jacobstertz has written 28 reviews for films rated ★★★½ during 2020.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Knife in the Water

    Knife in the Water

    ★★★½

    A great first film from Mr. I’m not ROMAN I’m from POLAND-ski. I enjoyed the jazz score and jazz tinges to the narrative structure. I thought the three stars gave high quality, original performances. The film did not create very much tension for me, though. When you name your movie after the turning point of the movie, it should be a bit more climatic...


    Also in regards to the title, is the idea of “Chekov’s gun” and that items shouldn’t…

  • Phantom of the Paradise

    Phantom of the Paradise

    ★★★½

    Swan’s haircut >

  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette

    Where'd You Go, Bernadette

    ★★★½

    Underrated in that special way where it’s so much better than people generally think. 

    Cate Blanchett is a Trader Joe’s in a world of Aldi in this one. 

    Not sure why I thought this would be The Secret Life of Walter Mitty for women but it’s definitely not. If it is the female Secret life of Walter and Bernadette doesn’t break of from her family until 35 left in the film then that’s saying something — that is if this is…

  • The Net

    The Net

    ★★★½

    “The net is the ultimate condom.” I wonder if that’s true as far as birth rates changing since the uprising of the internet? All’s I know is Sandy Bullets can give me a virus any day.

  • Scenes from a Marriage

    Scenes from a Marriage

    ★★★½

    I guess there needs to be a Peter Cowie. Celebrate Peter! He is a the beacon for Bergman early on and he’s honest!

  • Museum Hours

    Museum Hours

    ★★★½

    There is something mesmerizing about this sort of experimental film; it guides you, to be sure, but at the same time makes you feel like you, yourself, are aimlessly wandering around the Kunsthistorisches Art Museum.

  • Marie Antoinette

    Marie Antoinette

    ★★★½

    MOPS! What happened to Mops?! I need a spin off or origin tale or whatever you want to call it — put him on Paw Patrol for all I care — I just gotta know!

    Jean Tulard called it “Versailles in Hollywood sauce” and that pretty much sums it up.

  • Dreams

    Dreams

    ★★★½

    Ingmar’s 15th attempt to normalize dalliances, polyamory, affairs, entanglements and general hanky panky. 

    The amusement park scenes were incredible and a situation where Bergman’s risks paid off in a bigly way. Also, Harriet Andersson in the scenes in Otto’s apartment really shows off her skill and Ingmar’s ability to showcase it.  The music — aside from that scene where Doris plays the record — is fairly understated from his earlier films and it seems Ingy Pop (ready Iggy Pop) is…