April 2017 Viewing Log

  1. The Love Witch (16, C+): Gorgeous outfits, but often teeters into the kind of film you discover on MST3K. It’s own ideas often inchoate – April 1, 2017
  2. Jane Eyre (11, B): Tough, cold. Rich and economical in its storytelling. Aesthetically inhabits Jane’s headspace so fully, as does Mia. – April 2, 2017
  3. Zero Dark Thirty (12, B): Uneven realization of livewire narrative culminates in a powerful last act. Fine ensemble, Chastain the weak link – April 2, 2017
  4. Pan’s Labyrinth (06, C): Visually stunning, especially the ghouls. Affecting, not as much as it desires. Blunt politics, cipherish actors. – April 2, 2017
  5. T2: Judgement Day (91, A-): Approaches an Aliens precipice while improving and expanding upon the original in every way. Phenomenal. – April 3, 2017 (Rewatch)
  6. Queen of Katwe (16, B): Delights in and cares all of its characters while following Phiona to glory. Great look, costumes. Such fun! – April 5, 2017
  7. Raw (17, B): Affecting. Casual scenes, revulsions play better than the ostentatious ones. Isn’t college self-discovery fun? Rumpf! – April 5, 2017 (review)
  8. Donnie Darko (01, A-): No tweet this time. (Rewatch)
  9. The Club (US 16, B+): Such strange, horrific textures in realizing this tale of abuse as an infection on attackers, victims, the complicit. – April 6, 2017
  10. Safe (95, A): Whopper of an ending caps an already potent, rich horror story. How can we ever be free? Moore, Haynes and inimitable pair – April 7, 2017 (Rewatch)
  11. The Martian (15, B-): Never feared for Damon’s life. Still compelling, but feels limited. Comic tone, teamwork, space smarts keep it fresh. – April 7, 2017
  12. The Whisperers (67, B): I wish Forbes’ neglected, spooky tone his a richer narrative within its odd tones. That said, Evans is unstoppable. – April 8, 2017
  13. Tyrannosaur (11. B-): Colman breathes life into this potent, nasty work, limited as it is by generic notes, Marsan’s work. Mullan’s fine. – April 8, 2017
  14. Machete (10, D): Surely the worst thing Rodriguez has made. Horrendous look. Political narrative weirdly ineffective. Only gets worse – April 9, 2017
    1. This was bad so I’m gonna watch the Mickey Rourke segment of Sin City to make myself feel better.
  15. Bridges of Spies (15, C+): I think I get nostalgia as a term now. Compelling moments, especially in Berlin. Hanks an asset, Kaminski is not. – April 9, 2017
    1. I truly don’t get the Mark Rylance thing, or how Hanks got no momentum in such a weak field. Bryan Cranston over him? What the fuck
  16. I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore (17, B): Violent parable that remains funny as shit gets even more disastrous. Lynskey, Blair emerge triumphant. – April 10, 2017
  17. Frances Ha (13, B): Triumph of mood, script, characterization in depicting millennial purgatory. Generous to its characters. Always fun(ny). – April 10, 2017
  18. Philomena (13, C+): Tonal variance mostly works, parallels either underplayed or under explored. Economical yet padded. I liked Dench – April 11, 2017
  19. Farewell, My Queen (12, B+): Unsettling tensions only accrue. What laws are worth keeping in the face of imminent death? Three great perfs. – April 11, 2017
  20. Cameraperson (16, B+/A-): History of the world in B-roll vignettes. Of your life in other people’s. So intimate. But who’s Kirsten? – April 13, 2017
    1. There’s a point in the 20th Century Women Film Experience podcast where Nick praises the canon of fiction films that show women fostering ->
    2. and writing and burdened with carrying the history of the world in their lifetimes. This is equally deserving among that esteemed group.
    3. It almost feels like Greta Gerwig’s art project in 20th Century Women realized. A self portrait via her most treasured moments on the job.
