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  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    Five quick takeaways from The Lighthouse:

    1. Unless you are an anglophile or someone who can easily digest old-world English, please do yourself a favor and watch this one with subtitles. The banter between Pattinson (Thomas Howard) and Dafoe (Thomas Wake) is completely hilarious, and each phrase should be savored with full comprehension of what they are saying.

    2. Is this the best story of madness at / by the sea since Moby Dick?

    3. The hallucinatory, chiaroscuro images during…

  • Queen & Slim

    Queen & Slim

    Five takeaways from Queen & Slim:

    1. Overlooking some of the unbelievable narrative contrivances / coincidences of this film, I really loved almost every scene. Kaluuya and Turner-Smith are excellent. From the opening diner scene to the last shots on the runway tarmac I was enchanted by their banter and tense, romantic magnetism. A truly ripe and memorable riff on Bonnie & Clyde that adds something fresh and completely deserves to be recognized as an essential entry into the canon of lovers…

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  • The Cleanse

    The Cleanse

    Five quickly disgorged takeaways from The Cleanse:

    1. There is no denying that a smart conceit gurgles at the center of the film: a cleansing retreat where purged toxins transform into mini monsters. Very Cronenberg-lite, I could see the metaphysical dimensions of the characters’ reanimated barf being treated by a smarter screenplay with a ton of Freudian intrigue.

    2. Despite churning with potential, the film itself is thin and underdeveloped. The main character is too smitten by the female lead,…

  • Claire's Camera

    Claire's Camera

    Ten snapshot takeaways from Claire’s Camera:

    1. I'm not sure if it is intentional or not, but Hong Sang Soo is the master of depicting awkward English-as-a-2nd language conversations between strangers of varying nationalities. The crazy thing is I sincerely cannot get a gauge on whether he knows the interactions are maladroit and clumsy, or is simply trying to be cosmopolitan and his naturally tone-deaf to English. Whatever the case, having taught English in Korea for 5 years and having…

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  • Modern Romance

    Modern Romance

    Ten postmodern takeaways from Modern Romance:

    1. This film would make a great double feature with Jon Favreau's Swingers.

    2. Both films, Swingers & Modern Romance, use answering machines to comedic gold. This film really maximizes the motif of phones to perfection. Long-distance calls, phone booths, and even calling cards make a great cameo. But Swingers ends with perhaps the greatest answering machine message of all time.

    3. I almost bought that Albert Brooks's Robert could have courted Kathryn Harrold's Mary…

  • The Prom

    The Prom

    On a serious note, it is quite shitty that James Corden was cast for this role. We need more authentic representation. But it is also kind of shitty that so many people are so easily willing to toss an entire movie (which is made by thousands of people and entails thousands upon thousands of decisions) under a proverbial bus because of one shitty decision by the small minority up top (the casting director / producers / studio / possibly director).…