December 2017 Viewing Log

  1. Pink Flamingos (72, A-): Deliciously, gloriously depraved for a wonderfully perverse 90 minutes. Specific, genius, and fucking committed. – 12/1/17
  2. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (17, B+): Looks so fully at Martha, Sylvia, their movement, and all their legacies with love and bitterness and anger. – 12/3/17
  3. Lady Bird (17, B+): Even richer the second go-around. Almost hard to talk about as a film when this feels so like lives being lived. – 12/4/17
  4. BPM (17, B): Undeniably moving, but I wish the political ensemble of the first half hadn’t shrunk to the personal tragedy of the second. – 12/5/17
  5. The Room (03, F): Having a linear narrative at all is more than I expected. Wiseau has ideas, and they’re all terrible. Race to the bottom for everyone involved. – 12/5/17
  6. Kidnap (18, C+): More technically ragged and emotionally tough than the pseudo-Taken this was sold as. Surprising narrative velocity. – 12/5/17
    1. I wanna make a crack about the end credits original song but this tepid acknowledgement is all it deserves
  7. Una (17, B (now C)): Didn’t love every formal choice, but the script and its interpretation are riskier than I expected. Creepily timely. – 12/9/17
  8. The Disaster Artist (17, C-): Sees Tommy as tortured, eccentric underdog rather than aggressive, genuinely troubled, talentless weirdo. – 12/9/17
    1. Structure only makes him problematic when he rifts with Greg. Foxcatcher, Florence went deeper on similar themes
  9. Most Beautiful Island (17, B): Dialogue, shaping not always great. But dodges abstraction, maintains quotidian and heightened tensions. – 12/12/17
  10. Girls Trip (17, B): The comedy we need, but could we ever deserve it? Even funnier on rewatch. Please nominate Tiffany Haddish. – 12/12/17
  11. The Birds (63, B): Some parts didn’t age well, some maybe didn’t work then. But solidly acted, better crafted & structured than I realized – 12/12/17
  12. Rat Film (17, B): Defines pest control and colorist from so many personal, historical, science-based POVs. Sound, montage impress. – 12/16/17
  13. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (17, C-): I don’t resent the ideas introduced but find them poorly handled in themselves. Scared, in some ways. – 12/17/17
    1. Stale flabbiness, weak moralizing kinda neat if you think it’s about the incompetence of the Democratic Party.
    2. Absolutely no sense of economic storytelling. Images often gripping. Meanwhile, the plot lumbers on.
    3. I have legit qualms with The Last Jedi and by far my pettiest one is the fucking pants Kylo wore in his shirtless scene. Driver’s attractive but not wearing *that*. Show his belly button, Rian Johnson. Shit was weird.
  14. Girls Trip (17, B): Local boyfriend @tsodeman13 had a great time watching this with me, Pretty sure Jada was his fave. Love you boo! – 12/17/17
  15. The Work (17, A-): Empathy as physical, psychic healing, as a radical act of care, as a first step. Continuously, endlessly powerful. – 12/17/17
  16. The Shape of Water (17, B-/B): Doesn’t fill out everything it needs to, but still a lovely experience in many ways. What a year for Sally! – 12/17/17
  17. Princess Cyd (17, B+): So this is what it looks like when a film loves its characters without sanding down conflict. Ridiculously gorgeous. – 12/18/17
  18. Wonder Wheel (17, D): Allen half-baked *and* overwrought. Storaro fine when he isn’t overdoing it. A long, pitiless thing. Temple’s nice. – 12/19/17
  19. Stronger (17, C+): Gyllenhaal, Maslany do detailed work. Glossy score. Film doesn’t push as hard as it promises. Slight next to Still Alice. – 12/19/17
  20. Victoria & Abdul (17, C-): I apologize for the bashing of this sight unseen. That said, looks worse than I expected. Easy politics. – 12/20/17
  21. Battle of the Sexes (17, B-): Finds a warm, lovely film around Billie. Bobby not so much. Limited in some ways but Christ that felt good. – 12/20/17
  22. The Wound (17, B/B+): Formally and narratively remarkable study of masculinity and repressed desires among three closeted men. – 12/22/17
  23. It’s a Wonderful Life (46, A-/A): Extraordinary value of the ordinary. Realized with astonishing grace. Honors politics we desperately need. – 12/24/17
    1. That being said, this absolutely should’ve been the ending
  24. White Christmas (54, C?): Too little life outside of Dean Jagger or Clooney, but a pleasant watch all the same. – 12/25/17
  25. A Christmas Carol (84, B?): Scott delightfully interprets Scrooge in ways I haven’t previously seen. More gothic flourishes than I’m used to. – 12/25/17
  26. Ghost in the Shell (17, C/C+): More visually captivating than expected, even with cribbed images. Second half Americanization kills compelling ideas – 12/27/17
  27. A Woman’s Life (17 A-): Sees Jeanne, and the ways money and men have burdened her. Free of false dramatics. Rich emotions. – 12/27/17
  28. Woodshock (17, B): The Mulleavys keep finding sonic & visual ideas for their gauzy aesthetic. Not great on narrative, but an impressive experiment. – 12/28/17
  29. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (17, C-): I don’t inherently dislike Johnson’s concepts, but they’re unconvincingly told. Visual storytelling is banal and flattens the actors. – 12/29/17
  30. Darkest Hour (17, C): Politics could be tougher, visual tics could be less overbearing. Liked it more than expected, but not by much. – 12/30/17
  31. Free in Deed (17, B+): Finds emotional potency, rich ideas about religion and relationships in a risky, unusual narrative. Evocative sound. – 12/30/17

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