• Joker

    Joker

    ★★★½

    I dunno. Somehow Joker became the face of a cultural clash between those who felt it glamorized and excused the bad behavior of men, and those who agreed but loved it for those reasons. I've generally stood on the sidelines, because on the one hand giving an antagonist an interesting, textured, emotional backstory is simply good storytelling. I don't really take it as some snide, underhanded commentary on how modern masculinity is preventing men from being men. At the same…

  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers

    Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers

    ★★★★½

    This is a passion project. This was made by people who love the Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers TV show. This was made by people who love animation. This was made by people who wanted to go the extra mile to make the film they wanted to make. And that passion oozes out of every frame.

    I had two favorite shows as a kid. TaleSpin and Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers. In December I was delighted to find a complete…

  • Let the Sunshine In

    Let the Sunshine In

    ★★★

    Most of this review is spoilers. For non-spoilers, read the first two paragraphs and the last paragraph; do with that info as you will.

    I don’t feel anything on Valentine’s Day. I used to feel bad–being single on a day for celebrating romance is kinda blah, especially when you’re lonely–but I realized that was a waste of emotion. So I generally just see Valentine’s Day as another day. If I start feeling bad about it, i know it’s time to…

  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    ★★★½

    I knew Conjuring 3’s reputation going in, so if you take umbrage with how high my rating is, tell yourself that having bottom barrel expectations meant that being pleasantly surprised made me lose my mind. I mean, I don’t think it did–I feel properly minded, thank you very much–but whatever helps you come to terms with life.

    Conjuring 3 opens to our dynamic duo, Ed and Loraine Warren, in the midst of an exorcism. It’s not a good time for…

  • Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions

    Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions

    ★★★★

    That I watched this during the Super Bow... sorry, the big game on Sunday was maybe a little bit of commentary on how interested I was in seeing a matchup between San Francisco and Kansas City. I cannot think of a more droll matchup. I quipped multiple times during the week that I was rooting for Taylor Swift rather than either team. It's a comment that would probably land stronger if I disliked Taylor Swift, or hated football, but I'm…

  • Fantasia

    Fantasia

    ★★★★

    When I started Fantasia, I did so assuming I'd not watched it before. But I had enough of a memory joggle on enough of the segments within that I'm assuming I did, in fact, watch it once as a kid—enough memory joggles that it was more than The Sorcerer's Apprentice short that has shown up in plenty of Disney collections since. That said, this essentially played out fresh to my eyes—despite convincing me I'd seen it before—that I'm calling it…

  • The Decline of Western Civilization

    The Decline of Western Civilization

    ★★★½

    You ever come out of a film feeling very disillusioned? That's kind of how I feel about The Decline of Western Civilization. Coming into this documentary I had little knowledge but certainly some curiosity about late 70s/early 80s punk and most of the bands featured in The Decline. Coming out of this documentary I have more knowledge but certainly very little curiosity about late 70s/early 80s punk and most of the bands featured in The Decline.

    The bands featured are…

  • Nobody

    Nobody

    ★★★½

    Nobody is cut from John Wick clothes, something I'm sure every review mentions. While I'd hesitate to call it a full clone (mostly because of the moral decisions I may highlight later in the review), it's still that "former rampager suddenly getting pulled back into the life" arc. So in a lot of ways, I can make my recommendation for or against Nobody quite simple: Are you in the mood for a fun-but-derivative action film, or will the easy comparison…

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    ★★★½

    fuck jk rowling

    I watched my last Harry Potter-related film in 2018 when the Fantastic Beasts sequel released. It's incredible to realize that it's been over five years since. Certainly an unprecedented turnaround for someone who considered themself a big Harry Potter fan. But my fandom was not worth the vitriol series creator and book author JK Rowling started spewing about trans people. I'm not going to play-by-play her tweets—it's not like her TERFdom is a secret or anything—but suffice…

  • Dreams

    Dreams

    ★★★

    I occurred to me I had not watched an Akira Kurosawa film in a long time so I decided to remedy that with Akira Kurosawa's Dreams. I've been a bit avoidant of Dreams, for a number of reasons I haven't really been able to articulate, but generally boils down to tempered expectations for a film of vignettes, and not being keen on his color era (which I associate with Ran and Kagemusha, neither of which I like, although I probably…

  • Jackass Forever

    Jackass Forever

    ★★★★

    You know, Jackass Forever fucks.

    Like, I turned 40 last month. I groan when I get out of bed because my knees hurt. Then I watch Jackass Forever and I see the the original Jackass crew (minus Ryan Dunn, RIP, and minus Bam because reasons) still doing the same shit and they're all ten years (or more) older than myself. Hell, poor Dave England was born in '69 and his life of stunts have not been kind to him; he…

  • Triangle of Sadness

    Triangle of Sadness

    ★★★½

    Sometimes I don’t feel like I understand a film until I start writing about it. It’s part of the reason I write these reviews. I came out of Triangle of Sadness believing it was distinctly “Eat the Rich” in its taking the piss out of privilege and wealth. While I’m not pro-cannibalism, I do generally align with the phrase and would generally claim to be anti-capitalist (although would not be comfortable with anything more specific than that, and probably with…