Joshua Booker

Joshua Booker

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Film critic groupie. The four favorite films change frequently, randomly selected from the hundreds I love.

Favorite films

  • Sweetie
  • A Story of Floating Weeds
  • Talk to Her
  • The Wolf House

Recent activity

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  • The Black Stallion

    ★★★★½

  • The Swarm

    ★★

  • Mirai

    ★★★★

  • Meander

    ★★½

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  • Get Out

    Get Out

    ★★½

    Let’s get the good out of the way first. Between the Key and Peele duo, Jordan always seemed to be the more cerebral and deliberate (and talented) half, and much of the first half of GET OUT delivers on his promise. The pre-title sequence is among the best staged horror I’ve seen post-SCREAM. The camerawork on display, with his ability to deploy intricate tracking shots and extreme closeups, is pretty rare for a feature debut and reminiscent of Shyamalan’s poise.…

  • Seaspiracy

    Seaspiracy

    ★★★

    Much has been written about the factual claims of this film, which I'm very much interested in as a wildlife biologist who has rubbed shoulders with fisheries biologists my entire career (including a brief stint emulating one myself). The best article on the topic is this one from a university-adjacent NGO. I agree with most of the fact checks therein, although it does present some of the research as more definitive than really it is and engages in a bit…

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  • Mirai

    Mirai

    ★★★★

    My first Hosoda. Does he always teleport to animated worlds to film his pictures or nah?

  • The Black Stallion

    The Black Stallion

    ★★★★½

    Kids gave up on this 20 minutes in, but I was enraptured by the verisimilitude. Feels like a documentary in the best places, to the point where I’m positive there was ample animal abuse  and drunk actors behind the scenes (and yet I can’t find any bad stories written up). Now I see where Ang Lee got inspiration from for LIFE OF Pi. Was not feeling the turn into sports film, but it’s portrayal of the speed and power of these animals won me over (and I fucking hate horses). Incredible score, editing, and sound. Teri Garr is a weak spot in a strong cast.

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  • Candyman

    Candyman

    ★½

    Really had me thinking this was going to be a self-satire at one point, but no; it’s deadly serious. And yet, not suspenseful at all. DaCosta seems to have no feel for building tension, leaning heavily instead on passive body horror (they were real proud of that hand makeup, huh?).

    Can’t wait for all my regular film podcasts to trot out their black friend to gush about how important this film is 🙄

  • Tell Me Who I Am

    Tell Me Who I Am

    ★★½

    There’s a scene late in the film where the brothers tearfully hug each other awkwardly across a small table, and it feels representative of the entire doc. There’s obviously extreme emotions on both sides, but the staged artificiality keeps getting in the way. All of the fake re-creations, while maybe thematically cogent, don’t help to unbury the decades of trauma.