Reviews

Review: The Terence Davies Trilogy

Review: The Terence Davies Trilogy

Year: 1983 | Rating: While it would be fair to say that the so-called "Terence Davies trilogy" (consisting of short films Children [1976], Madonna and Child [1980] and Death and Transfiguration [1983]) at many times feels like a thesis for his later feature films Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) and The Long Day Closes (1992) (which, along with "Trilogy," make up an autobiographical trilogy of their own), it's also undeniable that these are the most provocative films that I've seen from Terence Davies so far; Madonna and Child, in particular, feels downright raunchy in a couple of different instances.  This collection of short films is certainly the most outwardly homosexual of…
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Review: Distant Voices, Still Lives

Review: Distant Voices, Still Lives

Year: 1988 | Rating: Simply put, Distant Voices, Still Lives is a beautiful little revelation of a film. The only Terence Davies film I had seen before this was The Long Day Closes (1992), which I consider a masterpiece and one of my favorite films of all time, and as is often the case when the first film I see of a filmmaker's speaks to me so vividly, I had both been looking forward and hesitant to check out more of Davies' work for many years, in the slight fear that none of his other films would affect me as much…
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Review: Happy Together

Review: Happy Together

Original title: Chun gwong cha sitYear: 1997 | Rating: Holy smokes. It's been a long time since I've seen a film in which every single frame feels like an innovation, like something I've truly never seen before. The style that director Wong Kar-Wai, cinematographer Christopher Doyle and editor William Chang achieve with Happy Together is simply remarkable. I doubt that there's anything that I could possibly say about the camerawork that hasn't been said before, so instead I'll just say this: Wow. But beyond that, Happy Together is exactly the kind of film for which Western audiences have been begging for years: a…
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Review: Fire Island

Review: Fire Island

Year: 2022 | Rating: I am literally shocked by the unanimously positive reception that Fire Island has received. I don't check reviews before I watch a film, so it's absolutely blowing my mind that it currently sits at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and 3.7 on Letterboxd. Do we all collectively have a lower bar for gay content? But then again, so do I, and Fire Island still failed to clear it. Horrible voiceover, a horrible main character, a horrible love interest, a confusing timeline, never more than just a chuckle at the few jokes that landed. I also wonder who, exactly, this movie…
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Review: We the Animals

Review: We the Animals

Year: 2018 | Rating: Despite being perhaps the most empathetic art form humans possess, it's surprisingly rare that you can say that a film perfectly evokes the real-life experiences that it portrays. Personally, I've only experienced that feeling less than a handful of times in my life, but it's a high that I chase with every single film that I watch; I'm constantly in the pursuit of that indescribable feeling of being seen, of realizing that somebody else somewhere knows what I've been through and has captured that feeling so that other people can get a better understanding of why I…
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Review: Men

Review: Men

Year: 2022 | Rating: Man, I was on-board with Men for so long. Jessie Buckley is wonderful. The music is spectacular. The camerawork, particularly with the use of focus, is dynamic and interesting. The story mixes the realistic with the abstract just enough to keep you guessing and intrigued. Yes, the "drama" portion of this film is engaging and riveting, even at its slow and deliberate pace. Then right at the beginning of the third act, it's like a switch is flipped and the narrative and style delves straight into Blumhouse cheap-horror territory, and that's where Men begins to lose me. Once…
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Review: The Bob’s Burgers Movie

Review: The Bob’s Burgers Movie

Year: 2022 | Rating: I'm just going to be honest, in the first few minutes of The Bob's Burgers Movie, I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as I realized that one of my most anticipated movies of the year wasn't going to live up to my expectations. The voices, the animation style, the overall tone...it just felt off to me, for reasons that I still can't exactly put my finger on. But then the certified bop of an opening number, "Sunny Side Up Summer," got rolling and I felt much more optimistic that this was going to be a…
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Review: Gaslight

Review: Gaslight

Year: 1944 | Rating: Gaslight is a slow-burn (shameless pun intended). The first half-hour or so was pretty bumpy as the story got established, but once the mystery really deepened and Ingrid Bergman leaned into her virtuosic performance, it really sucked me in and didn't let me go until the very end. What I think I appreciate most about this film is how much the screenwriters chose to give away fairly early in the story, and yet it's still a mystery that throws curveballs at the audience all the way throughout. I daresay that even if I hadn't already known the "twist" thanks…
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Review: Dead Poets Society

Review: Dead Poets Society

Year: 1989 | Rating: I had been putting off watching Dead Poets Society for years at this point because every impression that I've gotten of this film made me believe that it would be a stuffy, cliché product of its time that would really, really not appeal to me. But it was recently selected as the latest entry in an online film club that I follow, and I had watched Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard in Tape (2001) just the day before, so I thought what the hell? I'll give it a shot. After all, every once in a while a…
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Review: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Review: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Year: 1966 | Rating: This is one of the most batshit crazy films I have ever seen in my life. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? walked so that Uncut Gems (2019) and Shiva Baby (2020) could run. I feel like I've been put through the wringer, like I've borne witness to something that I wasn't supposed to see. There's literally nothing that can be said about Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor's legendary performances in this film that hasn't been said before, but I think that an aspect that is often overlooked (in my opinion, due to the massive success and cultural ubiquity of The Graduate [1967]) is how…
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