Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Cold Pursuit (2019)
A European crime fantasia set in the "Rockies"
This movie was much stranger than I expected and is definitely not just another movie where Liam Neeson kills 50 people. Okay, he still probably kills like 10, but he's not the sole focus of the movie and the tone is more dark comedy than revenge thriller.
The movie has a very, very mordant humor to it that feels very Scandinavian - Fargo might be another point of comparison, though Fargo is a far superior movie. The biggest problem with this movie is it just doesn't feel like America - it's very clearly a foreign director trying to imagine what living in the Rockies would be like. Denver is portrayed as this futuristic modernist dystopia a la Geneva or Oslo filled with all-glass houses and world-class disco clubs.
Psychedelic art horror opera
I've never seen the Dario Argento film so I can't judge but I feel like a lot of critics are hung up on the fact that it's not very faithful to the original. Did they really think a filmmaker as interest as Guadagnino would be content to just do a remake?
Dakota Johnson is stunning. Choreography downright disturbing. Gorgeous, creepy score by Thom Yorke. Genuinely repulsive, dream-like imagery. Cool setting in Cold War Berlin. Great friendship chemistry between the two female leads. Overall a stomach-turning feast for the senses. I didnt find it to be as confusing as the reviews made it seem. The plot may be a bit predictable, but this is a film about a creeping sense of dread and the almost inevitability of sacrifice and the succession of power, not whether good or evil will win out.
On the downside, even I have to admit the ending goes completely over the top, and the story of the old man and his wife either takes up too much time or isn't developed enough for us to really care like we do about the girls at the dance school.
Beautifully terrible people
Much better than expected. I'll be honest, something about the promo campaign turned me off, and I really only started watching bc it's HBO and it seemed like a better bet than some random Netflix series. I quickly got hooked. It is very much in the style of the Big Short, minus any attempt to understand business and economics.
I don't understand the reviewers complaining about the likeability of the characters. They're meant to be hated! This is after all a thinly fictionalized version of the Murdoch family, a group of people most to blame for the current state of the world. Characters don't have to be likable to be interesting and/or funny. Like many reviewers, I have to shout out Tom as both the funniest and the scariest character on this show, often at the same time.
Whether you watch it as a hilarious, grown-up version of Arrested Development, or as a searing indictment of the men-children who bestride our society like medieval kings, this show has a lot to offer. The only thing I wouldn't say it has to any depth is a real understanding of business - this is definitely a family/character affair, and not in any way a realistic look at how a corporation this massive is run.
Eighth Grade (2018)
Strong debut, not quite worth the hype
This is a solid coming-of-age/slice of life story about a modern teenager. It is a strong debut for both director and the main actress, but it's hard for me to understand how it has gotten such insanely positive reviews and won awards from prestigious film festivals. Probably more edifying if you are an older adult who didn't grow up with social media, maybe that explains the hype from professional critics. As a 20-something, it didn't feel that different from my own teenage years, so while it does get some point for realism it was not a revelation.
Leave No Trace (2018)
Meditative journey through the Pacific Northwest
The first 30 minutes of this film, I would rate as a 9 or even a 10. We are immersed in the soft, jade glow of the Pacific rainforest, and the quiet intimate life of two people who barely need language to communicate. Their relationship with nature is practical and intuitive rather than sentimental and abstract. When the characters do visit the city, it feels cold and alien, full of possibilities but also dangers.
Both actors are amazing, especially the young girl. For a young actress to express such mixed emotions clearly is very impressive. The movie has a very rooted sense of place. I was at a Q & A with the director and it was clear she made a very thorough effort to choose locations and actors (professional and amateurs) with an eye for realism.
I only knock this story because the arc is fairly predictable. For an American movie there is remarkably little plot and no villain or hero. It was hard to decide between a 7 and an 8.
Sorry to Bother You (2018)
Hilarious and nearly impossible to figure out where the movie is going to go next. The corporate satire is appropriate for the moment and the dystopian future is silly enough that it works. This movie doesn't take itself too seriously.
The performances are what set this apart from just being a good comedy. Lakeith Stanfield brings the stoned, skeptical, world-weary vibe of Darius from Atlanta. Armie Hammer dominates as usual and Tessa Thompson is luminescent and serves as much more than just the necessary love interest.
Only Disney Star Wars that comes close to George Lucas
I don't understand the hate for this movie. In my opinion it is by far the best Disney SW movie and the only one I wish I had seen in theaters. Echoes of The Empire Strikes Back for sure but not a hack remake like The Force Awakens or a B-movie with a blockbuster budget like Solo or Rogue 1. The new actors are fine, Mark Hamill does a good job and so does Carrie Fisher. Luke's island and the casino are visually cool. Is it my favorite Star Wars movie? No, not by a long shot, but it's the only Disney one that tries to be anything more than mindless entertainment. After TFA I almost didn't even watch this but I'm glad I did and I'm actually excited now for the conclusion to the story.
A remake, not a reboot
The Force Awakens is by far the worst Star Wars movie, in my opinion, because it has zero originality. It is almost literally a scene-by-scene remake of A New Hope. If they had made that clear, maybe I wouldn't hate it, but trying to present it as a new story is just a joke.
It's almost like they went down a checklist. Orphan on a desert planet? Check. Evil empire massacres people while searching for secret plans? Check. Escape from planet-destroying superweapon? Oedipal conflict? Ragtag band of underdog rebels? Check. The only differences are a more diverse cast and updated (but somehow less striking and impressive) visual effects.
The only reason I don't give it a 1 is because the casting and acting are pretty good and it sets up The Last Jedi, which is actually worth seeing. On the other hand, I almost passed on watching it because this was so bad that I was sure Disney could not make a good Star Wars movie.
Love on the Run (1936)
an excellent and touching conclusion to the story of Antoine Doinel
I don't understand the poor reviews this movie gets. It's certainly not the strongest of the Antoine Doinel films, but if you have followed the story this far, it is very much worth seeing and provides an excellent conclusion. I should add that this movie will make absolutely zero sense if you have not seen all of the previous Doinel films, including the short one about Collette. In fact, I was somewhat astounded by how this film managed to tie all the loose ends together while still having something of an independent story. It is some years later, and after a long separation, Antoine and Christine are finally getting divorced. At the courthouse, Collette, now a lawyer, sees Antoine, and their troubled love lives become entangled. Antoine has a new lover but his relationship is not going well and of course, it all goes back to his mother. By the end you are really rooting for Antoine and Collette, and while the ending is a little sappy, after so much uncertainty and all the struggles he has faced it brought a smile to my face.