afabry has written 10 reviews for films rated ★★★★½ .

  • If Anything Happens I Love You

    If Anything Happens I Love You

    ★★★★½

    Great animation and very moving.

  • Minari

    Minari

    ★★★★½

    I really loved the use of color. The shot composition, not exactly cinematography (maybe production design to an extent), is my favorite of this year’s nominees. Very touching, very real. I felt like I was very much with the family.

  • Cool Hand Luke

    Cool Hand Luke

    ★★★★½

    One of the best examples of anti-establishment filmmaking of the 60s. It's hard to imagine how this would work without Paul Newman's smile.

  • A Matter of Life and Death

    A Matter of Life and Death

    ★★★★½

    Powell and Pressburger sure knew how to use Technicolor. A fun fantasy that would pair well with Defending Your Life. Maybe a little saccharine at time, but I didn’t find it too off-putting. David Niven is the man.

  • One Cut of the Dead

    One Cut of the Dead

    ★★★★½

    A sort of horror-adjacent workspace comedy, I suppose. It does kind of lull in the middle, but I think the dynamic spirit is more or less sustained enough to for a viewer to power through. A part of me feels like it gets kind of spoiled a third of the way in, but as you get to that last act it unspoils. A great showcase of the anarchy of filmmaking.

  • Going Steady

    Going Steady

    ★★★★½

    Saw this at the Kansas City Film Festival.

    Great stuff. Funny, dark, excellent use of color. Real excited to see what the director does next.

  • David Byrne's American Utopia

    David Byrne's American Utopia

    ★★★★½

    During the first half-hour or so I felt that this film was: Stop Making Sense + True Stories = American Utopia. Not a bad thing at all, but it quickly becomes more than that. It’s amazing that something can be both minimal and full of spectacle at the same time. Much of that is due to the original stage production, but Spike Lee’s directorial flourish adds something extra.

  • Never Rarely Sometimes Always

    Never Rarely Sometimes Always

    ★★★★½

    A sparse, lean, drama. Deserving of all the acclaim it has been getting. Probably should be required viewing for all men.

  • Wolfwalkers

    Wolfwalkers

    ★★★★½

    I really enjoyed this compelling story of two girls in 17th-century Ireland. Both are outsiders in their own ways. One a newcomer to a town, the other can turn into a wolf and lives in the woods said town. Although it has the typical family fare message about the importance of family and friendship, it also has much to say about the issues of encroaching upon nature and oppressive assimilation. Also the animation is quite magnificent.

    A wolfwalkin' haiku:

    Folk fantasy tale
    featuring not quite werewolves
    great animation

  • First Cow

    First Cow

    ★★★★½

    In a needlessly reductive sentence: A great, sparse, period drama about the American Dream.

    Though not in the classic desert setting, the myth of the American West is examined here again by Reichardt. This time through the gaze of decidedly “non-rugged” outsider men, a Chinese immigrant and a Jewish baker. The two men start a baking business by stealing milk from the titular first cow to make it to their neck of the Oregon territory. Colonialism, masculinity, and racism are…