Tomb Raider. So fun! I love how you see our characters growth – a bike race in familiar neighborhoods, a foot chase from some teenage thugs, waterboarding with a showerhead? We get lower stakes, and mistakes, but similar thrills. Even when the difficulty ratchets up, we see a cycle of vulnerability, fear, panic… and then determination. Our hero is not invincible, not inevitable. (Reminds me of Die Hard that way.) I like seeing the increasing influence of MMA in recent action films – more grappling, jujitsu, throws, locks, holds.
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog. Preeeetty good. Theater screening with live accompaniment. So much more beautiful to look at than I expected for something created 90+ years ago. Sometimes it’s hard not to laugh at old-timey-ness (in plot, acting style) of old movies (or books, for that matter), but if you can be present and give yourself over, you’ll see why they’ve stuck around. Filed under: Hitchcock.
Hereditary. I liked it… and it’s completely draining. Just seeps in and grinds you down like the characters. Toni Collette is a master.
It Follows. Loved this movie. Good theme, good creeps, good jumps, great soundtrack.
Chinatown. (Previously). I think my fourth or fifth viewing and worth every one. A perfect movie, pretty much. The pure evil of Noah Cross rings a little too true these days. :(
The Descent. Gets to the point! Set the scene, give me foreboding hints about who’s up to what, then creep me out. Very efficient opening. I’m surprised we haven’t seen more movies set in caves.
Sullivan’s Travels. Second viewing (the first), this time on a big screen. Holds up.
Ninja: Shadow of a Tear. I think you see the title and know what you’re getting into. I still stand by the first Ninja. This one is longer, darker, angrier, but doesn’t quite rise to that level.
Kung Fu Killer. One of the small pleasures of international films is seeing the little differences in societal choices. For example, how the police uniforms and prisoner uniforms are different than what we see in the States. Nothing new here story-wise, but plenty of good fightin’, and the variety of weapons, styles, and freakish athleticism is always fun.
V for Vendetta. Wow, I didn’t remember this being so tedious. What a drag.
Night Moves. Second viewing (the first). I forgot how good this one is, visually. So many shots underscoring the protagonists’ perspective, seeing their environment torn apart, or reshaped, or unappreciated.
Leave No Trace. Loved it. Such a good quiet story. I like melodrama but it’s also nice to see this, too: just naked presentation of people trying to do what they must while trying to take care of each other. Other good movies with Oregonians wrestling with modernity: Old Joy, Night Moves, The Goonies.
Logan Lucky. Preeeetty good. Heist movies are inherently absurd. Just gotta lean into it and I love that this one does. Neat to see scenes with cameos of local regular Atlantans like me. Shaky accents here and there. Can’t shake the feeling that at times it’s mildly classist in a pointing-and-laughing kind of way more than a laughing-with-them way. (Some defensiveness bubbling up, I think – I feel like I notice and feel this more about movies set in the South than movies with similar casts in other regions.) No less fun for it. Filed under: Steven Soderbergh.
Get Out. The more I think about it, the better and better it becomes.
Kannathil Muthamittal (A Peck on the Cheek). Really really liked it. A child is orphaned by war and later seeks out her birth family. Took a couple turns I wasn’t expecting. I was a puddle. Soundtrack has some bangers, too.