say, 'In the Loop', but the film makes up for this by allowing some of the more slapstick and brilliantly executed sight gags to do more of the comic heavy lifting. Michael Palin as Molotov and especially Simon Russel Beale as Beria really steal the show. I also dug Jason Isaacs macho-ing it up as Zhukov.

  • The Perfume of the Lady in Black

    The Perfume of the Lady in Black

    ★★½

    A lesser known and rather uneven Giallo, "The Perfume Of The Lady In Black" is fairly atypical of the genre. It has less of a mystery feel to it and is more a riff on "Rosemary's Baby", documenting its female lead's psychological breakdown. Mimsy Farmer really shines in the lead, clearly relishing the role, though the rest of the cast are basically passengers.

    While I absolutely loved Francesco Barilli's direction on this one, and some of the cinematography was downright…

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    ★★★

    This movie has some really exceptional performances in it and some great casting. Frances McDormand (who lets face it, is always great) is phenomenal in the lead role. Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson are also great in the supporting parts (though Woody seems a bit like he's doing True Detective Mark II) and all the smaller parts, from Peter Dinklage to Peter Landry Jones are great. I was really happy to see Clarke Peters get a look in as well.…

  • The Shape of Water

    The Shape of Water

    ★★★

    I enjoyed The Shape of Water more than I have the last several Guillermo Del Toro films. It is interesting that he managed to push some truly transgressive themes into a mainstream release. Given the sex between human and Lovecraft creation/ Creature from the Black Lagoon, this can in some ways be seen as an uplifting Hollywood version of Andrej Zulawski's "Possession".

    This films succeeds where Del Toro's Kaiju vs mecha monster-mash 'Pacific Rim' and Mario Bava tribute act, 'Crimson…