• Moonfall

    Moonfall

    ★★½

    (Advanced screening)

    Me, 1hr45m into this movie: fucking christ, Emmerich just remakes the same film over and over again…

    Me, 1hr46m into this movie: So. Roland Emmerich has done something really interesting here.

    Look. It has all of the typical Emmerich problems. Ridiculous maximalism, poor, derivative dialog, a propensity for very unceremoniously killing off characters, and somehow very ugly looking (I mean… I know why.. when everything is shot on a green screen, nothing looks real).

    Nevertheless, it can’t be denied that this just fun as hell. And yes. Moonfall is better than Don’t Look Up.

  • Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    ★★★★½

    If there was any justice in the world, this would be the frontrunner for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars.

    Chungking Express, by way of Ozu. Woody Allen without the sneering cynicism. Simply one of the greatest films in recent memory about the ickiness of love and sex, told without a shred of doubt or anger. Both extremely Japanese, and also incredibly universal. Patient and compassionate filmmaking at its finest. The kind of film where I can apparently only type single, incomplete sentences afterwards...

  • The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

    The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

    ★★★★

    Finishing up my double feature with this film, after Francesco Rosi’s Hands Over the City practically seems like fate. 

    Pruitt-Igoe is the documentary analysis of the infamous public housing projects of the same name that existed in St. Louis, Missouri from the early 1950s, till their unceremonious demolition in the mid 1970s.

    For decades, the Pruitt-Igoe projects have been a contentious battleground in public discourse. Some people say they became hotbeds of poverty and crime because public housing, and by extension,…

  • Hands over the City

    Hands over the City

    ★★★★½

    “A fantastic political drama” almost seems like redundant praise for director Francesco Rosi at this point. All of his movies, at least early on, were highly political.

    Hands Over the City might be his most political. At least, maybe, his most angry. Where some Rosi films prefer allegory, Hands Over the City is direct cinema, Italian neorealism and social realism coming together in a ‘finest hours’ moment. The film tells a starkly simple tale: on the eve of locally important political race,…

  • Red Dawn

    Red Dawn

    ★★★½

    The scene towards the end where the Cuban colonel is writing his heartfelt letter gets a lot funnier when you imagine that he is sending the letter to a horse instead of his wife. 

    Anyways. Head empty, no thoughts. Only America great. Big explosion. Heil Reagan.

  • The Cow Who Sang A Song Into The Future

    The Cow Who Sang A Song Into The Future

    ★★★★½

    Sundance Film Festival #6

    Just stunning. Both one of the best magical realist films in recent memory, and one of the most interesting, personal, sentimental perspectives on climate change and environmentalism I can think of. 

    Cow weaves a simple, but engrossing story of a woman coming back from the dead to bring truth and absolution to her family for their buried personal pasts. There are shades of Uncle Boonmee, of Victor Erice’s Spirit of the Beehive. The central performances from Leonor…

  • Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul

    Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul

    ★★★½

    Sundance Film Festival #5
    (I also worked on this one)

    The Ebo sisters’ feature debut expands on their darkly comedic hit short film of the same name from 2018. 

    Honk for Jesus tells the story of a few weeks in the life of a Southern Baptist megachurch pastor and his wife, as they try to recover from an unspecified sexual scandal uncovered about the pastor, and get their ministry back on track. The pastor, played with wonderful arrogant bravado by Sterling…

  • The Worst Person in the World

    The Worst Person in the World

    ★★★★½

    Sundance Film Festival #4

    Simply brilliant. A humanist epic, maybe the greatest film about being a millennial ever made. While it trades some of its punch (compared to, say, Trier’s best Oslo) for humor, Worst Person in the World is, nevertheless, a profoundly personal movie. It encapsulates both the unexpectedness and the inevitability of life, the joy and the sorrow. Renate Reinsve is absolutely transcendent, and Anders Lie wastes no time in reminding us why he has been Trier’s muse for nearly 20 years.

  • You Won't Be Alone

    You Won't Be Alone

    ★★★

    Sundance Film Festival 2022 #3

    There is a lot to like here… unfortunately, however, a lot of that disappears by the middle of the second act, leaving this to simply float into the ending, with very little tact or tightness. 

    For the fist 45 minutes or so, I was pretty on board with this. It was a Dreyer-esque fable, a dark fairytale, with a clever inversion, wherein the monster is not some distant, faceless terror, but rather, a tangible, humanistic…

  • Watcher

    Watcher

    ★★★★

    Sundance Film Festival 2022 #2
    (Bias disclosure: I worked on this film.)

    The transportive power of film can be a potent thing. For example, I might really be a gentle giant, but being a 6’9”, 260 lb., fully-bearded, White man, I can say confidently that I have never really experienced the simple fear of walking down the street alone. It’s a primal fear that has been an element of cinema, especially psychological thrillers, since the earliest days of noir and…

  • Army of the Dead

    Army of the Dead

    ★★★

    🤷🏻‍♂️ I liked it. Probably Snyder’s best film in years (and trust me, it’s Snyder to a tee), and, in a way, maybe the last film of the Trump era, though admittedly, that’s more of a vibe than a political sentiment. The action is pretty good, and the overall colorful, bright aesthetic is a nice departure from the drabness of some similarly themed action peers. Performance quality varies greatly, but Purnell, Hardwick, and Schweighofer provide enough steady balance in their…

  • The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love

    The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love

    ★★★★

    Sundance Film Festival 2022 #1
    (Opening Night)

    "It's Walt Whitman. Now *he* was a homo!"

    Is there a formal opposite for narrative/textual dissonance? Textual harmony? Whatever it is, this movie is an exercise in it. 

    Two Girls in Love is a movie about just that. Two girls in love. It’s not particularly complicated or experimental, philosophical or contemplative. In fact, if it was a man and a woman as the subjects, I’d maybe go so far as to say it’s rote. …