• The Karate Kid Part III

    The Karate Kid Part III

    ★★★

    This obviously wasn't quite what they wanted it to be, with production-mandated rewrites and less creative ideas generally diluting the final product, but there's still some value to be found in it despite the overall feeling of diminishing returns.

    Daniel struggles with the challenges of new adulthood, cartoonishly portrayed but his reaction is somewhat resonant-- he accidentally, despite his best intentions, finds himself turning into a reactive asshole, and has to actively work to rediscover the kind-hearted root within himself.…

  • The Karate Kid Part II

    The Karate Kid Part II

    ★★★½

    I wasn't prepared for around half of this film to be a really melancholy and sometimes even soulful exploration of Mr. Miyagi's backstory. That's the part of the film I flat-out loved.

    The other half is pretty much what you would expect from a Karate Kid sequel, but it raises the stakes pretty adequately, contrives all the crowd-pleasing beats we want to see without straining plausibility too hard, and has a less-conventional slower-burning romance plot...so it's not slouching either.

    Filming…

  • No Sudden Move

    No Sudden Move

    ★★★½

    Very solid upper-mid-tier Soderbergh. Nothing too surprising and it's spread a bit thin with so many characters, but it moves good, the cast is stacked, and as usual the underlying messaging is definitely on point. It doesn't add any really surprising textures to his filmography but it's cool to see him do a period piece and I'll never complain about getting to spend time in the well-oiled worlds this guy creates.

  • Malignant

    Malignant

    ★★★★

    One of the most visually dynamic and entertaining movies of the year for sure, and it's fun to see a creative horror movie that feels like a throwback in spirit as well as just aesthetic. Sometimes it veers too much into self-conscious moodiness or goofiness for the freewheeling madness of its best scenes to feel like a consistent tonal triumph, but it hits enough of the time to be a success. The last third truly pops off and goes for…

  • Thelma & Louise

    Thelma & Louise

    ★★★★½

    Always knew I was in for at least a solid time with this, but it really snuck up on me as it went on. There's a humor, authenticity, and electricity to it that bridges all kinds of genre gaps, defies cliches of film storytelling, and makes for a truly original film. I like that it's kinda scuzzy, too-- not what I expected from a film with so much mainstream acclaim.

    The title characters are extremely iconic, which is clearly a…

  • The Matrix

    The Matrix

    ★★★★½

    Y'all probably already saw me heading in this direction, but this is just a Matrix Resurrections hype account now, sorry not sorry 💚

  • Supernova

    Supernova

    ★★★★

    The light touch and clear eye cast on such heartbreaking material probably makes it more heartbreaking, honestly. Obviously very well done because I didn't want it to end, even as I could barely endure what it was doing to me emotionally. Time with those we love is unbelievably precious, and stories about how fragile it is are very difficult for me at this point in life. But these characters seem to be having the same emotional difficulties, in a very authentic way, which makes the viewing experience easier.

  • Benjamin

    Benjamin

    ★★★★

    The behavior of some supporting characters initially had me worried that this was gonna be a Girls-style millennial cringefest, but it's actually very witty, astute, and even stealthily sweet.

    Ends up being emotionally astute and quite charming, with scenes and lines I'll remember for a while. Abrupt editing helps make sure no aspect wears out its welcome.

    Makes me so glad I'm not involved in a Trendy big city arts scene.

  • Frog

    Frog

    ★★★½

    A bizarre YouTube VHS-rip treasure originally produced for PBS, this is indeed a movie where Paul Williams voices a 600-year-old Italian frog prince who upends the life of a nerdy reptile-obsessed teenage boy, whose parents (herpetophobic dork-jock dad Elliot Gould and kindly hippie mom Shelley Duvall) prove to be an overqualified double act in the middle of all the antics.

    Most of the film is pretty formulaic, but the editing, humor and performances are above par for a TV film,…

  • Foxes

    Foxes

    Mostly pretty good and intriguing movie, devalued by a gross Randy Quaid-centric subplot.

    Jodie Foster is giving it her all, selling both the naturalistic moments and the very writerly eloquent scenes, which don't always mesh tonally, outside of her delivery of them. Her character's relationship with her mom is often cited as the highlight of this film for good reason, even though those scenes arguably play havoc with the tone most of all.

    Cherie Currie's performance is really haunting, and…

  • Annette

    Annette

    ★★★

    Of course after all the love-it-or-hate-it dust begins to settle on this movie, I finally watched it and ended up thinking it was just okay.

    A lot of the songs are overly expository and repetitive, the story mostly focuses on its most basic obvious aspects while sidelining some more interesting ones, and I'm not convinced that most of the first act was really necessary at all. All of these issues are basically issues of focus and prioritizing-- the ingredients for…

  • Candyman

    Candyman

    Was super into a lot of this, but I feel like it needed some more time to truly flesh out its more interesting ideas. The visuals and performances are so on-point that I wanted more material for the main characters, and more exploration of the themes! I was missing the eerie dreamlike vibe of the original film, with the first act feeling especially too normal? But it eventually goes to some pretty creative places of its own! I liked it, but I suspect there's a longer cut somewhere that I could truly love.