• Secret of the Blue Room

    Secret of the Blue Room

    ★★

    OK but like………..


    What about the first three murders? 🤔

  • Il Grido

    Il Grido

    ★★★½

    An extremely bleak film that felt most reminiscent of Visconti, particularly Ossessione and Le Notti Bianche - though bordering on the grand decay of his later work. Still, this lacks the operatic scale of Visconti and in its hyper personal gaze and alienated intimates it is unmistakably an Antonioni film. Certainly the director had established his primary concerns before L’Avventura took the world by storm, but Il Grido is the movie where it’s really clear what Antonioni is gearing up…

  • Amarcord

    Amarcord

    ★★★★½

    Amarcord is a film that can withstand quite a bit of analysis from many angles - everything from Fellini's autobiographical connections to the use of specific filmic elements (most notably score and set design) to communicate bittersweet nostalgia. And of course the placement in history, the brief dips into darker moments and the evolution of Italy, has been consistently observed.

    Ultimately though it's a film where this "deeper" appreciation seems wholly separate from someone's pure enjoyment of watching it. Because…

  • Whipsaw

    Whipsaw

    ★★½

    Myrna is really good in this despite the fact that she has to play it serious pretty much the whole time. The big issue is the sappy Code ending which really makes no sense, but the story set up is engaging enough. The way the victim disappears after the initial robbery is interesting, but there’s not much else here from a filmmaking perspective to elevate it above the usual fare for the era.

  • Lightyear

    Lightyear

    ★★

    I wish this was better, but like a lot of Pixar movies these days it’s a little bit like Neo on his first jump: super ambitious but without the nerve to really take the plunge. Ultimately I don’t think the plot fits at all with the premise that this would be a movie for kids with space toys (Buzz is kind of a jerk through 80% of the movie) and the Zurg reveal is just dumb considering the throwaway joke…

  • Stamboul Quest

    Stamboul Quest

    ★½

    Very tired of the movies where men are insufferable in their delusional pursuit of a woman, only to have her inexplicably convert to being overwhelmed with her undying love for her stalker. 

    The transition is particularly unbelievable when it’s happening to Myrna Loy, and doubly so when she’s a fucking spy. Add on the fact that it’s George Brent she’s supposed to be falling for and it ruins any chance for this story to have bite.

    It doesn’t help that…

  • Daddy Longlegs

    Daddy Longlegs

    ★★½

    Repulsive and almost unbearable to watch, with an undeniably consistent and intentional aesthetic. The Safdies sure do have a style, don’t they. Yikes this is hard to watch. As a father none of this was funny (I think this is supposed to be funny but I can’t know for sure) but the second half is a true pummeling of bad situations made even worse. There seems to be a lot left out, like is this guy a cokehead? And what’s with the moving? No filmmakers take more time off your lifespan like the Safdies do.

  • The Round-Up

    The Round-Up

    ★★★★

    A good week to watch this, I think, as half of our country embraces Hungarian fascism. The more things change and so on

    Very wonderful cinematography in service of some very bleak content that is chilling and vital.

  • Penthouse

    Penthouse

    ★★★

    I’m not going to win the pulitzer for this piece of film criticism, but put William Powell in the lead here and you get a pretty great movie. Fortunately the cardboard cut out of William Powell they got instead doesn’t ruin the cast around him, notably Myrna Loy looking and sounding way too glamorous to be a party girl, Charles Butterworth as a butler (my ideal butler), and Nat Pendleton as the most lovable gangster of the month.  Phillips Holmes…

  • Hugo

    Hugo

    ★★★

    Forgot to log this... it's good, though I'd have to say the 3d is a big part of it and watching it on TV isn't quite the same. My kids were engaged through most of it, though afterward they were mixed. The best part was their amazement when I told them that I owned some of Méliès's films so thanks again Marty for making being a film nerd mildly cooler.

  • Adoption

    Adoption

    ★★★½

    Very finely observed and well-acted. It reminded me of Bergman or Kieslowski at times, though without the fireworks of either for better and worse. The craft probably elevates what is otherwise a very gentle short story, but the fact that stories like this aren't often told makes it more notable.

  • Rouge

    Rouge

    ★★★½

    Quite luscious, one of those films that is so smooth it almost feels like one continuous shot - an impressive feat considering it’s set in two different times. I have to assume this and Kwan were an influence on WKW in general and ITM4L specifically, so rich are its colors and so aching its yearning love. Everyone is great in it but Emily Chu’s sweaters stand out from the pack.