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The Rider (2017)
Slow - and powerful
Slow, quiet, deep, powerful - and beautiful.
Yes, it's available for streaming now - but try your best to see it on the big screen first.
My throat is still squoze shut.
First Man (2018)
not the Awards magnet we were promised
Neil Armstrong had emotions, and space capsules are claustrophobic.
Two days after seeing First Man, that's about all that has remained with me.
When Chazelle wanted it to be, the cinematography was obviously at times beautiful - but not necessarily groundbreaking.
This isn't the awards magnet we were told it was.
Life Itself (2018)
Take everything good abou Crazy Stupid Love - remove it, and you'll get Life Itself.
An overwrought, self indulgent, formula gone wrong.
Sense8: Amor Vincit Omnia (2018)
turning head off / turning heart on
I just got home from the Sense8 Finale. For much of the film, my brain was judging it harshly. But the love could not be denied. My heart and eyes filled, and now I don't know what to do with myself.
Just watch it for the love, and forgive the rest. It really could've been a third season.
The Titan (2018)
such a wasted opportunity
Why are Netflix films as bad as Netflix series are good? Are these films simply testing grounds for intermediate-level directors, producers, and writers? If so, it shows.
"The Titan" is terribly directed, edited, written, and acted - with the most contrived and unconvincing performance belonging to Taylor Schilling, who should otherwise be the lynchpin for this wreck.
And the story itself? We're told upfront to expect everything that happens as part and parcel of the upcoming journey - and when those events actually occur, we're expected to be amnesiacs, as if these characters hadn't signed up for the horror show into which they're lead.
The 3 stars I give it are for concept and visuals alone.
The tragedy here is that the topics and themes presented are highly worthy of exploration - making this film such a wasted opportunity.
Love, Simon (2018)
I left the theater with a full heart
I didn't think I would, but - I loved it.
The first 15 minutes or so, I cringed a few times, thinking it was going to be too clever, too cute, and too precious for its own good.
But even my cynical, hard-hearted self soon melted with the realization that the intelligence, depth, and charm were all legitimate and sincere.
I left the theater with a full heart and am confident "Love, Simon" will remain with me as one of my favorites of this new film year.
C+ Movie bolstered by A+ Performances
What would have otherwise been a 4/10 movie is elevated by the 10/10 performances of Skarsgård, Rudd, and Theroux - with Rudd, in particular, like you've never experienced him.
Once you've waded through rehashed cyberpunk dystopia (for too long a stretch), this trio of characters might reward you by film's end, and in high Greco-Shakespearean fashion.
Altered Carbon (2018)
Smart, complex, thorough - and visionary
Don't judge this one by its overloaded first episode - and prepare yourself for melodramatic noir and a purposefully confounding plot web.
Smart, complex, thorough - and contributing vision to a genre that can sometimes seem exhausted.