• Up

    Up

    ★★★★

    Up is *so close* to being a masterpiece. No, scratch that. Up is a masterpiece - especially in its first half. The representation of joy, grief, the passing of time, etc... in the opening montage put that sequence among not only Pixar’s best work but some of the very best sequences I’ve ever seen put to screen. The story continues at a quick and enjoyable rate, further delving into these themes (with Pixar’s best score and animation to boot) until...…

  • The Ewok Adventure

    The Ewok Adventure

    ★★

    Honestly insane that only a handful of years after making the travesty that was the Star Wars Holiday Special (a tv special which, it should be noted, is largely compromised of Wookiees talking to one another without subtitles), George Lucas turned around and made this - a TV movie largely compromised of Ewoks talking to one another without subtitles. It’s like he didn’t learn his lesson at all.

    Despite this, Caravan of Courage isn’t necessarily bad. Sure, its story is stretched…

  • Return of the Jedi

    Return of the Jedi

    ★★★★

    I’ve often gone on record of saying that Return of the Jedi is the weakest entry in the original trilogy. And between the nonsensical first act (where we spend upwards of 45 minutes on the quest to retrieve Han Solo - only for him to have no major role in the story afterwards), the dated effects, and the wholly unnecessary scenes of our characters just doing shit with the Ewoks, there is probably some truth to that. But there’s also…

  • The Haunting

    The Haunting

    ★★★

    After falling in love with The Haunting of Hill House miniseries (as well as the novel on which it was based), I was curious about seeing the story’s first adaptation to the screen. And yeah... it’s good. Perhaps that’s unfair. There’s a lot to love here - from the stellar cinematography and production design to the pacing and positive lesbian representation (something that’s really obvious in the film but merely hinted at in the novel). It just feels like the film…

  • Enchanted

    Enchanted

    ★★★

    It’s cute. The first half has some fun homages to (and subversions of) classic Disney tropes - with Amy Adams’ portrayal of the princess archetype being absolutely hilarious and Patrick Dempsey’s portrayal of the typical straight man being equally brilliant. But, let’s be honest, this whole thing peaks with “That’s How You Know”. It’s not only well choreographed and catchy as all hell but also so much better than the underwhelming finale that follows. 

    If there were a few more…

  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

    ★★★★

    Willy Wonka may be widely regarded as a classic, but I think a lot of people forget just how great it truly is. Especially in the first half. The dry sense of humor, the visual gags, the almost documentary style of filmmaking that allows the movie to get sidetracked in all sorts of incredible and inventive ways - it's all just perfect. Of course, there's a panoply of great songs and an unforgettable performance by Gene Wilder in the latter…

  • The Empire Strikes Back

    The Empire Strikes Back

    ★★★★

    The Empire Strikes Back is honestly kind of a hard movie to judge today. Not only because the entire film feels so built into our cultural zeitgeist, perhaps even more so than the original, but because it's one of the only Star Wars films that truly feels like an "episode" - a disparate piece of a larger whole. Still, it's an impressive film technically and one whose story builds very logically on that of the original (even if said story…

  • Titanic

    Titanic

    ★★★★

    It's easy to see how Titanic became the highest-grossing film of all time (and even now possesses the number three spot). It feels perfectly suited to every possible demographic - from the romantics to action junkies. The film excels technically with its combination of sets, models, and CGI - being a loving recreation of both the ship and the fateful day upon which it sunk. Even the relationship between Jack and Rose works surprisingly well - their romance playing out…

  • WALL·E

    WALL·E

    ★★★★★

    WALL·E is a film full of risks. And, in my opinion, every single one of them pays off. From the wordless storytelling to the very eco-friendly message at the movie's core, you just don't see big studio releases like this. Add in some incredible animation (there are fucking rack focuses and lens flares in this for god's sake), state-of-the-art sound design (from Star Wars' very own Ben Burtt), a beautiful score, absolutely adorable character designs, and some heartfelt homages to…

  • Ratatouille

    Ratatouille

    ★★★★

    I've always thought of Ratatouille as one of Pixar's greats. So imagine my surprise when I found, in rewatching it, I actually didn't love it as much as I thought. Don't get me wrong. This is still a really good movie. It's got some of the best music, animation, and direction of any Pixar film. But its script also just feels... so messy.

    I admire the risks this film takes (and it's clear based on Ego's final review that Brad…

  • Cars

    Cars

    ★★

    Cars is, in my opinion, Pixar's first real dud. Sure, it's not without redeeming qualities. I actually think, in a rare turn of events, the second act of this film is by far the strongest (touching on some quite emotional subjects and featuring a James Taylor song to boot) - and it should be noted that, at the time, this had by far the best animation of any Pixar film (the environments, in particular, looking stunningly realistic). But the rest…

  • The Incredibles

    The Incredibles

    ★★★★★

    The Incredibles isn’t the first great Pixar film, but it may the first Pixar film so great that it transcends the genre of animation altogether. And that’s not just due to the more adult themes on display here either (the likes of which include increased levels of violence as well as references to sex/alcohol). The film has such a simplistically brilliant premise - a retired superhero attempting to relive his glory days - and when one adds in the family…