• The Godfather: Part II

    The Godfather: Part II

    ★★★★

    This is beast of a movie and, in contrast to its predecessor, feels every bit the 3 hour 20 minute run time. Admittedly, I fought to stay awake throughout this film, it felt like a marathon. Watched with Kyler and Ted on a Monday and I didn’t like this installment nearly as much as the Original Godfather film. Aesthetically, this movie is fantastic, but the pacing, message, storyline and organization just felt chaotic and off at times. 

    Primarily, it’s important…

  • 99 Homes

    99 Homes

    ★★★

    Watched this on a relaxed Sunday evening in Charlotte with Kyler. This is certainly an impactful and emotional story but it felt like it was perhaps missing its artistic stamp. Kind of a ho-hum film without a cinematic identity and some characters that were guilty of overreacting at times. Movie came out in 2014 and was a drama of the US/Floridian housing market circa 2010. The film attempted to kinda capture the emotions and circumstances surrounding people losing their homes…

  • The Godfather

    The Godfather

    ★★★★★

    If you’ve had trouble committing to this film because of the 3 hour run time, I promise you it’s the fastest, most brilliant three hours you could ever spend. Just a total masterpiece top to bottom and a piece of art that I am privileged to have watched. Even better the second time as I was hyper aware of Michael Corleone’s development and assent as a gangster. The acting is phenomenal, James Cann might be my sneaky favorite. He’s a…

  • The Devil's Own

    The Devil's Own

    ★★

    Watched this with Kyler on a Tuesday and was thoroughly underwhelmed. Tons of great material to work with and the director Alan Pakula just woefully missed the mark. I did happen to notice that he passed away in 1998, so I wonder if he got to finish working on this movie in its entirety. 

    Firstly, the pacing in this movie is abysmal, it takes ages for anything to get doing. I realized at the outset that I knew nothing about…

  • Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

    Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

    ★★★½

    I’ve come to realize that although these movies were poorly received and certainly have cinematic blunders, these were the Star Wars movies of my childhood and I love the prequels. There’s just so much sensory memory and emotion attached that I am very willing to look past awkward dialogue, the occasional plot hole and dated effects. I can watch this movie over and over again. Like the originals, it’s very episodic and methodically bounces from one setting to the next.…

  • Slumdog Millionaire

    Slumdog Millionaire

    ★★★★½

    Pretty brilliant across the board. Thoroughly engaging end to end and chalk full of heart and meaning. I added this film to my Blu-Ray collection awhile back because it took the Oscar for Best Picture in 2008. The storytelling style in this movie is so unique and really just immaculate that you can’t help being invested from start to finish. There’s a mix of obvious sadness and underlying sadness. For example, obvious sadness is when the boy’s mother is brutally…

  • Return of the Jedi

    Return of the Jedi

    ★★★½

    Coming off of Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi is somewhat of a letdown. The pacing isn’t nearly as good, some of the scenes drag (I feel like 20 minutes could be chopped off) and the Emperor is not nearly as measured as Vader or Yoda, clearly drunk on the power of the Sith. It’s definitely a entertaining finale but doesn’t have the same groundbreaking feel as the first Star Wars or the transcendent presentation of Empire. Don’t…

  • The Empire Strikes Back

    The Empire Strikes Back

    ★★★★★

    It’s hard to opine on Empire Strikes Back after living in a world that has experienced its groundbreaking effects for 40 years. Its impact has been so dramatic that the history of the world can pretty much be divided into two periods “pre Empire” and “post Empire”. It’s just such a damn good movie, probably one of the best. It’s great because it’s engaging end to end, there are so many iconic quotes, the story pretty much revolves around the…

  • CODA

    CODA

    ★★★½

    This has been on the list for awhile and I kept procrastinating until it won best picture. Two things can be true at one: I kinda feel like the academy whiffed on this as best picture and there weren’t a ton of clear cut contenders this year. If you step back I just find it so hard to believe that this was THE BEST FILM of 2021?! I went on iMBD and saw some similar titles that pop up: Soul…

  • Les Misérables

    Les Misérables

    ★★★

    LOOK DOWN LOOK DOWN! I was largely disappointed by the execution of this film. It essentially feels like an opera with very little none singing dialogue. I certainly admired the attempt at using the raw and unadjusted voice talents but it seemed like at every turn the characters were breaking into song and it was hard for me to take seriously. I also found the stakes and the plot to be uninteresting and confusing. Aside from a very profound philosophical…

  • Star Wars

    Star Wars

    ★★★★

    I watched this with Kyler over two sittings and right after we had beat the corresponding New Hope levels of Lego Star Wars Saga on XBOX. I think the goal is to rewatch the original saga before Obi-Wan comes out. Admittedly, I had some trouble staying awake, but that’s a me issue and not related to this industry changing/world altering film. Two things that stuck out to me this time through were the texture and the scope of Star Wars. …

  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

    Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

    ★★★★

    Needed a little Batman pick-me-up to remind me that I still love the character even if the DC universe is over saturated with live action Batmans. Just a really well put together story involving: origin, sacrifice, great voice talents and layers of the Batman crime universe. 

    I watched this movie in the background while I was folding laundry and spectating ACC tournament basketball. It was important to me to watch the animation on the big screen. 

    I feel like we…