Eighth Grade. I largely can’t relate to this, because I think I was mostly too oblivious in middle school to feel terribly awkward or unfit. The movie is still great, though. Loved the use of the soundtrack, emphasizing the cuts and subjectivity. Great closing speech at the end. Not eloquent but heartfelt, which is maybe better.
A Simple Favor. Pretty fun mix of thriller and comedy and keeps a light touch. Blake Lively has a great role. I dig it.
Memento. Fourth viewing (previously). Joe Pantoliano is superb. Filed under: Christopher Nolan.
Black Panther. Solid entry. Great villain, but our hero is kinda bland. I’m not over the moon with it. Lots of humor falling flat. I selfishly liked seeing the High Museum as a featured setting. Seemed like there’s some Star Wars influence here. Also, love to see MMA becoming a part of the action movie vocabulary. Not just punches and kicks, but the grappling, throws, chokes, holds, etc.. These people should be complete martial artists. The star of the soundtrack was the talking drums. 👌
Spider-Man 2. I took a break from superhero films for a while but couldn’t have found a better way to return. I was just so impressed with this movie. Even more so because I never liked Spider-Man comics. The pace, the stakes, some great slapstick and sight gags. Just firing on all cylinders.
嘉年华 (Angels Wear White). Good drama and melodrama. I like how they show the effects of crime here, spinning out effects in all directions, bringing out good and ill in those who weren’t directly involved.
On the Basis of Sex. Paint-by-numbers biopic. RBG is pretty impressive and I’m glad I know more of her story now. Everyone does their part and we all leave inspired. It’s fine!
Shoplifters. It’s bittersweet and so, so good. I like this improvised family, formed by choice and by happenstance, lasting as long as convenience and commitment allow. But for how long? Lots of beautiful moments – out thieving, on the beach, enjoying a rainy afternoon. I like the “mother’s” transformation over the course of the film. Interesting to see side of Japan I’m not used to – the poor, the neglected. I like this one more and more since the time I saw it.
I’m not of the opinion that a film absolutely needs to have a clear moral framework to have worth, but I do believe that making a film is a moral act. Even if the filmmakers pose questions to which they give no answers, the formulation and presentation of the questions themselves are loaded with a moral reasoning.
On The Vexing Moral Murkiness of “Sicario”.
The Big Sick. Funny, bittersweet rom-com. I should probably watch more comedy. Shout-out to Romano and Hunter. So great in their roles.
The Equalizer 2. I hope they just quietly let this franchise slip into obsolescence. Too much going on here plot-wise, and this edition of McCall seems to have a haranguing Cosby-esque vibe where the first one had more charm. I think the highlight for me was seeing Donald Cerrone’s bit part.
First Reformed. I dig it. Some great performances. I never knew what direction it was going to go.
Heat. Up to 7 or 8 viewings now? (Filed under: Heat). Caught a few more “time” references this go-round. Hanna’s wife offers him coffee before he heads out – can’t, no time. The daughter’s anxiety attack is about being late for her father. And of course the parting shot when Hanna meets with the snitch. One other minor thing: the Pietà statue at the hospital at the beginning of the movie is echoed by our protagonists at the end. I might have to call this my favorite movie.
Roma. It is a seriously beautiful but I left frustrated. In several emotional, daunting, or stressful moments the camera drifts away from our protagonist to just sort of take in the scenery. In form, it seems like it… doesn’t care? She’s a bit of a cipher. Perhaps that’s the point, and the broader time and place is what we’re meant to understand. You can see the climax coming a mile away. I like the water imagery, but the astronauts even more.
Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone. What a delight. These movies could have gone off the rails in a million different ways, but they really came through. Somehow I felt the ~magic~ in this one, like literal gasping. So fun. (Side note: this came out 17 years ago???????)