Allied

Allied. Second viewing (the first). The seams showed a bit more and the pastiche was more apparent and I liked it more because of it, I think. The too-clean appearance heightens the fairy tale, like memory tends to soften things. Noticed a few fun edits, like the lightning shifting to the lantern on the landing strip, and the beats of the final gunshots at the tank crew matched by the curtains being drawn open. I also liked the parallels with two big decisions happening in cars – once during the sandstorm, again in the rain at the airstrip.

Carrie

Carrie. Last time I saw this was middle school I think. Long time ago. So sad, wrenching. We remember the mad scene for good reason, but build-up to it at the prom is exquisite.

Streets of Fire

Streets of Fire. It’s such a good mash-up. Combine a western-style rescue movie with hardboiled dialogue (Michael Pare has a good John Wayne-ish drawl to his delivery sometimes), and set it in a rockabilly + ’80s glam alternate universe, and take some musical breaks. It stays pretty high-energy and moves along quickly. Early work from Diane Lane, Willem Dafoe, Bill Paxton, Rick Moranis. It’s just plain fun.

The Revenant

The Revenant. Second viewing (the first). I appreciate it so much more this time around. Jumping out this time were the recurring trees that save his life or support him throughout. (“The wind cannot defeat a tree with strong roots. If you look at its branches, you swear it will fall. But if you watch the trunk, you see its stability.”) Like when he uses a branch as a cane. Or when injured, he’s hauled on a pallet of branches. When leaving his son for the last time, he turns away and props himself on a tree trunk. When escaping downriver, he floats on a log. He’s sheltered by an impromptu branch hut during a storm, a tree breaks his fall from a cliff, a tree branch makes a decoy when trying to lure Fitzgerald out of hiding. I also liked the nature interludes – elk crossing a river, buffalo stampede, avalanche – that make this epic tale seem so small, and nature indifferent.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I liked it, overall, and it had just enough small things to drive me a little nuts. Snoke is a misfire (just call Ed Harris! You have the budget!), and so were the various little animals. That one ship’s jump to light speed was sublime. And very good space debris throughout. I like our time with Rey and Kylo, and Poe’s debacles. Finn was wasted, unfortunately. Benicio Del Toro is the best, but I wish they could have found him some other way. The space chase could and should have been gut-wrenching, but something about the cuts and pacing made it just sort of… there. I wonder how I’ll feel whenever I rewatch it again. Of the latest batch, this ranks behind Rogue One. Filed under: Star Wars.