PTAbro has written 26 reviews for films during 2014.

  • Computer Hearts

    Computer Hearts

    A) Rating withheld until Hentai Cop releases the final version (but definitely already a positive one). Takes a little while to get into the rhythm as a viewer due to the apparent lack of experience of the cast, but the fundamentals of a solid sci-fi/horror are more than obvious (addiction to technology, digital society, etc.) Once the effects show takes off, it's fucking on. Can't wait to hear the last act scored with Graham Trudeau's frenetic beats. This is what…

  • El sur

    El sur

    ★★★★½

    One of the highlights of last year's May Event (and of the entirety of last year, in fact) was Victor Erice's The Spirit of the Beehive; a dreamy, bittersweet fantasy detailing a child's introduction to the concept of time as finite (and, by extension, death) with film acting as a sort of code-breaker and the Spanish Civil War being the temporal (and political) context. In that long year, I've held off on El Sur partly because, thanks to Erice's damnably…

  • Gregory's Girl

    Gregory's Girl

    ★★★

    Without spoiling too much, Gregory's Girl thankfully does not lead where one expects given the first hour's set-up. Where it does go is sweet, heartfelt, and shows a true insight to the flights and foibles of teenage 'love.' Unfortunately, without knowing the subtle spin it puts on the now-traditional high-school lovequest journey, it's easy to get bored with its perceived predictability - almost as if it needs to hit overplayed beats to make the finale stick more soundly, or at…

  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

    ★★★

    "You don't mind if I like you better, do you?"
    #teamjanerussell

    Normally, I'm apprehensive about obvious star vehicles, and this was no exception. The first 20 minutes or so did little to quell those fears either, with Monroe's affectations irritating and distracting. However, Russell and Elliott Reid do a great job in taking the heat off Monroe's demanding presence and help the story pull through - which itself is nothing spectacular, but better than the presumption of unwavering interest in…

  • Design for Living

    Design for Living

    ★★★★½

    Hilarious, frank, and opulent, Design for Living might take the easy way out with its two-lover problem, but the chemistry between the three leads guarantees a smile, and this comedy plays more like a fantasy picture anyways. I know we just met and all, but make mine Lubitsch.

    Also, is it just me, or was Harry and Lloyd's fundraiser entrance from Dumb and Dumber ripped (nearly) straight from here?

  • Rushmore

    Rushmore

    ★★★★

    Max Fischer is a nasty little shit. Good thing he's a funny little shit, too.

    A few thoughts: For some reason I didn't have this marked as watched - maybe because I was actually smart enough to realize I hadn't offered it my full attention the first time around. Huge mistake (the not-paying-attention part). Murray, as funny as he and his character are, feels a bit wobbly here, as if he's still attuning himself with Anderson's sense of humor (or…

  • The Darjeeling Limited

    The Darjeeling Limited

    ★★½

    Anderson's characters (at least up to this point) have always been painted as fundamentally unhappy, and developed as pathetic throughout their respective films. The Whitman brothers share these standard elements, but Anderson - through his prerogative to examine the "now" explicitly and keep the "then" vague and insinuated - oversteps here and the pathetic devolves into just plain mean. The way these brothers treat each other, and their world outlook, is cutting and uncomfortable whereas Royal's buffoonish disregard for his…

  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

    ★★★½

    Proof positive that a little David Bowie makes everything better.

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel

    ★★★★½

    I'll want to see it a few more times before finding the appropriate words to really dig into it, but I can at the very least state that, despite missing what is now apparent as the heart that Owen Wilson provided their earlier collaborations, The Grand Budapest Hotel is Anderson's second-best film by a large margin, and is very loudly knocking on The Royal Tenenbaums' door for that top spot.

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier

    ★★★

    This isn't Captain America 2. At best, it's The Avengers 1.5, and at worst, it's the The Agents of SHIELD Movie. I'm not necessarily complaining about the content, but it feels like a missed opportunity in advancing or developing the character, especially in light of the groundwork laid previously.

    Here's my main issue: in 2 and a quarter hours, the Russo brothers spent maybe 10 minutes on the ethical issues that the Captain America from The First Avenger and The…

  • The American Friend

    The American Friend

    ★★★★

    Plays much more like The German French Connection than The Talented Herr Ripley, but that's more than alright under Wenders' moody, atmospheric direction. Hopper's Tom Ripley is jarringly distinct from Delon's and especially Damon's, but the verdict is still out on whether that's a good or bad thing. It doesn't make much of a difference, as this is Bruno Ganz' picture all the way; with Ripley essential a caricatured support role. The film takes a while to get going, but…

  • Toni

    Toni

    ★★★½

    1935 seems unfathomably early for many of the technical tricks on display in Toni - heavy use of J and L cuts, a lengthy and fast-paced tracking shot, and a masterful blend of realism and melodrama just to name a few - but, then again, Renoir isn't a household name for nothing, I suppose. While I wasn't bowled over by the plot and several of the performances, the technical elements and the ouroboric final sequence were quite a treat.