Drew has written 6 reviews for films rated ★★★ during 2017.

  • LA 92

    LA 92

    ★★★

    As much as LA 92 seems to believe that it can reach truths about the LA riots by avoiding intrusive voiceovers and interviews with talking heads, it basically elides some of the more important questions that surround the violence. The film largely limits itself to issues around the parties involved in the riot—ongoing police brutality, hand-wringing about Koreatown as a "merchant class" exploiting black neighborhoods. This ultimately puts the audience's focus on what happened rather than why, turning the story…

  • Luminous Procuress

    Luminous Procuress

    ★★★

    My eyes can't handle all this beauty.

    (But seriously, making a keyhole film of this length is actually really exhausting to watch and doesn't do the production design justice.)

  • Autumn

    Autumn

    ★★★

    There are some beautiful compositions here where the windows layer multiple images on top of each other to form these spatially absurd collages that transform themselves based on people or vehicles moving by. Those bits are pretty terrific.

  • Birth of a Nation

    Birth of a Nation

    ★★★

    It was really curious to see Birth of a Nation since it had footage of what was happening inside the gates, which I never got to see. My own experience was a bit more disorienting, probably because I was moving around more. There were dense crowds scattered throughout, and it was never clear where you were going to find them and what would be happening around a given corner. But most of the blocks were empty, and Cohen absolutely captured…

  • Times Square

    Times Square

    ★★★

    Most of the narrative felt distracting, particularly the parts involving Tim Curry. Even the soundtrack, which I loved, felt like it overwhelmed some really beautiful scenes. All the improvised moments where the girls got to frolic through a huge concrete playground. Or the first (and probably only) moment where a parent sees their daughter out in the world, entirely unselfconscious. That was pretty great.

  • Three Examples of Myself as Queen

    Three Examples of Myself as Queen

    ★★★

    The first skit was right up my alley. An Arabian—or "Arabian", think Montez and Von Sternberg—princess fights off the impending threat of a French New Wave ennui intruding on the narrative. She rounds up her harem, and everything turns Busby Berkeley. It's a clothesline on which Anna Biller hangs some great set pieces and costumes.

    The second skit has more of Biller reclining languorously and tries not to wear out its welcome before collapsing into bee puns. The third had…