• Diamantino

    Diamantino

    ★★★½

    Morphing from a farce to an espionage/conspiracy thriller to a romance, Diamantino's abject weirdness has a perfect midnight movie energy. Carloto Cotta is phenomenal in the lead role, as an airheaded, but compassionate football star whose fall from grace begets a transformation of body and soul. The 16mm, widescreen cinematography is beautiful, giving everything a dreamy vibe that also helps to blend in the CG compositing. And who could forget the fluffy puppies!

  • The Rescue

    The Rescue

    ★★★★

    Anyone wanna become a cave diver after this? 🤓

    One of the most well edited docs I've seen. Re-enactments (or "demonstrations," to use the divers' preferred term) are seamlessly mixed with contemporaneous footage from inside the caves. There's talking head interviews (which I don't usually enjoy), but they're used to illuminate the footage, rather than merely regurgitate facts or memories. Similar to Free Solo, even though we know the outcome, directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin do such a…

  • Nightmare Alley

    Nightmare Alley

    ★★★½

    This was dark, and not delightfully so. "The Great Stanton," a con artist, has a malevolent presence thanks to the movie star looks of Tyrone Power. Definitely teeters on the edge of what the Production Code would allow. Ignore the tacked on happy ending and you've got the cyclical tragedies of living an itinerant existence on the outskirts of towns, and the doom of trying to get something better.

  • Cyrano

    Cyrano

    ★★★½

    Enjoyed this a lot more on my second watch. Though my criticisms the first time around are the same, this time I was really able to be taken by the magnificent acting performances by everyone. Especially Peter Dinklage in the title role who would certainly be a Best Actor contender if the movie surrounding him were any better. Ben Mendelsohn, as the villainous de Guiche, turns in a terrific supporting performance, but his song isn't good and neither is his…

  • Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza

    ★½

    Was really great to see this in Village East's opulent Jaffe Art Theatre. Truly beautiful space to see (what is to me) a bad movie.

    It gives me no pleasure to say that Licorice Pizza did almost nothing for me. It's been getting a ton of praise, especially from people whose opinions generally track with my own. And I just feel like I watched an entirely different film. Could not wait for this to end.

    Hated the script. It starts…

  • The Humans

    The Humans

    ★★★½

    What separates a horror movie from one that merely uses the grammar of horror movies is a literal supernatural presence. The Humans deploys horror conventions to make the original stage play more cinematic, playing up the simmering tensions and lingering traumas that awaken during a contentious Thanksgiving dinner. That was already present in the source material; the very title suggests alienation and distance. Stephen Karam, adapting his own play, doesn't hide the fact that this was originally conceived for the…

  • tick, tick...BOOM!

    tick, tick...BOOM!

    ★★★½

    Everyone's unhappy in New York. That's what New York is!

    An unabashed celebration the compulsion to make art, while also recognizing the (mild to moderate) narcissism inherent to being a striving creative. Should be obvious given that Lin-Manuel Miranda directed, but it's refreshing to watch a movie musical that's not ashamed of being one. All of the cameos from theater actors and writers and directors are delightful. This isn't something that I have personal experience with — but Tick Tick…

  • House of Gucci

    House of Gucci

    ★★★

    Did not expect Jared Leto to be the best part of House of Gucci???? I cackled every time he opened his mouth. Love all the scenes with Leto and Al Pacino, where they compete to see who can be hammier.

    Nothing worse than a movie that's afraid of the camp inherent to its material. When the movie is fun, it's really fun. The problem is that when it's dull, it's really dull. Half of the actors are going full camp,…

  • Cyrano

    Cyrano

    ★★★

    It is a small overlap between people who enjoy movie musicals and the dirge-like songs by rock band The National. So this movie is a huge swing and it's kind of cool that it even got made with the talent in front of and behind the camera. But I really ought to like this more than I actually do. At times it's rousing, and other times... it's not.

    Some scattered thoughts for a pretty scattered movie that doesn't quite know…

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    ★★★★

    Here's a fun easter egg: near the beginning of the film, just before the power outage, we see a McDonald's, with Boston's rock classic "More Than a Feeling" playing. The album art for that record is illustration of a UFO. Beyond that fun connection, it could be said that the erratic behavior of the ordinary people affected by their close encounters is much more than a feeling; it's a religious fervor.

    The last thirty minutes are perfect, awe inspiring, moving.…

  • King Richard

    King Richard

    ★★★½

    Will Smith in his toughest acting challenge yet: being an Asian parent.

    Although a little too long and a touch too sentimental, King Richard has the kind of populist Hollywood filmmaking that's becoming a bit too rare these days. There's nothing groundbreaking but everything is done well, even if it doesn't transcend the rather workmanlike script. Robert Elswit's cinematography has a subdued visual flair that gets livelier during the tennis scenes (which are terrific), with color grading that matches the…

  • Belfast

    Belfast

    ★★½

    Kenneth Branagh is practically begging for his film to be compared to Roma. Digital black & white, a remembrance of childhood and the political unrest in the background, the nobility of the working class. Except that Belfast is nowhere near as good as Roma. This is being pitched as this awards season's crowd pleaser, but I certainly was not pleased! It's as dull as it is gray.

    Aside from a couple standout setpieces, I didn't get very interested in the story,…