• New Rose Hotel

    New Rose Hotel

    ★★★★★

    Hypnotic in all the best ways possible, but I think that the structure of a film like New Rose Hotel is one that's bound to stick with any viewer. But I think that it's only fitting enough to say that Abel Ferrara isn't the sort of filmmaker you can pin down with just a couple of films. Even then, what I love most about New Rose Hotel comes from the fact that it noticeably isn't really so much a film…

  • The Graduate

    The Graduate

    ★★★★★

    I'm too close to Benjamin Braddock's age and I wonder how much of my life is set to remain stagnant, with not knowing what to do once I'm done with college and ultimately what'll everything I learned have meant for the near future. But that's one thing about The Graduate that leaves me wondering if it'll have the same impact on me as I get older as it did to me now, because it feels like a reminder of a…

  • The Celebration

    The Celebration

    ★★★★★

    The first of the Dogme 95 films - and I don't really think anything else could top this, because of how much this movie experiments with the constricting rules of the manifesto. But I think above all, what makes The Celebration work to the extent that it does entirely owes itself to the chaos that unfolds with a small space, capturing the claustrophobia in a manner that allows everything to unfold akin to a thriller (obviously, the film cannot explicitly…

  • Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    ★★★★½

    I can already tell that Ryusuke Hamaguchi has something special inside of him. Telling three stories that all seem unrelated at first, yet I think it's the last story in particular that I really adore most - bringing the film's point down to home. I think that there's a whole lot that's very wonderful about how much Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy is built upon simple conversations and seeing where they develop themselves over time, because of the fact that…

  • The Card Counter

    The Card Counter

    ★★★★

    Safe enough to say that your liking of this one will depend rather heavily on what you're able to make of Paul Schrader's own state of mind, because in some ways a film like The Card Counter feels built from a warped perspective of America - though it's not always so easy to parse quickly. Nonetheless, it's also maybe some of the most visually inventive that Schrader has ever gotten (those fisheye lenses and the VR sequences in particular are…

  • Benedetta

    Benedetta

    ★★★★

    Feels somewhat tame, even for the standards of what Paul Verhoeven is able to achieve at his best, yet it's never boring - because that's about the last thing that I could ever expect from him. Even then, it also feels nice to see a movie that openly covers sexual repression in the manner that this one does - especially when the surrounding atmosphere is one that feels so highly conservative to the point it makes those who take part…

  • Cyrano

    Cyrano

    ★★★½

    Hard not to be at least in awe of how overtly romantic this movie is - mostly because of how rare it feels as if films like this seem to be these days. But nonetheless, Joe Wright at his best can be a very compelling filmmaker - one who isn't completely too swept back by the spectacle, but one that knows how to make it feel immersive. Yet I think with a story as straightforward as that of Cyrano de…

  • Mass

    Mass

    ★★★½

    Easy enough to really say that the acting in a film like this does stick with you from the first moment all the way to the last. Nonetheless, I think there's a whole lot being done given the film's single setting - and how all the drama unfolds through exposition (which is fitting enough, when you're coming to consider the subject matter at hand). But nonetheless I can't help but feel like the film's running time isn't entirely justified, because…

  • The Tragedy of Macbeth

    The Tragedy of Macbeth

    ★★★★½

    Interesting to see Joel Coen working without brother Ethan Coen in this instance; but as far as adaptations of Macbeth have looked for the screen, Joel singlehandedly delivers one of the best that we'd be seeing in a long while. Whether it be through the stark black-and-white cinematography or the dreamlike set pieces, what Joel Coen brings out is a take on Macbeth that's ever so compelling and highly disorienting in equal measure, one where you feel the weight of…

  • Ride or Die

    Ride or Die

    ★★★★

    Surprised (but not really) to see that the ratings for this one seem to be bombed on the count of accusatory assumptions that a man making a film about a lesbian relationship would portray said relationship in a fetishistic manner. But I think to write this off as such when this was a film written by women based on a manga that was also written by a woman just only makes that accusatory seem unfair - for I also don't…

  • Hold Me Back

    Hold Me Back

    ★★★★

    Like watching a romantic comedy unfold like everything closes down on you, on the spot. If there's anything else you could really say about Akiko Ohku's Hold Me Back, it's the fact that in relation to her own Tremble All You Want, it feels like she takes the structure of such movies in order to explore the psychology of people that'd normally never be at the center of these films. I think that's also why these movies stick with me…

  • Eternals

    Eternals

    ★½

    There's a part of me that wishes that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would start to slowly embrace the more cosmic aspect of their own films, especially when James Gunn was able to bring out so much from the Guardians of the Galaxy films and I thought there'd be some potential just from the thought that Chloé Zhao would shake things up for these films, instead her style feels neutered, functioning to reinforce what these films have been building themselves upon…