Vadim has written 5 reviews for films rated ★★★½ during 2016.

  • The Dreamed Path

    The Dreamed Path

    ★★★½

    "In the tradition of Straub-Huillet, this is a movie that simply cannot conceive of, let alone care about, a hypothetical viewer who should be made happy watching this. It is very much Art For Art’s Sake, and while that can be the excuse for a lot of garbage, its integrity of conception and intent is not up for question. I was, therefore, fascinated by the post-screening Q&A, a ritual I know well enough to avoid but in this case I…

  • Our Little Sister

    Our Little Sister

    ★★★½

    "With its sentimental score, passage of seasons, understated deaths, and aversion to the kind of confrontation that would make viewers truly uncomfortable, this is very much a Kore-eda film, but there’s a steely center: one sister hasn’t gotten completely past her teenage scars and another may never do so, and there’s not much to be done about that. Our Little Sister is deliberately small, but it’s 'nice' (in the most charitable sense) because it’s a safe space to process, acknowledge, and momentarily dispel those feelings."

    Full review here.

  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    ★★★½

    This is a movie made by angry, overgrown infants in the midst of dissolving relationships, and it's somewhat hard to defend; I'm a grown man who checked the junior novelization out from the library a number of times, meaning I weirdly know the plot inside-out but never saw the film except in passing snatches, and it's still hard not to wince at the absurd grotesquerie of the dinner sequence. Dave Kehr wasn't wrong to conclude that "the film betrays no…

  • De Palma

    De Palma

    ★★★½

    "Baumbach and Paltrow don’t remove themselves entirely; when De Palma describes mid-’70s United Artists as a 'classy' studio appalled by Carrie, a quick montage of the studio’s offerings includes a blatantly risible shot of dancing Russian peasants from Fiddler on the Roof, quickly/snidely/accurately making the case for De Palma’s obvious aesthetic superiority to his now-dusty prestige peers. Clearly more comfortable talking to fellow directors than he might be otherwise, De Palma offers up details about each film’s budget and how…

  • 10 Cloverfield Lane

    10 Cloverfield Lane

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Isn't the title a spoiler in and of itself? (If I were a blogger, I could get a whole essay out of this.) After Super 8 and Cloverfield, this is the third J.J. Abrams (affiliated) joint in which the monster is seen almost entirely in total darkness the entire time, for ostensibly motivated reasons related to time of day/location but in reality because that means it's less expensive to realize the CGI beast. I totally get it, but at the…