Houston Coley

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Favorite films

  • Before Sunrise
  • Impressions de France
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • Kiki's Delivery Service

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  • Forrest Gump

    ★★★

  • American Symphony

    ★★★½

  • Lars and the Real Girl

    ★★★★½

  • Godzilla Minus One

    ★★★★½

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  • Up

    Up

    ★★★★★

    My family went to see Up on my grandpa’s 70th birthday back in 2009. When the movie was over, I remember everyone being ecstatic - and undeniably moved. At age 9, I think it was probably the first time I’d seen my parents shed tears in a movie. My dad immediately dubbed the first 15 minutes of the film “The Robot Test” - because “if you don’t cry in the first 15 minutes, you’re a robot.”

    My grandpa, Jim, loved…

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  • Forrest Gump

    Forrest Gump

    ★★★

    rocked my emotional world and made me feel profound things when I first saw it as a kid. I can understand why it still does that for people. there’s some deeply human stuff in here, for sure. but today, I’m just left with questions like “what is this movie about?” and “what is it trying to say?” 

    the film makes passing references toward every political movement of the late 20th century but most of them feel demeaning more than anything…

  • American Symphony

    American Symphony

    ★★★½

    pretty stunning documentary work (especially as a “we started filming this as one thing and then it morphed into something more interesting and vital” type beat) with some moments of real transcendence, especially toward the end. admittedly, though, I think sometimes the technical excellence actually detracts from the authenticity—which, ya know, tends to be an attribute you want most in a documentary. there are lots of scenes here that are so remarkably well-captured (coverage, lighting, steadycam, audio) that they end…

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  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel

    ★★★★★

    a movie about a girl, who reads a book about a man, who hears a story about a lobby boy, who meets a man who runs a hotel, a hotel for which the story, the book, and the movie are named for

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

    ★★★★

    the real innovation here is not that the movie looks like Spider-Verse—because, if anything, it looks like a distant cousin—the real innovation is that this is an animated kids (??) movie that is grubby as hell. seriously. all the humans here look disgusting. the city of New York is filthy. the various mutated animals and twisted creatures onscreen border on body horror. in the midst of it all, the turtles are the only characters that are appealing to look at,…