• Bamboozled

    Bamboozled

    ★★★½

    I don’t like to read anyone’s take on something before I write about it, but I made an exception for Ebert’s review because he seemed to have liked it less than I did and also is just always coming at things from a radically different perspective than I am even when we both liked it.

    He said that the blackface image was too powerfully stigmatized to be marshaled in a way where anyone could interact with the film’s intellectual points.…

  • The Shining

    The Shining

    ★★★★★

    Stanley Kubrick, after inventing the first furry: I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it.

  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    What is interesting about John Laroquette’s iconic narration at the beginning of the film is that it references something we do not see in the film— the eventual discovery (publicization) of the Massacre perpetrated collectively by the Sawyer family in the film, which presumably occurs after Leatherface dances with his chainsaw.

    This sets the tone for what makes The Texas Chain Saw Massacre stand the test of time. Like all the best horror films, much of its power is derived from…

  • Alien

    Alien

    ★★★★½

    When we arrive inside the Nostromo, the camera sweeping through the sleeping ship, the audience is placed in the position of seeing something that no character in the film is able to see. It is a God’s-eye view — in this world, then. the filmmaker must be God. As the crew members awake, bathed in angelic white light, and proceed to casually break bread, one can see that they are given life by the whims of their creator. So too,…

  • Kill Bill: Vol. 1

    Kill Bill: Vol. 1

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The first thing Bill asks — the first line of the film, actually — is “do you find me sadistic?” Of course, it’s really Quentin asking us, as we see Uma Thurman beaten up and covered in blood, if he is a sick geek for writing a four-hour, two-part film where she so frequently appears so. Many would answer in the affirmative. Indeed, he put Thurman — not just The Bride — through the wringer in this film, most famously…

  • Superbad

    Superbad

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The word “consent” is never used in Superbad, which predates the era where the term became a popular phenomenon during the early ‘10s, and certainly by 2015, the year I was Seth and Evan’s age. However, the climax (lol) of the film examines how the notion of consent, particularly when intoxication blots out one’s cognitive faculties, is embodied in the foibles and fuckups of young and immature teens. Through their experiences, they, as all young people ought to, come to…

  • Broadcast News

    Broadcast News

    ★★★★½

    The ending is perfect, actually.

  • Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket

    ★★★★

    What was unsettling to me on this watch is that I couldn’t help but think that Gunnery Sgt. Hartman’s tactics were pretty darn effective, at least until they were very much not. If the goal of boot camp is, as Joker explicitly states, to make baby Marines into killers, Hartman’s unrelenting hardass routine is effective, if not straight-up required — and killers it certainly does produce.

    But Joker also says in that same bit of narration that the Marines profess…

  • He Got Game

    He Got Game

    ★★★★½

    The wrongest anyone has ever been is Bill Simmons’ trashing Spike’s choice of score for this film, an opinion I heard at least twelve years before finally seeing He Got Game today. The basketball scenes, with that score, are basically the closest anyone has gotten to replicating the sensation one gets when watching classic NFL Films. Everything else is really just gravy.

  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    ★★½

    I dislike in movies when someone in some sort of possession or unnatural state gets talked out of it because their comrade “knows the real them is inside” or whatever. Always seems narratively unsatisfying to me. Enjoyable on the whole though.

  • Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket

    ★★½

    Just too shaggy. Picks up towards the end — and Caan is so good in his small role. A nice little harbinger.

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    ★★★★★

    I always liked Harry Potter, the third story, and this adaptation, but returning to it — it’s really a perfect movie adaption of a book, making the changes that the shift to cinema necessitated with flair and elan. There were a couple bits I had to pick regarding structure and execution of some scenes — like Lupin saying he got in front of Harry’s dementor-boggart because he thought it was Voldemort, even though the dementor was clearly visible — but they don’t drag down how truly… magical it all is.