• 2001: A Space Odyssey

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    I've re-watched this, so now I can post my dumb video here:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVeUbQg1ypw

  • Gremlins

    Gremlins

    I like the sequel more, but what I like about Gremlins is how its slow-burn (in relation to the follow-up at least) pacing at the beginning makes it feel like it’s gonna be an ET rip off, until it lets loose on all the looney-ness. I watched it with my Mom this time, and she pointed out how it’s both a genre film and a parody of a genre film at the same time, and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • The Sacrifice

    The Sacrifice

    ★★★★★

    In a way, it’s fitting that Andrei Tarkovsky’s last film would be his most straightforward since his first film (by his standards, at least). While Ivan’s Childhood and The Sacrifice are still recognizable as Tarkovsky films, they’re also the ones that show the most influence from their surroundings. Ivan’s Childhood can fit snuggly alongside other Eastern-European war films made at the time like Cranes Are Flying and Ashes and Diamonds, whereas The Sacrifice resembles the chamber dramas from Ingmar Bergman.…

  • The Meaning of Life

    The Meaning of Life

    Despite being considered the least of the Monty Python features, The Meaning of Life is a Brianmas classic.

    We apologize about the previous sentence. A running gag from the Life of Brian review that is dead horse beaten to death and given life-support by an unfunny Letterboxd reviewer, and furthermore, it’s for the wrong film. I mean they couldn’t have even named the final musical number “Brianmas in Heaven” for Brian’s sake. Anyways, we sacked the original writer and replaced…

  • The Crimson Permanent Assurance

    The Crimson Permanent Assurance

    Despite being considered the least of the Monty Python features, my dingle berries are actually really good substitutes for earplugs.

    We apologize about the previous sentence’s disgusting implication that it was reviewing The Meaning of Life. This was intended as a review of the short segment that preceded the film, which is on Letterboxd separately, for some silly reason. For those wanting to read the review of The Meaning of Life, click here. For the rest of you, continue reading…

  • Barbie in the Nutcracker

    Barbie in the Nutcracker

    As far as animated films using Tchaikovsky music, it's no Sleeping Beauty, but it was nice a trip down memory lane.

  • Life of Brian

    Life of Brian

    From the archives of the Brianmas Bronibhle, owned by Mr. Smoketoomuch, who can't pronounce (nor spell, as we were soon to find out) the letter 'C':

    "To me, a Brianmas classic. I know that some people pick more conventional choices like A Brianmas Story, It's a Horrible Death, Tragedy on 43rd Street or the Pharrell Williams-starring Human, with the ingenious premise of Williams playing an elf who grew up in a human world thinking he was a human this whole…

  • It's a Wonderful Life

    It's a Wonderful Life

    One of those movies that does it for me in the waterworks department. I know I'm not alone in feeling that way, and it's safe to say that this film has more fans than detractors, but I'm still surprised to see people dismiss It's a Wonderful Life as a hallmark card film. Obviously, it's goal is to be a tear-jerker, but it doesn't take any easy steps to get there. Putting the ending aside, a lot of it feels kind…

  • Tale of Tales

    Tale of Tales

    ★★★★★

    It's amazing how quickly Yuri Norstein evolved as an animator and as a director. Taking inspiration from Andrei Tarkovsky's Mirror, Tale of Tales is an animation that could potentially appeal to children, but will most likely be best understood by adults. Usually I'm skeptical of animation that's advertised as "for adults", even stuff that I like. Whether it's crude stuff like Rick & Morty, or just dark and violent like Akira; sure, you wouldn't want to show a three-year-old that, but…

  • Hedgehog in the Fog

    Hedgehog in the Fog

    ★★★★★

    Takes a straight-forward tale of a friend bringing over some jam for a traditional picnic and turns it into something magical. They way that Norstein creates the clouds her and the way the soundtrack sounds like animal activity outside one's house at night makes this so oneiric. Like the segment in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown where Snoopy is trudging through the forest at night, but made even more dreamy. Also, the dark, woody textures of the Hedgehog, the…

  • Begotten

    Begotten

    ★★★★★

    My favorite horror film of all time. I guess that statement warrants a sentence or two to justify.

    I might have said elsewhere that I'm more interested in how an actor moves than in how they - for example - deliver a line of dialogue. Even subtle movements like the way someone scratches their chin, or shifts their legs while they're sitting in a chair, or takes something out of a hand-bag; all that leaves more of an impression on…

  • Duelle

    Duelle

    ★★★★★

    After making the labrynthine, epic conspiracy film Out 1, and the breezy magical hangout film of Celine and Julie…, it’s almost like Jacques Rivette set out to create the bridge between those two and make a Conspiracy Fantasy film. Duelle is also his first film in ten years that’s shorter than three hours, and impressively, it doesn’t feel like it had important bits gutted. That’s what I love about Rivette, whether he’s making a two-hour film or a thirteen-hour film,…