Drew has written 21 reviews for films rated ★★★½ .

  • Empire

    Empire

    ★★★½

    I just finished through watching ("watching") all of Empire in one sitting. Selected notes:

    1m It's really overexposed. I can see the outline of the Empire State Building and the peaks of a few other towers are faintly visible. Otherwise it's hard to make anything out.

    18m Much easier to make out the building now. I can see all the setbacks going up it. They're shooting from an odd angle that makes the right side of the building look like…

  • The Nude Vampire

    The Nude Vampire

    ★★★½

    A moody, atmospheric dream in which a young man tries to unravel the mysteries of a vampire woman, a secret society, and how Lemaître ended up in this movie.

  • Schmeerguntz

    Schmeerguntz

    ★★★½

    The montage here is so rapid that I'm just now noticing this may be history's first ironic use of women laughing alone with salad.

  • In Fabric

    In Fabric

    ★★★½

    Peter Strickland's back with more ASMR magick and dumb fun, but if he keeps moving in this direction it's like two more features before he makes Rubber.

  • Everybody Knows

    Everybody Knows

    ★★★½

    Another good melodrama from Farhadi. The opening shots of the old clock tower landed with me, and his attention to the workings of the town is so good that I wish he'd followed that thread to the end.

  • Helter Skelter

    Helter Skelter

    ★★★½

    "The dust settled. O finally! Lilico was propped up against the mirror which reflected her ravishing beauty. A chunk fell off her face showing the bruised rot under her rouge. How can we get to it?

    "Lilico is chatting and smiling beside the ten-foot lips floating among the clouds. She is wrapped in cherry red ruffles. As she plays the scene the makeup lady furtively dabs make-up on her. She stumbles and leaves a glossy pink smear across Lilico’s mouth,…

  • BPM (Beats per Minute)

    BPM (Beats per Minute)

    ★★★½

    The first act is such an absolute powerhouse, I was thrown for a loop when it swung into the relationship drama. The editing made it hard to synthesize the decentralized narrative with the personal narrative, and it wasn't until the ending that I got how they were trying to relate the two modes. That said, so many of the scenes hold up on their own, and seeing the legitimately tender scene where a guy with KS gets jerked off on a 40-foot screen makes me grateful for the Castro Theatre.

  • Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

    Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

    ★★★½

    All of my favorite Wiseman films have understood the value of our time and our work, judging our institutions based on how our society has directed it. In our successes, In Jackson Heights shows us engaged with our communities, listening to constituents' issues, counseling each other, and arguing for the rights and freedoms of our neighbors. At our worst, we stumble thoughtlessly through professional routines: the casually choreographed judicial process in Juvenile Court or the petty discipline of High School.…

  • 4 Days in France

    4 Days in France

    ★★★½

    A road movie, taken literally. The landscapes are beautiful, and it does a nice job playing off the rhythms of Pierre and Paul's lives the first few days.

    The encounters are creatively arranged, particularly some of the hookups. When the Virgin Mary averted her eyes as Pierre fucked under Nadia Oh's watchful gaze, my heart grew a few sizes.

  • Return To Forms

    Return To Forms

    ★★★½

    Return to Forms starts off with an exploration of the synthetic: the textures of synthetic materials, the delicacy of synthetic pop, and the sheen of the synthetic surface. There's a long tracking shot, almost a virtual tour, through the interior of a furnished apartment that outlasts the music. A facile reading, especially of the first half, would be a vaporwave-y comment on consumer culture.

    It left me feeling a bit more ambiguous, in part because I'm incapable of viewing Lesley…

  • Revenge of the Cheerleaders

    Revenge of the Cheerleaders

    ★★★½

    The first third of this is so anarchic and low-key brilliant. Every scene gets escalates to its final payoff. A phonograph bursts into flame. Some ice cream puns are literalized as a sundae with whipped cream gushes through a guy's hand. A food fight threatens to go full actionist, before cutting to a room filled with bubbles. I think I audibly gasped when that happened.

    It's overwhelming and probably not sustainable for a feature-length. So as the plot unfolds, the…

  • Articulation of Boolean Algebra for Film Opticals

    Articulation of Boolean Algebra for Film Opticals

    ★★★½

    Really captivating to watch once it starts to fall into a groove. Unfortunately, having the picture and sound printed together means there's a 1-second delay for the audio, which lessens the impact some.