• Dune: Part Two

    Dune: Part Two

    ★★★★

    A tremendous film, a genuine feast for the senses, but try as I might, I just can not make peace with the changes to Chani. I understand wanting to rewrite the character with a bit of agency and a healthy sense of self-empowerment (as our enlightened society dictates), but I’m not sure pouting is the best way to convey those attributes. Honestly, that ridiculous scowl plastered on Zendaya’s face for the ENTIRE SECOND HALF was less a performance than a…

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★½

    I watched this, along with Dune: Part One, in anticipation of tonight’s Dune: Part Two screening, and stopped it at exactly 01:30:20, with Lady Jessica and Paul traveling further into the desert with the Fremen; the precise point at which Villeneuve’s first installment ends.

    Lynch and Villeneuve’s films are much more similar than I remember, at least narratively, with several scenes mirroring each other almost identically (much like the similarities between the Rankin/Bass and Peter Jackson adaptations of The Hobbit).…

  • Mother India

    Mother India

    ★★★★½

    There are a lot of great pump up movies out there. 

    My friends and I used to get all worked up to Rad and then go tear up the town on our Huffy’s. We’d watch H-Street’s Hokus Pokus before skating, White Men Can’t Jump for basketball, and without Point Break, we never would’ve had the nerve to rob all those banks.

    There are pump up movies for every sport imaginable (Bull Durham, Varsity Blues, Bend it Like Beckham, and Side Out, to name…

  • Two Acres of Land

    Two Acres of Land

    ★★★★

    Apparently, this one has a lot in common with Bicycle Thieves, but as I’ve never actually seen De Sica’s film (despite having owned it on at least two media formats), I am unfortunately not in a position to comment on that. 

    I like the idea, though, of eventually sitting down to watch Bicycle Thieves and having trouble fully embracing it because of its stylistic/thematic similarities to Do Bingha Ziman. Just seems like the type of problem a super nerdy cinephile might struggle with.…

  • Awaara

    Awaara

    ★★★★½

    “It’s not your fault; it’s just the way I look.”

    There’s a nice Indian girl who works at this taco joint I frequent (in a rare pairing of two of my favorite cultures), and every time I pop in we talk movies. It started with Studio Ghibli (I mentioned I was sneaking my order into a screening of The Boy and the Heron), moved onto time travel rom-coms, and just kinda snowballed from there.

    The other day she asked if…

  • Bob Marley: One Love

    Bob Marley: One Love

    ★★★

    I’ve got a buddy, real Bob Marley nut, who breaks it down like this:

    If you think Bob was a hippie who was all about peace and weed, you should watch this movie twenty times.

    If you are a Bob fan, but have only listened to the Legend album and don’t know who Haile Selassie is, you should watch this movie.

    If you have seen any of the several documentaries on Bob, have that old box set, and especially if…

  • The Zone of Interest

    The Zone of Interest

    ★★★★½

    A film as much about the future as the past. If you don’t believe something like this could happen again, you’re likely going to find yourself on the wrong side of the wall when it does.

  • Chameleon Street

    Chameleon Street

    ★★★★½

    Around ten minutes into Chameleon Street, something seemed off. I pushed through for another half hour and finally had to stop the film. Why the hell had I never seen this before?! Confident, hilarious, inventive; and only a vague recollection of having even heard of its existence. After a bit of gutting research, I discovered the winner of the 1990 Sundance Grand Jury Prize was never properly distributed and eventually sold off to Warner Bros with the loose intent of…

  • No Way Up

    No Way Up

    ★★½

    Growing up, any time my brothers and I were watching a film or television show and a character was underwater (sans scuba tank) we would instinctively hold our breath to check the scene’s authenticity. If all four of us ran out of air before the scene ended, the movie would lose all credibility. (I remember Joe Dante’s Piranha as being the one exception we made, but only because it was Joe Dante’s Piranha.)

    About three quarters into No Way Up the…

  • One Night Stand

    One Night Stand

    ★★★★

    Blow winds and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!
    You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
    Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
    You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
    Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
    Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
    Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world!


    One Night Stand had become a bit of a white whale for me while marathoning doomsday movies. I’d heard rumblings of it along the Letterboxd docks, but sightings were rare, and of dubious…

  • Riding Shotgun

    Riding Shotgun

    The second animated short (along with Robot on the Road) I’ve watched in as many days that I’m too embarrassed to attribute a rating to (and frankly, thought twice about even logging). Like Robot on the Road, it certainly grabs your attention, and the animation is pretty cool (though more limited here), but the content is just soooo unflinchingly pervy. I’m talkin’ clear-your-history pervy!! I swear I’m not seeking these out, I just keep stumbling across them!

  • Black Girl

    Black Girl

    ★★★★

    OK, so you took a job in France and it turns out your employers are total knobs. Ummm, not exactly a unique experience. This is France we’re talking about! That’s kind of their whole shtick. And fair play, you can chalk some of that up to postcolonial prejudices, but honestly - and I say this from first-hand experience - don’t take it so hard; the French treat ALL foreigners like trash. It’s just part of the culture, man. I mean,…