  21. Blue Jay (16, B+): Unpacks 20 years of baggage as leads revert to old selves, rhythms, wonder where it all went. Paulson, Duplass revelatory. – April 13, 2017
  22. Little Sister (16, C+): Poor audio, good makeup. Actors help. Gets better at being itself after the death metal baby dance, if never great. – April 14, 2017
  23. Fish Tank (10, A-): An Education, but grottier, with more authentic emotions and characters. Imagination abound in images, direction. – April 14, 2017
  24. Personal Shopper (17, C): More ideas that Clouds but so few sparks. Best in spirit realm. Often tedious. Assayas, Stewart too comfortable. – April 15, 2017 (review)
  25. The Devils (71, A-): Perverse and horrific in every way possible, but stunningly realized without getting marred by its own madness – April 15, 2017
  26. The Tree of Life (11, A): No tweet – April 15, 2017
  27. Your Name (16, A): Body-swap comedy grows more poignant as obstacles separating our heroes seem insurmountable. Beautifully drawn and plotted. – April 17, 2017
  28. In the Valley of Elah (07, C-): Unstoppable thesis meets unsubtle direction. Lame reveal. Weird color. Jones forges a path to quiet glory. – April 18, 2017
  29. Planet Terror (07, B): Such pure, unfettered delight and Rodriguez-y looseness that never makes its aesthetic a hinderance. Fantastic look. – April 18, 2007
  30. Set it Off (96, B): Lead quartet revitalizes a script that struggles to see even them. Keith, soundtrack often embarrass. Latifah indelible – April 19, 2017
  31. Margaret (11, A-/A): Accrues such wide sympathies, thorns, and heartbreaks in its sprawl. Fullness of character, city, and chaos in its mess. – April 19, 2017
  32. Elena (12, A): Suspense within certainty, human passion inside cinematic restraint. We are what we want, and what we’ll do to get it – April 20, 2017
  33. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (62, A): Heroic long shots enable even more heroic performances. Beautiful realization of O’Neil’s prose – April 20, 2017 (review)
  34. Pariah (11, B): Smart, earnest, gorgeously framed and colored drama that works even at its most obvious moments. Applause for all its women. – April 20, 2017
  35. The Midnight Meat Train (08, D): Lurid convictions, some neat images. But ultimately a tasteless, racist, even grosser object as it continues. – April 22, 2017
  36. The Faces of Love (13, C+): Bening, Harris spark. Lonely. Script better than expected. Shoulda been Hansen-Løve’s or Sirk’s. – April 23, 2017
  37. A Bigger Splash (16, B-): Lots of effort to look effortless. Functions without ever settling into itself. Interesting influences. Fiennes!! – April 26, 2017
  38. Free Fire (17, B-): I get the Tarantino comparisons, but when was the last time he made something this taut and energetic? Fun cast – April 26, 2017
  39. The Lost City of Z (17, A-): No tweet – April 26, 2017
  40. What Have I Done to Deserve This? (84, A-): Wonderfully eccentric and warm with all its characters. Almodovar, cast (Maura!) make magic. – April 27, 2017
  41. The Big Short (15, C+): Frenzied and raggedy, kinda smug. Works pretty well within those limits. Good thing that’ll never happen again. – April 27, 2017
  42. Death Proof (07, B): Did you know Tarantino watched 70′s movies? Gripping car chases. Talks like something’s happening when nothing is. – April 28, 2017 (rewatch)
  43. Talk to Her (02, A): No tweet. – April 28, 2017
  44. My Blueberry Nights (07, C): Marries the nothing talky-talk of Death Proof with glossier lensing, unearned ostentation. Cast helps – April 29, 2017
  45. Southside With You (16, B+): So politically and personably principled, with plenty of charm. Great couple that just happens to be the Obamas. – April 29, 2017
  46. My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (17, B+): As morbidly hilarious, petty, and sweet as any high schooler I was friends with. What great visuals – April 29, 2017
  47. Colossal (17, B): Dizzying ambition, at its best once all its conceits get off the ground. Real awareness of its own stakes. Sudeikis! – April 29, 2017

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