• Marriage Story

    Marriage Story

    Loved most of it, except for the two Big Scenes (the apartment fight and Being Alive). Some overly cute stuff (the note at the end), and some iffy performance moments.

    Really highlights what a high wire act Allen’s 70s movies were (Manhattan, especially), and how Allen created comedy and drama as mutually reinforcing tones, etc, as opposed to “here’s a funny bit, now here’s a sad bit”.

  • Godzilla vs. Kong

    Godzilla vs. Kong

    I will (and have) happily watch a human get skinned, tortured and worn like a suit in a horror movie, but I had to look away anytime the monkey got hurt.

    Anyway, no amount of neon can save you from this script, Adam Wingard.

  • Superman Returns

    Superman Returns

    Bryan Singer and Kevin Spacey walk into a bar...

    And then walk out cause there aren't any underage boys in it.

  • Harlan County U.S.A.

    Harlan County U.S.A.

    There is power in a union.

  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

    South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

    Trey Parker is a genius. His range of skills is shockingly wide: satire, farce, vaudevillian word games, deep character work, lightning fast political commentary, music that Sondheim could envy.

    But there’s always a but. Sometimes it’s the transphobia around Mr. Garrison, or just weird punching-down mean spiritedness, or (as in this case) the whole tiresome Saddam Hussein thing.

    Outside of that, it’s killer.

  • Love and Death

    Love and Death

    A bit too much of a pure joke machine to rank among writer/director/rapist Woody Allen’s best work, but the jokes are good and the misogyny is a little less thundering than it can sometimes be with him, so let’s call it a win.

  • Zack Snyder's Justice League

    Zack Snyder's Justice League

    An improvement, sure, but had this come out without the Snyder-good/Whedon-bad metanarrative it would have been absolutely trashed.

    There’s some cool stuff in it, but it’s tooooo long, at a core craft level. Dozens of unnecessary shots, and a fair few unnecessary scenes.

    Steppenwolf is in no way improved by his backstory, imo. Martian Manhunter’s reveal was clearly designed to be a post-credits sequence and it’s weird that it closes the movie. The less said about the performances, the better.…

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Scary Boy vs. Special Boy: Dawn of the Very Tough Boys.

    Overall, I prefer Snyder’s vision of these characters as deranged gods to Marvel’s assembly line of Very Cool And Relatable Guyz. I also struggle to come up with any cinematically memorable images from the MCU, and there are plenty here. (Snyder is nothing if not a talented image maker)

    But that’s about as far as it goes, as Snyder & co. don’t have the formal writing chops to elevate their…

  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

    Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

    The Good: Karen Gillan, the complete absence of massive sections of the usual hero’s journey, Karen Gillan, the commitment to the premise, the few location shots, Dwayne Johnson when he doesn’t have to carry a scene emotionally, Karen Gillan

    The Bad: Dwayne Johnson when he has to carry a scene emotionally, the CGI work, about 2/3 of the gags, the story’s confusion about whether it’s centered on a best friend dynamic or a romance, the massive waste of Bobby Canavale.…

  • Where Is My Friend's House?

    Where Is My Friend's House?

    I don't know if Kiarostami is my favorite director, but his body of work has my favorite personality of any director, if that makes sense. His humanism is really similar to my personal ideas about kindness, justice, etc, to the point that encountering him gives me that kindred-spirit-in-art feeling (don't you just love that?), that I really only get from him, Chekhov, James Baldwin and Willa Cather.

    Anyway, this movie fucking rules.

  • Avatar

    Avatar

    Oh, it's not original? Go on, tell me about how original Star Wars is.

    (I will give you that it's dumb as a bag of rocks and its politics belong somewhere in the 1880s and Sam Worthington is where charisma goes to die, but who caaaaaares it's got an actual sense of scale, I just wanna see sci-fi stuff and this has SO MUCH of it.)

  • WandaVision

    WandaVision

    Stuck it out to the end. Have nothing more to say except that the Westview Hex is the most perfect metaphor possible for Disney’s place in American culture.