jacobstertz has written 118 reviews for films during 2020.

  • Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring

    ★★★★½

    As we see the boy come to the realization that he will "carry the stone in his heart forever,” after having killing the fish and the snake, we’re left with a contemplative Buddhist question: what happens when we come to the conclusion that pure happiness is impossible? The film answers this question with how it ends; all life is suffering and we must be open to our suffering and engage with it —i.e. carrying his stone and the Buddha to the…

  • Tommy Boy

    Tommy Boy

    ★★★½

    Nostalgia really saves this movie for a lot of people, I’m sure. The whole movie is really just a delivery device for a couple moments of incredible comedy. It’s also a feel good movie that doesn’t demand a ton of attention and sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed. The scenes with Rob Lowe have always sort of pissed me off for a myriad of reasons, and probably why I’ve never gotten into Parks and Rec (don’t @ me)— that’s a wound that will never fully heal.

  • Riff-Raff

    Riff-Raff

    ★★★

    Cool Kenny with another socioeconomic foray with a banger of an ending. Emer McCourt demands attention in almost every way in what must have been her peak as an actress — a quick Google search shows she’s written a novel, done some producing and most recently is working in data-led content strategy which means she’s... well, I don’t know what that means she’s doing now, but I wish she’d still be making movies.

    There’s a very jazzy score which maybe…

  • Sorry We Missed You

    Sorry We Missed You

    ★★★★

    Certainly runs the risk of being too didactic and maybe it is... nevertheless, it’s a very realistic portrait of the perils of trying to get ahead in a system set up to see you fail —the success of that system inherently depending on it. The system on display is clearly capitalism and it paints a dark picture of how that can truly kneecap even the most deeply loving family, break their spirit and impact their mental and physical health. 

    The…

  • The Devil's Backbone

    The Devil's Backbone

    ★★★½

    Who wrote this script? Anakin Skywalker? I haven’t seen this much purposeless killing off of children since Star Wars. Honestly, might have been better if it was a silent film or one without dialogue, which speaks volumes to how incredible everything looks and sounds — I have a feeling that Criterion has a lot to do with the pristine quality of the version I saw.

  • Soul on a String

    Soul on a String

    ★★★½

    Undeniably beautiful cinematography and camera work. It’s a Western Lord of the Rings meets a Buddhist Cormac McCarthy black out drunk. The costumes are incredible but the inexplicable wigs they use sort of put a dent in what good has been done on that front. I’d say the best part of the film is the first 15 minutes. The acting is a bit of a miss but I’d boil that down to a poor screenplay and editing that favors beauty…

  • After the Storm

    After the Storm

    ★★★★

    “After the storm” is a pretty cut and dry metaphor for the message of the film; so often we wait for some part of our life to clear up before we can proceed — when in reality we’ve been proceeding the whole time — it’s just that we’ve been living part of our life in the future where our hopes and dreams are filled with envy for what is to come, ultimately staining the present by living life through that…

  • It's a Wonderful Life

    It's a Wonderful Life

    ★★★★

    Jimmy Stewart is basically the man. I read he and others were extremely upset they added color to this film. Well, I watched the color version and I can’t say I feel all that guilty about it... sorry Big Slim Jim; no offense was intended — R.I.P.


    Also, this is really THE great Christmas movie. It’s not your typical background Christmas movie... if you want that, tune into TBS where they are so shitty they run the same trash for like 48 hours straight.

  • Raging Bull

    Raging Bull

    ★★★★½

    The disassembling of his championship belt is a microcosm for his whole life; the need to try to get what he wants through destruction and how that ends up ruining everything he’s had and will have. Ultimately, if you start something off in the wrong way, you can’t expect it to end any other way; everything always comes full circle...

  • Good Morning

    Good Morning

    ★★★★

    When Minoru said, “no snacks for a long time now...” I felt that. 

    Ostensibly a fart joke movie, but probably the best fart joke movie - full disclosure, I haven’t seen many others... or any others. 

    Gossip and talking, and communication as a whole, are on display here. How do we receive information when what is being said isn’t the true intent of what the person is saying. For example, saying “good morning” to someone doesn’t necessarily mean anything about…

  • Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank

    ★★★½

    What a very good movie; the set designs, cinematography, music choices, and the three leads all bring strong performances — particular in scenes where all three are together.

    There is a considerable amount of humor in an otherwise very heavy film; most of the humor comes in the form of social commentary on the singlemindedness of small town southern culture. A particular thumbs up goes towards Beth ripping into that mechanic — I probably laughed as hard and as long…

  • Tokyo Story

    Tokyo Story

    ★★★★½

    Well, Shige is officially on my LIST! It’s written in red lipstick on a full body sized mirror I keep in my closet. 

    This is a joke... but honestly, she may be one of the most rancid, deplorable bitches I’ve ever set my eyes on. Not a doubt in my mind she would be a Trump supporter. I have such disdain for her I’m not even going to get into how great and influential this movie is to basically all…