Reviews

Review: After Yang

Review: After Yang

Year: 2021 | Rating: Ho-ly shit. These are the kinds of experiences that keep me coming back to the movies day after day, week after week, year after year. From opening dance sequence to the last scene, I was mesmerized by this moving and thought-provoking piece of cinematic art. Writer-director Kogonada is 2-for-2, and After Yang just might even be better than Columbus (2017). Many (some may say "too many") films are being made right now that attempt to reconcile the growing role that technology has in our lives with the desire to maintain our "humanism," and too often those themes are tackled with…
Read More
Review: Drive My Car

Review: Drive My Car

Original title: Doraibu mai kâYear: 2021 | Rating: Drive My Car is the perfect film for the time in which we live, a time in modern society in which an unprecedented number of people are losing people that they care about. Death currently surrounds us on a global scale that humans have rarely throughout history experienced all at the same time -- over six million people have died from COVID-19 worldwide as of the writing of this review, nearly one million of those in the United States alone. At this point, most people now knew someone who has died during…
Read More
Review: The Batman

Review: The Batman

Year: 2022 | Rating: There are some things I liked and some things I didn’t like about The Batman, so here are some notes: Likes: There have been many films, TV shows and other media released in the past few years that have tried to portray the perverse charm and charisma required of a leader of a fringe cult to cultivate their own homegrown terrorist cell, and I have never seen it captured as well as it is here. Not only is the script airtight in its depiction of a crazed madman finding his audience over the course of time,…
Read More
Review: West Side Story (2021)

Review: West Side Story (2021)

Year: 2021 | Rating: Was West Side Story a remake that needed to happen? Now, listen, I know that a lot of people enjoyed this, but hear me out: By updating the visuals to modern standards and giving this film a grittier tone than the 1961 original, director Steven Spielberg and writer Tony Kushner have done a disservice to Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's songs by creating a tonal dissonance that modern audiences might be more inclined to blame on those songs due to them being the "outdated" part of the equation. And that's even if you consider the modern…
Read More
Review: The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Review: The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Year: 2021 | Rating: Wow, The Mitchells vs. the Machines was...surprisingly and aggressively bad. To be fair, it's really the third act where the whole kit and caboodle completely and utterly falls apart. The film starts off well enough with some good, slow family drama that you don't always see in animated movies like these. The middle of the movie starts to have some problems, mostly with plot logic issues, but there're some funny moments sprinkled in and it's at least engaging. But then the last third makes absolutely no sense, triples down on the cutaways that were only mildly…
Read More
Review: Licorice Pizza

Review: Licorice Pizza

Year: 2021 | Rating: Whew, boy. I have a lot of thoughts about Licorice Pizza. Like, a lot; maybe more thoughts than I had about any other film of the past year. I will do my best to organize those thoughts in a semi-readable manner. It should be noted before we get into the nitty-gritty of this review that I am decidedly not a Paul Thomas Anderson fan. Of the films of his that I've seen, the only one that spoke to me in a way that was consistent with critical and audience consensus was There Will Be Blood (which I consider a genuine masterpiece);…
Read More
Review: The Tragedy of Macbeth

Review: The Tragedy of Macbeth

Year: 2021 | Rating: As someone who has always been less fond of the Coen Brothers' films than most of my cinephile comrades, I went into The Tragedy of Macbeth with tempered expectations, even with the glowing praise that has been heaped onto it since its premiere at the New York Film Festival in September 2021. Well, I must say that those expectations have absolutely been blown out of the water. This film is easily one of the crowning achievements in film in 2021. Having never been exposed to much Shakespeare, I must admit that much of the language of the script…
Read More
Review: Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary

Review: Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary

Year: 2016 | Rating: After five years of being basically inaccessible to American audiences outside of a few select IMAX screenings across the country, MUBI has finally made the IMAX cut of Terrence Malick's Voyage of Time widely available for the first time. It's worth noting, for those who don't know, that there are actually two versions of this film: a feature-length version featuring narration by Cate Blanchett, and a shorter, 45-minute version designed to be shown in IMAX theaters in science centers and other institutions, narrated by Brad Pitt. It's the latter version of this documentary that is currently streaming on…
Read More
Review: The Hand of God

Review: The Hand of God

Original title: È stata la mano di DioYear: 2021 | Rating: A buddy from work and I were talking about The Hand of God maybe a week ago, and he asked me if this movie had anything to do with the Maradona goal that shares its title. I replied that I didn't really know that much about the film, but based on what I had heard, probably not. Shows how much I know. Significantly more intimate and subdued than director Paolo Sorrentino's 2013 masterpiece The Great Beauty, The Hand of God is also somewhat less profound that the former, but I question if…
Read More
Review: 20th Century Women

Review: 20th Century Women

Year: 2016 | Rating: Oh my God, Mike Mills. I'm simultaneously so thrilled and yet so angry that I've discovered his work in the past couple of weeks, first with the revelatory C'mon C'mon (2021) and now with 20th Century Women, a film which admittedly flew under my radar upon release and I am just now catching up on. I'm angry because, as I mentioned in my review for C'mon C'mon, Mills is making the movies that I someday wanted to make. There's something unnerving about having the delusion that I had a singular original vision in my head for years shattered by…
Read More