• tick, tick...BOOM!

    tick, tick...BOOM!

    ★★½

    Man, I just really don't like theatre kids... sorry. And this is kind of the peak of that inherent, overly emotional self-centeredness that I shiver in loathing just to be around.
    There are a lot of things to like here, though. Andrew Garfield's performance is very good. Larson's music reliably rips. The apartment party scene where he sings about 14 roommates in 4 years should give everyone who ever lived in a shitty NYC apartment in their 20s waves of…

  • Rabbit Hole

    Rabbit Hole

    ★★★★

    I love when movie arguments are good! It's all too common that one character is radically more sympathetic or people frustratingly fail to communicate or there are too many histrionics. I like my drama to be more complicated. Rabbit Hole does this right with great performances all around (especially Dianne Wiest... hell yeah) and deep character portraits for every speaking part.
    Some of the narrative moves did remind me of well-worn topics (Red Road and Margaret came to mind), but…

  • The Secret of the Marquise

    The Secret of the Marquise

    ★★½

    Absolutely wild to think there were straight-up Nivea commercials in 1922.

  • The Flying Koffer

    The Flying Koffer

    ★★★½

    Starts out a little simple, but the images get more and more imaginative as it goes on. Lotte Reiniger tackling ambitious projects early on, it seems.

  • Equus

    Equus

    ★★½

    Every time I'd ever heard about this play or movie it was mostly that it's provocative, it's about horses, and there's full frontal male nudity. And then I'm like, "Well that sounds wild," and I look up the actual plot and for whatever reason it never grabs me. I think because in explaining the straightforward narrative, write-ups and summaries start to explain the big themes of religious fervor, sexual repression, and the dichotomy of human experience. And something about the…

  • The Snake Pit

    The Snake Pit

    ★★★★

    The approach to mental illness may be a little dated, but I like how this type of 1940s message movie about women's aslyums is so much more character-driven than other ones I've seen. Like, this is a drama that also has a couple statements about the future of psychotherapy, the abuses of power in mental institutions, and the value of a sympathetic doctor. Olivia de Havilland is relatable here whether she's experiencing a disassociative break from reality or having a…

  • Black Sunday

    Black Sunday

    ★★★★½

    Damn, this is great. I shouldn't have been surprised. Nearly every word that popped into my head here ("remorseless" "tense" "daring") was a word I used after watching Frankenheimer's earlier ex-military-turned-terrorist movie The Manchurian Candidate.
    Anyway, this rips. I really connected with a buddy's review which pointed out how Frankenheimer never passes up an opportunity to thrill or shock here. I'll always dig that style of in-your-face action. The climax is almost comical in how much it ratchets up the…

  • Censor

    Censor

    ★★★★

    “I’ve salvaged the tug-of-war with the intestines. I’ve kept in most of the screwdriver stuff. And I’ve only trimmed the tiniest bit off the end of the genitals. But some things should be left to the imagination.”

    I enjoyed the Hell out of this. The one strike is that it trods some pretty well-worn territory, but it does it stylishly with an incredible central performance and a lot of extra things on its mind. The structure, for example, is similar…

  • Blessed Event

    Blessed Event

    ★★★½

    Lee Tracy really grabs this movie by the throat and runs with it. And as a result, the movie is very funny at times. At some points the story moves a little fast and loose. Physically, the feud with a lounge singer (Dick Powell) and the run-in with a gangster (Edwin Maxwell) come together, but they still feel like two haphazard plots. Not to mention Mary Brian as a character who seemingly just comes in at opportune moments to announce…

  • Carnival Magic

    Carnival Magic

    ★★

    The MST3K guys are right that the most ridiculous thing about this is how this movie is about a talking chimp who almost never talks. There's a point where the internal drama of the carnival kind of overtakes the talking chimp thing and then it's revealed the ape was kidnapped? I rewound to see if I missed him getting kidnapped. I didn't. It just, like, happened offscreen while weird romances were being explored with secondary characters.

  • Trump vs the Illuminati

    Trump vs the Illuminati

    ★★

    “Puke asphyxiation is no way for a sasquatch to go.”

    Don't know why I'm so forgiving of this. It certainly isn't funny. It's like bad machinima (redundant, I know). I guess there's a pluckiness to its clear amateurish where, in certain moments, some of the animation actually looks kind of interesting? I don't know, I thought that at first when I assumed "BC Fourteen" was some 23 year-old edgelord, but I looked him up and he looks to be in…

  • The Red Pony

    The Red Pony

    ★★½

    Sometimes adaptations can be too slavish, to the point that they feel like a list of events without any character or heart. I read "The Red Pony" in 5th grade. I really only remember the body horror elements (tracheotomies, cesareans, lancing, buzzards pecking at flesh, etc.) I didn't expect this to have all that, but as it hit those story beats, I realized how much I didn't care about what was going on. Robert Mitchum and Louis Calhern's characters feel…