Vadim has written 4 reviews for films rated ★★★★½ .

  • Yi Yi

    Yi Yi

    ★★★★½

    "The most endearing character—Ota, Issey Ogata’s nearly saintly Japanese video game mogul—is now the oddest element. The skyscraper where dad NJ (Wu Nien-jen) works has an amazing view, enhanced by pigeons regularly flying out at pretty magical moments—a real gift to any shoot, since I can’t imagine bird wranglers were perched out of frame in a crane (none are listed in the credits anyway). Ogata comes to make his pitch, then—while NJ is conferring with his venal partners about how…

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    ★★★★½

    I've seen this many times.

    • People watch so much television in this: wherever you are in a domestic space, it's probably also there, an unquestioned omnipresence (that will turn sinister in Poltergeist) indiscriminately rotating through "Days of Our Lives," Budweiser commercials, The Ten Commandments, Marvin the Martian and the evening news; sometimes the footage is contrapuntal and relevant to on-screen action, but sometimes just there, gassing on. As far as I can tell from the cinematic record, people spent…

  • Zodiac

    Zodiac

    ★★★★½

    4th viewing, no change in response. The obsessiveness on display can be a metaphor for any kind of fixation, though to my over-exposed eyes it can be a cautionary tale about cinemania ("Was he into movies? Was he a movie buff?" "I can tell you that he was not into people.") Only new thing I noticed was a textbook, film-school-approved graphic match between a diagonal line of text and the Golden Gate Bridge: words inscribe the landscape — with terror! Just a perfectly made film, richer than it knows, delivering information and melancholy with equal measure.

  • Donnie Darko

    Donnie Darko

    ★★★★½

    1) The best thing that ever happened to this movie/Richard Kelly's career was his producers insisting Kelly cut it down to 120 minutes. The director's cut is basically an extremely dull/dry tract on time travel, one whose pedanticism is dependent on chunks of Stephen Hawking and an understanding of quantum physics I neither care about nor can master. I knew nothing about wormholes etc. when I first saw this and had no idea what the fuck was going on. Now…