• Lisa Frankenstein

    Lisa Frankenstein

    ★★★½

    It's 1989 and Lisa Swallows (Kathryn Newton) is a suburban girl forced to learn, after her mother's violent death, that grief makes you weird. She lives, more or less reluctantly, with her father in the home of his new wife, a horridly smug nurse, named Janet (Carla Gugino) and Janet's daughter Taffy (Liza Soberano). Taffy is determined to help Lisa to fit in at school, but Lisa isn't much interested. She would rather while away her unwanted hours in an…

  • Before Sunrise

    Before Sunrise

    ★★★★½

    Watched with Leah (though we were each in our own homes). (Fuck COVID.)

    I believe if there's any kind of God it wouldn't be in any of us, not you or me but just this little space in between.

    Leah picked it in honor of Valentine's Day. So I began the day listening to Amy's reflection on love and memory and fresh starts in Eternal Sunshine never even suspecting that I would end it with this. And I never suspected…

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★★½

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

    Shout out to my friend Man, who is the Zen Master of anticipating IMAX releases and securing good seats. Without him, I wouldn't even have known this was happening, let alone been sitting in a prime location at the Lincoln Square IMAX.

    Boy, have I really come around on this one.

    I saw it in the theater when it first opened and liked it well enough but was basically frustrated. I felt the way I felt after seeing Age of…

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    ★★★★½

    Warriors have rules too: friendship, trust, integrity. Without them, we wouldn’t survive for long. — Shu Lien

    God, I love this movie. When it came out, I saw it in the theater three times. I don't think I'd ever done that for any movie up to that point in my life. At some point during that 3rd watch, I thought, "What is this about? Why does this feel like the best thing I've ever seen?"

    If you've never seen it...…

  • Starman

    Starman

    ★★★★

    I saw this in the theater when I was a wee horror nerd who admired John Carpenter. Given that his previous movies before this one were The Thing and Christine, this one was unexpectedly tender. A little simple-minded, even. But 40 years later, I'm grateful in retrospect that I was lured into the theater to see this on its first run. And I was grateful for it last night when I found it on Criterion and it gave me the…

  • The Apostle

    The Apostle

    ★★★½

    An experience touching the miraculous. Steve managed to get almost a dozen people from our church together, comfortably in his tiny NYC apartment, to see a movie. That's a feat — like feeding the multitude. (He fed the multitude as well, with chili and grilled cheese sandwiches!)

    My life had been so out of whack for so many weeks — missing Sunday worship for months was the least of it — that it was like being reintroduced to part of…

  • Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll

    Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll

    ★★

    Agreed with Sakana that there is a vivid streak of melancholy in the story as written, in which a drifter with a dark past comes to live in a "house of psychotic women" (the alternate title of this film is where Kier-la Janisse got the title for her iconic work) and strikes different kind of sparks off of each of the three women who live there — isolated from the larger world, and alienated from each other. But the movie…

  • Poor Things

    Poor Things

    ★★★★

    I am a flawed experimenting person so I will need a husband with a more forgiving disposition.

    I saw the first hour of this at the Coolidge Corner Moviehouse in Brookline, MA. (This is a place that meant so much to me when I was a teenager, back in the Justin Freed era.) I was in the neighborhood and I wanted to sit in the theater and watch a movie with an audience for old times' sake, but didn't have…

  • Juggernaut

    Juggernaut

    ★★★½

    This was delightful.

    I've seen the defusion of bombs used as a kind of sloppy trope so many times in James Bond films, and for glossy thrills in Speed, that it was super endearing to see its scruffy 1970s British version, sweaty in the armpits and smelling of desperation.

    There are many fine reviews of this film and I owe them a debt for letting me know this movie was so good. This one by mungermon is my favorite at…

  • Exotica

    Exotica

    ★★★★

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

    — There's this feeling I get sometimes, you know?
    — What sort of feeling?
    — That I wasn't ever meant to be satisfied.
    — Satisfied with what?
    — With a lot of things. It seems to me, that every time I'm about to get a hold of something or someone, they're just bound to slip away,
    — Maybe you want it to slip away.

    This had a tremendous advance reputation thanks to Mike D'Angelo — as fellow D'Angelo fan Amy…

  • Never Say Never Again

    Never Say Never Again

    ★★½

    For the first half, I rather enjoyed this. There was a little two-step in my head that went like this:

    a. The direction for this seems more creative and lively than the typical James Bond film
    b. Oh yeah, this is the guy who directed Empire Strikes Back. Maybe that wasn't a fluke!

    I repeated that a few times.

    In the end, the creaky mechanics of James Bond movies defeated this utterly.

    For example, the girl who's brought in only…

  • Fair Game

    Fair Game

    ★★★

    Watched with my folks.

    The way we picked it was probably the bright spot of the whole thing. My dad has a really hard time with aphasia since his stroke. So he found this movie on the provider's menu but then couldn't pull it up again in the search history. And of course he couldn't give the names of the actors. He could tell us that there was a husband, a wife and spying was involved. There was a key…