‘Ronin’

In which hit-persons do a terrible job of killing each other, and unintentionally do a marvelous job of terrorizing European cities. The characters are all cold professionals. The film, likewise, leaves me a bit cold. The top-notch cast and car chase scenes make this movie memorable.

I’m No Angel

This is the first Mae West movie I’ve seen. It’s strange! West certainly has on-screen charisma and delivers clever comebacks. Buuut since she wrote the script, that also means most of the runtime is devoted to showing off how cool and rich her character — and by extension, she — is. Although I give …

The Boy and the Heron

It’s always worth watching Miyazaki’s gorgeous watercolor paintings on the big screen. With that said… this is my least favorite Miyazaki film 🙊 It’s trying to be too many movies at once. And similar to Princess Mononoke’s last act, this world’s rules feel made up and scrambled together. And thanks …

Lars and the Real Girl

I would have hated this movie as a cynical 18-year-old, but I appreciate the story’s maturity and optimism. It’s lovely and sweet. Ryan Gosling’s dramatic performances usually leave me cold, but there’s so much depth to his acting here — I’m blown away.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

My favorite movie from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’m so glad that on rewatch 22 years later, it still holds up. It’s truly epic, and I love how the actors and filmmakers treat the source material seriously. On this viewing, three things stood out: That decaying remnants of …

Basquiat

I’m grateful that my friend Brian Hibbert recommended Basquiat. It’s a cool film with an amazing cast! I’ll quote Brian from our message thread: It’s one of the best films about… like the friction between art and commerce. One of the cool things about that film is that it was …

Inception

Watching this 13 years after its release, where we’re saturated with movies with multi-verses, Inception takes a long time and many pages of dialogue to get the plot started. Everyone is so damn chatty! Thankfully, the scale and spectacle still dazzle. Especially when the cross-cutting and …

Logan

I watched Logan back in 2017, in a second run theater full of parents and their young kids. It was disturbing, hearing the adults cheer loudly whenever a character got brutally maimed. And like John Connor watching boys fight in Terminator 2, it made me question how any of us turn out OK. Rewatching …

Oppenheimer

I’m in the minority with this opinion: Nolan has a tendency to tell, rather than show, even though he often shoots with large film formats like IMAX. Take the strange lack of scale in Dunkirk, where Nolan managed to make thousands of British soldiers evacuating feel like a small-scale affair. …

Wild Tigers I Have Known

I tried watching “Wild Tigers” back in 2007, when I was starting college, but just couldn’t get into it. I’m glad Altered Innocence re-released it in multiple formats, with a beautiful new transfer. The movie sits at this important, transitionary phase in indie films, and with gay and trans …

Y tu mamá también

The 2000s-era Mexico captured here feels so alive. I love how every moment has something going on in the background and foreground. The three horny main characters are messy and complicated and beautiful — just like their country.
I love Children of Men, too, but I find myself returning to this …

Barbie

The entertainment industry is only possible because of the necessary tension between art and commerce. No movie I’ve seen explores that intersection better than “Barbie.” I loved it. Tangentially, this would make for a great double feature with “Josie and the Pussy …

The Truman Show

In hindsight, the sailing scene was perfect training for Peter Weir’s next film — and one of my personal favorites — Master and Commander. I appreciate how the movie doesn’t overstay its welcome and ends at precisely the right moment.

Clueless

Very charming and sweet! It’s better than I remember, and has actually aged better than Mean Girls, which came out a decade later.

Goodfellas

That Scorsese fella sure makes filmmaking look easy. This movie flies right by, despite all the murder and mayhem. And as a cinematography major, the camerawork here is just chef’s kiss Side note: I was pleasantly surprised to see Isiah Whitlock Jr. in a brief scene as a doctor. You know, the …

The Fabelmans

I had the exact same experience as the boy in this movie. It’s 1995. I’m six years old, and my parents are driving us by all the homes in the neighborhood with Christmas lights on them. I asked my parents why we didn’t put lights on our house. They said it’s because we’re Jewish. To which I replied: …

John Wick: Chapter 4

How kids-in-mind-dot-com gave this movie only a 9/10 for violence is beyond me — it’s certainly a 10/10 in that regard. The Raid 2 and Mission: Impossible – Fallout are still my favorite action movies, because they’re better written, but this may be my favorite John Wick installment. The sequence in …

You Only Live Twice

In many ways, this is peak Bond: Ken Adam’s iconic sets, Blofeld with the white cat, and the score. And I appreciate that the hollowed out volcano inspired the hosts of one of my favorite podcasts, Bionic. But the pacing feels slow compared, particularly whenever spaceship models are on-screen …

“Inglorious Basterds” is still entertaining 14 years after its release. The plot is revenge fantasy that lapses into revenge porn, so there isn’t much tension in the last act… I’m conflicted. Also, why is Christoph Waltz only good in Tarantino movies?

Rewatching 'Looper'

The plot is entertaining, but Pierce Gagnon’s gem of a performance makes that final act shine. (Rewatched at the Bay Theater with Other Max.)

Rewatching 'Blade Runner' for the First Time Since 2007

I was afraid “Blade Runner” wouldn’t hold up on rewatch, but it mostly does! The cinematography, visual effects, and production design are stunning. The protagonist sexually assaulting someone so they fall in love with him… not so much. I actually prefer the sequel, “Blade Runner 2049,” because its …