Brian Formo

Brian Formo

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  • Deep Cover

    Deep Cover

    ★★★★½

    “Money doesn't know where it comes from, but I do. If I keep it, I'm a criminal. If I give it to the government, I'm a fool. If I try and do some good with it, maybe it just makes things worse.”

    Deep Cover starts and ends with blood money. Crumpled and ugly, handed over. Director Bill Duke and Laurence Fishburne, who plays an undercover cop, charge head first into a Deep State drug conspiracy. "Follow the money" is not…

  • Morvern Callar

    Morvern Callar

    ★★★★★

    Morvern Callar has one of the bleakest cold opens of any film. We see the titular woman (played by Samantha Morton), as she wakes up with her boyfriend dead from suicide on the floor and a computer screen that says "READ ME." The note instructs her to "be brave" and to send his novel to various publishers he's listed. That's the plot portion of the opening, before we even get there we lay with Morvern on the floor, her fingers…

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  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    ★★½

    Oddly racist and sexist, seemingly, without any overtly mean-spirited intent, Temple of Doom is more fascinating for Spielberg’s follow-up admission of guilt for this franchise entry. Still, the hellish depths built on child labor, the mine cart chase, and the high elevation raft ride are bizarre sections of “anything goes” sequel big swings! 

    Kate Capshaw is saddled with such an awful, shrill, and one-dimensional character that reeks more of the Steven and George (Lucas) going through a bad breakup than…

  • Enter the Void

    Enter the Void

    ★★★½

    Enter the Void is both a spectacular technical achievement AND one of the stupidest narratives I've ever watched. The visual feat, and even the desired story flow, is beautifully realized. Not just the spastic/flashy/drifting moments, but also the vintage photograph look of the flashbacks. But the story it uses as the vessel is deeply uninteresting and immaturely surface level. This is 2.5 hours of visual heft spent on Gaspar Noé telling us where babies come from via a drug-dealing incest fantasy;…

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  • It Chapter Two

    It Chapter Two

    ★★

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

    Stephen King makes a cameo in It: Chapter Two as an antique dealer in Derry, Maine. Although the sequel makes numerous jokes about grown up Bill (James McAvoy) being a popular horror author who can't find the right endings to his books—seemingly an obvious self-aware dig with King's counting-his-money blessing—but it's the antique setting that's actually most appropriate for King. Because It: Chapter Two is a too faithful adaptation of King's work it not only carries the author's excessive busyness,…

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    ★½

    When rock critics hear Queen’s improbable hit single “Bohemian Rhapsody” for the first time, Bryan Singer’s film (of the same name) flashes a bunch of dismissive critical quotes. One quote outstretches all the others and ends the sequence, that’s “perfectly adequate” and it perfectly describes the adequate rock biopic of aha musical moments, backstage drama, and 15-year reflections from backstage framing. But the problem is that where it isn't perfectly adequate and vanilla it's actually painfully safe and somewhat erasing,…