• Twister

    Twister

    ★★★

    Most of their storm warnings come from the local broadcast or from a character staring off in the distance, you’d think meteorologists would have a little head start on that. Anyway there’s just a great pleasure to fall into the swift current of 90s blockbuster entertainment, even when it wasn’t great the craft was so ingrained that they couldn’t mess it up either. They can’t help but look better in comparison. 

    Another secret is casting every single great character actor from the back half of the 90s. Just a little dopamine hit every time I see Alan Ruck, or Patrick Fischler‘s eyebrows stealing a steal.

  • Under the Silver Lake

    Under the Silver Lake

    ★★★★

    Comes the closest to capturing the real LA experience of driving up Mulholland Drive and feeling nothing. Uses the neat Wes Anderson technique of deploying one emotionally honest line as the skeleton key to the entire film. The difference here is it happens damn near in the middle of the picture rather than at the end. Like biting into a tootsie pop and teaching the center before you’re ready.

  • One Hundred and One Dalmatians

    One Hundred and One Dalmatians

    ★★★½

    Haven’t watched this since I was a kid, it’s funny how I don’t remember much of the actual animation, but certain line readings are grooved into my brain. Was imitating certain barks under my breath half a second before they’d happen. The animation in this is great, endearingly grubby characters over beautiful vistas. Apparently this was a budget corrective to the expensive Sleeping Beauty. This was back when a limited budget was just another avenue for creativity.

    Low budget directors…

  • Dreamchild

    Dreamchild

    ★★★★

    Admirable in its restraint, it isn’t a movie explicitly about a woman reclaiming her sense of self from an abuser, so it ends up being a very effective movie about a woman reclaiming her sense of self from her abuser. Much like the real life incident, we don’t know what happened. The letters have been burnt, and memory is perhaps the least reliable evidence to rely on. But something lurks just offscreen, submerged but present. The movie itself seems apologetic…

  • Heat

    Heat

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I always thought that Neil killing Waingro, thus jeopardizing his escape, was his honor and obsessive professionalism coming back to bite him. This rewatch I’m not so sure. Right after Voight tells him on the phone that the plane is ready and he’s home free, the ensuring silence is the most uncomfortable we see Neil in the entire movie. It’s like The Graduate but without the public transportation. Like everyone else in this movie, he’s a guy who doesn’t actually want out because he wouldn’t know what to do with himself. Going back to kill Waingro is an act of sabatoge, whether intentional or not.

  • For Heaven's Sake

    For Heaven's Sake

    ★★½

    Not very familiar with Lloyd’s films, but this had a priority of narrative over gags. Not necessarily a bad thing, I had a pleasant enough time during this. But this lacked the compositional genius of a Keaton or the humanity of Chaplin.

  • First Cow

    First Cow

    ★★

    Probably betraying myself as some type of philistine, but I was mostly bored. Reichardt understands the texture of the PNW, really captures that full bodied damp of the winter months exactly right. The two main characters had an interesting dynamic, but like the rest of the movie the better aspects are lost to the encroaching dullness. I’m fine with contemplation, and with moments dragged out beyond our comfort level for some higher purpose. But when form doesn’t lead to that elevated plane, all that’s left is irritation.

  • Army of the Dead

    Army of the Dead

    ★★½

    Mildly diverting, but that’s perhaps the last thing a zombie movie should be.

  • Cocktail

    Cocktail

    ★★★

    As a regular movie it’s one star, but as a Tom Cruise™️ movie it’s five stars, let’s split the difference. I had a great time with my good friend Tom, who gave me a break from the drudgery of my life to let me pretend I work as a bartender in Jamaica and my girlfriend is Elizabeth Shue.

  • So I Married an Axe Murderer

    So I Married an Axe Murderer

    ★★

    Such an odd movie, my chief complaint is also its greatest merit: it’s insane. Similar to a Happy Madison production where you can see the bones of of original screenplay, and from there all the rewrites and little hats that the SNL star put on. The movie works best with those weird ad-ons. The murders row of cameos (rip Charles Grodin) are outstanding, and the Scottish Family is where the biggest laughs, and oddly pathos, are found. 

    But those same…

  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    ★★★★★

    Every criticism you have about Ferris, the movie acknowledges and even tries to address. Yes he’s smarmy, yes he’s smug, yes he doesn’t deserve the cornucopia of blessings bestowed upon him. But Ferris isn’t evil, he has all the malice of a natural disaster. Sometimes you just have to appreciate the dispassionate power as it rolls through you. Ferris is the catalyst, the movie is actually about everyone who has to live in his wake. 

    Jeanie learns that a life…

  • Those Who Wish Me Dead

    Those Who Wish Me Dead

    ★★★

    Fairly middle of the road for a Sheridan feature, but a lot to like here. Jolie, though miscast, does a good job of oscillating between maternal and firm, sometimes meeting like a mama bear. But the main attraction is Gillen and Hoult as the hitmen. Sheridan’s real talent is demonstrating the casual confidence and skill of trained professionals, and he’s at his best with these characters. They aren’t particularly malicious and bloodthirsty, they’re just guys on assignment growing desperate as time runs out.