• Sordid Lives

    Sordid Lives

    This is ostensibly a comedy, and there are moments that made me laugh (a force-femme hold up in a bar is my kind of joke). But none of the jokes in this are strong enough to set a tone that outweighs the bitter sadness that pervades this film. Whether it's Brother Boy's imprisonment and torture (20 years of conversion therapy) or Ty's inability to shake the repressive shadows of his Texas upbringing, whether it's the tragic regrets and painful loss,…

  • Freak Show

    Freak Show

    A film that squanders its characters' relationships in favor of plot. There's a fascinating story to be found in Billy's relationship with his father, but we don't really get to see the best parts: the awkward stage where they reconnect. Billy's friendship with Mary Jane is so down-played that she literally has no name til late in the film. And the chemistry between Billy and Mark is non-existent, yet it's the relationship that gets the most attention. Also, Mark tries…

  • Edge of Seventeen

    Edge of Seventeen

    There are films like this that came before, but Edge of Seventeen feels like a template, a film that has been aped many times since. This is a step on the ladder to Love, Simon or Handsome Devil, which share more than just teen queer boys with this one. Watching this was like seeing the ghost of their ancestors. Which is not to overstate the influence of this so much as to say a synth-pop soundtrack would have made both…

  • All About E

    All About E

    One of those movies you eventually realize is still going well after the sex scene.

  • Almost Adults

    Almost Adults

    Pros:
    * Scene with decent consent portrayed.
    * The gay girl didn't spend the whole time pining after a straight girl.

    Cons:
    * There were no likable characters, nor believable characters, nor funny characters...
    * Nor actors.

  • Reluctantly Queer

    Reluctantly Queer

    Epistolary poetry.

  • Mirror Mirror

    Mirror Mirror

    I had no idea until I went to the page for this film to log it that it starred Armie Hammer, because he looks so generic I wouldn't recognize him even if you showed me his picture ten minutes after I finished the film. Suffice to say, his abusive behavior retrospectively taints the viewing experience, especially the scene where he's tied to a chair and forcibly kissed. I will say, though, that some of us might well imagine our first…

  • Our Souls at Night

    Our Souls at Night

    We all have things we are ashamed of in our pasts. Some might be unforgivable. Some might be irrational. Some might be so intense, personal, complex that we can't even express them. The shadows of these regrets weave into this story, crafting a narrative around two older people who are not wholesome grandparents, shocking edgy clowns, dying (well, not in an immediate sense), terminal, or suffering from any sort of decline in health that is usual in these narratives. We…

  • Ava

    Ava

    Geena Davis said what I was thinking about Ava's haircut, and that's all I needed.

  • Whose Daughter is She?

    Whose Daughter is She?

    Look, in a better world, this would be an analysis of the idea of family, of redemption, of love, and of the ways in which capitalism divides and destroys families. Instead, it's a heartstring-tugging, melodramatic (a term I use neutrally), lukewarm approach to the story, leaving theme somewhere on the side in favor of getting an emotional response out of you. It doesn't want you tot think; it wants you to get wrapped up in the emotions so that you…

  • My Fair Lady

    My Fair Lady

    There is an important distinction to be made between the Marxist definition of "class" and the more general manner in which the term is used. To a Marxist, "class" refers to a specific, scientific category, an objective definition. "Class" refers to a relationship more than anything else. We speak of a ruling class, meaning the class that controls society and exploits the other classes. We speak of the capitalist class, meaning the group of people who live off the exploitation…

  • Sergeant Rutledge

    Sergeant Rutledge

    The complete and horrifying lack of self-awareness required to make a film addressing anti-Black racism which also features some of the most flagrant, aggressive, dismissive, foul anti-indigenous racism is... baffling, really. HOW? HOW can you make a film that addresses the legacy of slavery, the fight for humanity, the inherent and almost inescapable injustice of racism where it goes unquestioned that hatred for the Apache nation(s) is the norm, never once addressed, never once depicted as just as wrong and…