• The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy

    The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy

    About ten different stories are tangled into this brief feature, and they all feel undertold. In some ways, it's frustrating, because the story was compelling, and in other ways, it adds to the magic of the overall story we see. This latter makes this flaw feel intentional, and therefore, easily forgivable. It is in pursuit of something a little whimsical and surreal and different, and the filmmakers show the visual competence that shines through in Losing Ground, wielding the colors…

  • The Barefoot Contessa

    The Barefoot Contessa

    ★★★★

    I live for that scene where Bravano tells off Kirk. He openly admits to being a parasite, and his honesty rips off the American-dream-mask Kirk wears. It's not the full excoriation of the bourgeoisie it could be, but it comes so close in such an unexpected place that I thrill to experience it. My preview review speaks of how this film is Maria's story told through the views of the men around her, and that remains a quality that has…

  • A Farewell to Arms

    A Farewell to Arms

    The initial interactions between Cat and Frederic are disturbing; he seems intent on taking her no matter what. She evens the playing field with a slap, but it still comes off as more forgiving of his behavior than deserved. This film seems to be truncated in an odd way, abruptly sweeping through war montages and jumping to less intense moments. It's decent melodrama, kinda off for a war film, and unfortunately typical for "romance". It's a shame things started out so misogynistically, as the "marriage" scene with the priest is one of the best of its kind.

  • Hot Millions

    Hot Millions

    Most of this was watched through a haze of pain; the end was watched through a haze of three different painkillers. (For those who don't know, I am recovering from vaginoplasty!!!) Take the review with a grain of salt.

    It's a bit slow. The comedy is very dry, which is fine, but it doesn't always land as we see Ustinov trying to be a sorta pre-hacker hacker. Newhart manages to be funnier as a slimy sort of character, but we…

  • Edge of the City

    Edge of the City

    One of those anti-racist films caught in the push/pull of the struggle, so it's got its flaws and its high points. Showing a Black man as a supervisor to white men was likely shocking in its day, and there's a lot of imagery and conversation in this that defies the racist conventions of its day (and ours). The flaws are that the Black characters all exist as forces to support the character growth of the white main character. While making…

  • Knowing

    Knowing

    As I watched this, I was compelled to relate to my friends an encounter I had had a few weeks before. I was canvassing with some anti-war leaflets with some comrades, and we got to talking with these gentlemen who turned out to be deeply religious. This is usually fine - many workers are religious and we're for religious freedom - but these guys had a take on the war that offended me to my core. Their take was that…

  • Tragedy Girls

    Tragedy Girls

    The "casting older actors as teens" syndrome really hit this one hard. It's almost impossible not to see them as creepy older people masquerading as teens - Alexandra Shipp* is the only one who nails the performance well enough to distract from the syndrome. A Quaid, even one raised in part by a much better performer than any Quaid ever was, is still a Quaid, and that will detract from any storyteller's work.

    * Brianna Hildebrand may have been the…

  • The Birds

    The Birds

    The feeling of a population surrounding you at all times suddenly turning on you is the kind of feeling that makes horror stories resonate with queer people. Also, Suzanne Plechette's whole thing. Too bad Hitchcock was a male chauvinist pig. Glad Tippi Hedren owns this movie.

  • Shiva Baby

    Shiva Baby

    I just don't have the patience right now for comedy mined from bodyshaming (no matter how negatively portrayed), compulsive lying, miscommunication, and cringe. This isn't even to say it's all bad (nor even good). Just... so not-for-me that I see no value in finishing it, even if I am 10 minutes from the end. Which is as damning a statement as I can think of.

  • Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy

    Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy

    "We don't have any towels. We had one once, but it was stolen by a hotel."

    People don't talk nearly enough about how the best comedies are all adult films.

    Hear me out: this film played in front of a shadow cast, a la Rocky Horror, at a party where everyone is invited to participate. It would certainly honor the madcap, anything-goes, bisexual energy of this film.

    If it hasn't been done, let's do it. If it has been done, let's do it. (Once the pandemic is actually over.)

  • Ikwé

    Ikwé

    Confrontational imagery - not controversial, not disturbing, not gross, but direct, aggressive, undeniable, close up - tells stories and present ideas by breaking through that thin barrier between your perception of the film and your perception of the world around you.

  • Dance of the Hands

    Dance of the Hands

    Focusing on the hands, even as her whole body bends and flows, gives the impression she has been barely contained.