• Circumstantial Pleasures

    Circumstantial Pleasures

    ★★★

    A collection of animated images from Lewis Klahr, put together in what feels like something vaguely political and mildly interesting and respectable. Towards the end they play a full Scott Walker track over the animation, and like when I finish listening to a Scott Walker album, I recognize the craft and go on with my life, never revisiting

  • Separation

    Separation

    ★★★½

    I've been a fan of Rebekah McKendry as a scholar for years, so always rooting for her as a filmmaker as well.

    I'm glad to say she nailed it with this one. Using body horror to metaphor for more carnal desires and the damage that does in relationships where the love has evaporated.

    I feel this could be expanded to something even cooler.

  • 24 City

    24 City

    ★★★

    Documentary meets verité. Jia Zhangke's chronicle of China's shutdown of factories to make room for luxury apartments and who that impacts.

    I came in knowing Zhangke's style and missed his beautiful photography that doesn't quite mesh to a documentary style. But this is still a smart movie and I ended up appreciating it more than loving to the degree of his other work.

  • Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

    Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

    ★½

    I found the first Escape Room to be a fun ride with creative set pieces and a joy to the games that the eye-rollingly cynical and psuedo-intellectual Saw franchise couldn't ever pull off. This sequel is a mess though. Illogically written to get to the scenarios; the script, characters and traps feel rushed; rules and clues are being thrown at you at a speed the human mind isn't designed to comprehend; characters expositing scientific facts there's no indication they should…

  • Class of 1984

    Class of 1984

    ★★★★

    Death Wish in High School

    I never fully understood what was being said in this movie, as the over-the-top depiction of villainous teens is so big it has to step into satire.

    But it also feels like a warning. But what is the warning? Surely it is a warning for today. Even if I'm not sure what Class of 1984 is fully saying, either path is a warning to a post-2016 America.

    Is Class of 1984, with its depiction of…

  • Basket Case

    Basket Case

    ★★★★½

    You know what's great about Basket Case? Everything. But specifically? THIS is New York. A snapshot of the heart and soul of Manhattan before Giuliani and some reality TV host came in and turned into Disneyland. Basket Case has people from the street - prostitutes, homeless people, junkies - all filling out the cast. Grindhouse cinema's epicenter may have been 42 Street. Well this movie STARS 42nd Street.

    It's such a wonderful snapshot of how I want to think of…

  • Wrong Turn

    Wrong Turn

    ★★★

    Honestly, this was better than it needed to be. They could've easily coasted along on its name alone, which is why remakes are usually bad. Not because remakes are bad by nature, but it's the cynicism behind them, from the inception of the film being a marketing ploy to the fact that the movie just doesn't need to be good, so why try. The name will carry it.

    But this one is really trying. They do a really good job…

  • A Glitch in the Matrix

    A Glitch in the Matrix

    You need a movie recommendation? Well DO I HAVE ONE FOR YOU. Remember all those dudes in high school who wore duster jackets and shopped at Hot Topic and loved The Matrix and were super weird and talked about crazy theories? Do you ever wonder where they are now? Well there's this movie you'll LOVE then. It's called A Glit...what's that? You don't ever wonder where those people are because they've been filling your social media feed for the last…

  • Kung Pow: Enter the Fist

    Kung Pow: Enter the Fist

    ★★½

    Lord I smoked a lot of pot in High school. Memory sure did have me remembering this as a 5/5 masterpiece.

  • White Girl

    White Girl

    ★★★½

    Really engaging short film on Shudder that feels provocative and perhaps a little dangerous in its messaging, but in a way that is ambiguous enough to welcome discussion. Some are calling it misguided, which it may very well be, and some are saying it's brilliant subtext, which is also possibly true. But it walks that line without tipping its hat too much and basically welcomes polarization

  • Sin

    Sin

    ★★½

    I get why some love this Russian/Italian co-production on the life of Michaelangelo. It has a style that walks a thin line between brilliant and off-putting.

    It seems to be scoffing at typical film melodrama, even when the plot calls for it. Instead it's trying to hybrid reality and absurd banality, but at times it just makes it feel stuck between the two. It's best when it flirts with horror, with moments of sprinkling in a score that sounds reminiscent…

  • Yella

    Yella

    ★★★★½

    After not loving and even downright trashing some of Christian Petzold's early shorts on here, but remembering how much I love Phoenix, I needed Yella to make me realize he wasn't just a one-masterpiece anomoly of a filmmaker.

    A semi remake of Carnival of Souls, but heavily grounded in realism, Yella is a story of a woman being stalked by an ex and through happenstance of tragedy meets a new man, who seems to be the same type and general…