July 2018 Viewing Log

  1. Rogers Park (18, B): Does right by its main characters even as they struggle to stay afloat. Modest and well acted. Sevigny best in show. 7/2/18
  2. Hanna (11, B): Unapologetically delirious, for better and worse. Missteps in key areas but wildly impressive in others. Goes for it.
    1. Absolutely wild to see Vicky Krieps in a nothing role. Really wish Holly Hunter had stepped in for Cate Blanchett, or maybe Jessica Lange.
    2. Also, holy fuck. This is what Joe Wright and Saoirse Ronan did together after Atonement? Joe Wright had this in him? I mean, clearly he coulda had a better grip on what this is but like, damn. Now that’s stretching
  3. Lean on Pete (18, A-): Gentle and melancholic, plugging into new dimensions of itself without changing its core. Clear eyed about a slice of America I’ve never been to. 7/7/18

    1. Leeeeeaaan oooooon Peeeeete (Lean on Pete)/Leeeeaaaan Peeeeete ooooon (Lean on Pete)/Iiiiiii’ll beeee gooooone/With this fucking hoooooOOOORRSE
    2. Do you think if we try really hard we can get all that leftover goodwill from Willem Dafoe and carry it over to Steve Buscemi finally getting an Oscar nomination for Lean on Pete?
  4. Thoroughbreds (18, B/B+): Goes out on weirder limbs than I expected, in terms of style and characterization. Maintains its eccentricity. 7/7/18
  5.  About Time (13, B/B-): Captivating even as it wafts between sweet and queasy, original and not. Super lame ending. Gleeson holds it together 7/8/18
  6. Ant-Man and The Wasp (18, C+): Sometimes funny, sometimes witty and inventive, always weirdly overplotted with extraneous characters. 7/9/18
  7. Atomic Blonde (17, A-): You’d think more movies could be morally ambiguous, deliciously styled, and fun as hell. Fight scenes to die for. 7/9/18
  8. Guess who’s gonna watch a 7 hour Bela Tarr film with work friends! 7/12/18
    1. Sátántango (94, B+): Genuinely did not need to be this long, but filled with so many truly indelible spectacles as to be worth watching
  9. Singin in the Rain (52, A+): Since chunks of America can just choose to pretend democracy isn’t crumbling around them, I can pretend I just saw the multi-Oscar winning musical extravaganza Singin in the Rain. Back to reality, it’s perfect and I loved every minute of it.  7/14/18
  10. Submarine (10, C-): Aggressively off-putting mannerisms and protagonist somehow become engaging by the time it’s over. Still a chore. 7/16/18
  11. Blockers (18, B/B+): WHY did I not see this in theaters. Script smart with sexual politics and parent-kid dynamics. Completely winning cast. 7/16/18
  12. Naked Lunch (91, A-): Fractal narrative light, plastic, erotically alien, and completely deranged, in executions and in content. 7/16/18
  13. Sorry to Bother You (18, B+): Bonkers confluence of real discourse, wild imagination, and dystopic humor seems like the right approach to shitting on capitalism. 7/17/18
  14. Gemini (18, B): Style, performances, plotting continue to impress while following unexpected avenues. Small but skillful, with a great score. 7/19/18
  15. The Virgin Spring (60, B): Well-shot, emotionally draining, and narratively affecting, but could use stronger character beats, more depth. 7/19/18
  16. The Iron Giant (99, B+/A-): How much would you have to change that script to release it today? Funny, poignant, and incredibly smart.  7/21/18
    1. Critique of government paranoia impresses as an era-specific indictment of the red scare, as a broader message about not fearing those who pose absolutely no threat because they’re different, and fits snuggly in Bird’s oeuvre of exceptionalism
    2. Individualizes its scenario while holding clear the ideas its characters stand for. Hogarth Hughes is a brilliant creation; a huge thank you to Eli Marienthal and the animators who created him.
    3. Vin Diesel’s entire career is Big Men Who Shoots Stuff and Big Aliens Who Are Friends and I for one am grateful
  17.  Leave No Trace (18, B+): Delicate character piece wisely judges a home by a bond and a community as much as a place. Leads & Granik harmonious. 7/21/18
  18. Ava (18, A-): Fits an entire film’s worth of conflict and incident into every twenty minutes. Viciously affecting and impeccably made. 7/21/18
    1. Imagine a film where nearly every confrontation has the discomforting emotional intensity of the dinner table sequence in Hereditary, even more ingeniously shot and cut. It’s Ava! and you should see it
  19. Sorry to Bother You (18, B-/B): Loss of shock value took more out of this than I expected, even if core values and key aesthetics still landed. 7/21/18 (edit: I’m an idiot and this is a very good movie)
  20. The Shining (80, B/B+): First half so insistent on foreshadowing doom it’s almost monotonous, but everyone rises to the occasion once the lady takes a bath. Shelley > Jack. 7/21/18
  21. How to Talk to Girls at Parties (18, B): Takes a while to get going, but maintains weird tone as its story gets stranger. Good leads. 7/24/18
  22. Shame (68, A+): Testimony of war as a virus destroying all that encounters and participated in it. Brutal without being heavy handed. 7/26/18
  23. Jeepers Creepers (01): Scary and campy in about equal meaures, engaging all the way through. 7/30/18
    1. The Creeper in Jeepers Creepers is so fucking extra for absolutely no reason what a gay icon

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