• Soul

    Soul

    I mean, it is Pixar. Soul continues their ever ongoing trend of blending heart and humor into an accessible and meaningful package for viewers of all ages. Soul's story, about a musician who dies before his big break and struggles to return to his body, is tailor made Pixar, something that can be used to ease kids into understanding more adult themes, which adults will instantly latch onto. The film's ultimate message is a powerful one, and one that led…

  • Emma.

    Emma.

    This film is a lot of fun. It's more of an entertaining trifle than a swooning romance, but it's a credit to director Autumn De Wilde that this feels more like a positive than a negative. The story doesn't necessarily nail all of its emotional beats, but it moves along at a good clip, never bores and successfully uses the language of film to elevate several moments.

    Really holding the film together is Anya Taylor-Joy. She manages to say so…

  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

    Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

    I want to like this film more than I actually do. The film has strong performances and a solid story. Unfortunately very little thought was put into how to make it into a film. There's no real semblance of taking advantage of film as a medium, instead George C. Wolfe seems content to stage every scene exactly as it would be done on stage. This leads to the film ultimately feeling somewhat unsatisfying. The bland direction leads to the story…

  • Mank

    Mank

    Mank is an impeccably crafted film that suffers a bit from which aspects of its subject’s life it chooses to focus on. Fincher is one of the strongest directors working today, and so it’s no surprise that Mank manages to be incredibly entertaining and a visual feast. The decision to make the film using the film and sound styles of the day help put you right in the time period with the characters.

    As well, every single actor brings their…

  • Mank

    Mank

    Mank is an impeccably crafted film that suffers a bit from which aspects of its subject’s life it chooses to focus on. Fincher is one of the strongest directors working today, and so it’s no surprise that Mank manages to be incredibly entertaining and a visual feast. The decision to make the film using the film and sound styles of the day help put you right in the time period with the characters.

    As well, every single actor brings their…

  • Citizen Kane

    Citizen Kane

    ★★★★★

    Not much to add to the conversation here. This film holds up very well and, in addition to being a massive technical achievement, is simply a fascinating character study.

  • First Cow

    First Cow

    I suspect that, for most people, First Cow will either be their type of film or it won't. It is an exceptionally slow paced and subtle film, and as such one that requires a good deal of patience. To this effect the film is an excellent tonal piece. It does a wonderful job of establishing the "slow west" or the calmer side of the untamed wilds of the 1800s. The film remains well crafted throughout, but as it's light plot…

  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    Borat's second outing is, as one would expect, lacking in the uniqueness that made the first film so special. As effective as the original's ability to turn a mirror onto America's dark side was, it holds a little less weight in this day and age. Blame social media, which constantly shines that mirror on the dark spots every single second of every single day.

    Still, this film does manage to find some new ways to set itself apart from its…

  • The Frighteners

    The Frighteners

    The Frighteners is fascinating to watch with the context that it led to the creation of what is, in my opinion, the greatest film of all time. Peter Jackson's ability to keep this film's budget small, despite it's heavy use of visual effects, is what led to New Line Cinema greenlighting The Lord of the Rings Trilogy with him as the director.

    That makes it so much odder that this film is, well, not very good. There is a very…

  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

    The Trial of the Chicago 7

    ★★★★½

    The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a fantastic film that manages to effectively connect a historical drama to modern times. Though the film deals with a court case that occurred nearly 50 years ago, many of the themes and events tie in very easily to this year. The film deals with the concepts of a civilian population's right to protest, police violence, and the dangers of those in power weaponizing bureaucracy against those who already are not represented by…

  • The Invisible Man

    The Invisible Man

    Keep in mind that this film is nearly 90 years old. Coming with that, you can expect some over-the-top performances, no nuance whatsoever, and a very inconsistent sense of plot progression, all remnants of the very early days of filmmaking. That said, it is an incredibly engrossing film.

    There are largely two factors for why the film is so interesting. The first is, of course, the effects. Though they seem very simple in this day and age, the effects still…

  • House

    House

    This is one of the more fascinating examples of horror comedy I've recently seen. On it's surface, the film is a complete mess. The plot is barely there, the characters are unabashed stereotypes. The effects are weak even for the time.

    And yet, there is something incredibly fascinating about the film. Perhaps it is the full commitment everybody involved gives. Everybody involved is having an absolute blast with the lunacy on display. The scares are incredibly inventive, and show a…