Victor has written 140 reviews for films during 2017.

  • Euphoria

    Euphoria

    ★★★★

    More a celebration of euphoria than an evocation of it. Suits me, pass the party hats.

  • Dunkirk

    Dunkirk

    ★★★★

    The tedium that eventually settles in serves Nolan’s mostly successful portrayal of the absurd, chaotic cruelty of the situation, and of the awful repetitiveness of war in general; I lost count (by design, I think) of how many ships went down, and of the number of times our interchangeable protags nearly drowned. The frantic claustrophobia of those scenes, and the precise, expansive beauty of the airborne ones, are where Dunkirk really shines.

    Some minor mawkishness creeps in, though, and comes…

  • Twin Peaks: The Return

    Twin Peaks: The Return

    “This is us, a people of savage sentimentality, weeping and lifting weights.” —John Jeremiah Sullivan, Pulphead

    “You cannot fuck the future, sir. The future fucks you.” —Hugo Jarry (Stephen Tobolowsky), Deadwood

    Eighteen mesmerizing hours of whimsy and lament, resignation and acceptance, extraordinary warmth and extravagant cruelty, and profound fan disservice. Bravo.

  • Satan’s Triangle

    Satan’s Triangle

    ★★★½

    My Christmas spook movie, chosen at random. Good stuff — McClure and Conrad have a fun chemistry, Roley and cinematographer Leonard South keep things moving in an interesting, creepy way, and Kim Novak melts the scenery. Could’ve used more risks (and more than just a hint of sex), but that’s ’70s made-for-TV movies for you. Recommended.

  • María Sabina, mujer espíritu

    María Sabina, mujer espíritu

    ★★★★

    Echeverria knocks us out with some of the tranciest, trippiest visual passages ever filmed, but the resolution to the mystery that drives his movie — did the two grueling mushroom trips meant to cure a woman’s injured and infected leg actually work? — goes unrevealed. This serves his interrogation of how imperialistic ethnography (and its secular cousin, thrill-seeking tourism) can’t help but shape what it observes, while also leaving wide open the question of whether María Sabina is a genuine…

  • Good Time

    Good Time

    ★½

    High on its own supply.

  • Anna Karenina

    Anna Karenina

    ★★½

    Instead of leading me to see the story in some new, different way, the overt theatricality here ultimately seems like cover for Wright not trusting — and not particularly liking — the story at all. Some questionable casting decisions didn’t help, although I did enjoy Vikander and Gleeson. I bet they get that a lot.

  • Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka

    Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka

    ★★★

    A surprising amount of grab-ass, cock-blocks, and winking, Benny Hill Show-level innuendo for an ostensible kids’ movie, and Christmas is aggressively downplayed when it’s not being openly derided (or, occasionally, literalized). The big draws are the rapturously cheap visual effects and that olive-drab, Grinch-like devil who grunts suggestively and seems perpetually on the verge of soiling somebody’s carpet. Good fun all around, then, but also kind of interminable.

  • The Valley of the Bees

    The Valley of the Bees

    ★★★★

    Accept the god-in-everything and even dozens of daily bee stings are tolerable; put your stock in the God-of-man-alone and end up dog food. Either way, love hurts.

    This has the same mesmerizing audiovisual appeal as Marketa Lazarová, but lacks that film’s mirth and heartache and picaresque sprawl. Needed 100% more Vladimír Menšík, maybe.

    Still rapturous and psychologically astute, and holy hell — those death scenes. If you’ve ever wanted to see a pack of German shepherds chase down and slaughter a young deer, this is your movie.

  • Night of the Demon

    Night of the Demon

    ★★½

    Funny, I never pictured Bigfoot as the missionary-style type.

  • The Black Tower

    The Black Tower

    ★★★★½

    Wry, claustrophobic, absurd, and masterfully disorienting. Pretty neat, having my nightmare before bed.

  • Thor: Ragnarok

    Thor: Ragnarok

    ★★½

    The scenes on Planet Goldblum are sweet and loose and kooky, and Blanchett does what she can with lazy writing and bad puns (and a world-class catsuit), but my attention drifted the whole way through. The MCU has entered its contemplative meta-period, fine, good, congrats. Thing is, I’m not going to go see a superhero movie when I’m in the mood for cinematic navel-gazing.

    Also: Scratch an itch often and vigorously enough and the itch just goes away.