February 2020 Viewing Log

  1. Bombshell (19, C): Impactful on its own terms, but omits too much context to actually say anything meaningful. Sloppily made to boot. 2/2/2020
    1. I think Robbie’s actually pretty good with some of the film’s darkest scenes. Charlize is fine, if somewhat inhibited by the vocal imitation and the prosthetics. In that Monster way, she kinda looks like Megyn Kelly and the concept of Republican White Woman.
    2. But for real, I’m not sure what part of the political spectrum you’d have to sit on for this to register as remotely authentic or investigative. And how is this a satire?
  2. The Gospel of Eureka (19, B+): Rare, gorgeously sustained vision of its town, in scope and tone. Wonderfully made, too. 2/3/2020
  3. Peterloo (18, A-): My favorite of this year’s spectacular crop of socially outraged, immaculately constructed, blunt-yet-layered political films. 2/5/2020
  4. The Souvenir (18, B): Still can’t fully click with its rhythms, even if it seems more impressive this go. Burke’s fab. And a lead. 2/5/2020.
  5. The Phantom Menace (99, C+): Dignity, always dignity. Some astonishing dead zones but plenty of thrills, too. The Maul fight! 2/6/2020
    1. This would be a much better movie if Natalie Portman had the foresight to play Padmé with her Jackie Kennedy accent.
  6. Attack of the Clones (02, C+): More of the same, I guess? Killer sound design, tho.
    1. Heterosexuality has never seemed so staid and wooden as it does when Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen are perpetrating it.
    2. Me, looking at any given background in the prequel trilogy: Back in the day that would’ve been a sick-ass matte painting.
    3. I wanna see what would happen if R2D2 met a Dalek.
  7. Queen & Slim (19, B-/B): Some wobbly scenes, monolithic ideas. Still yields several bracing, artful sequences and standoffs. 2/10/2020
  8. The Triplets of Belleville (03, B/B+): Delightfully odd, yielding so many entertaining rewards from tricky gimmicks. The music! 2/20/2020
  9. End of the Century (19, A-/A): Stunning eye towards gay longings, potentials, and consummations. Gorgeous, delicate intricacies. 2/11/2020
  10. Joker (19, B-): Script still a *massive* hurdle. But none of its artists are coasting, even if they’re rip-offs. Gu∂nasdottír, Friedberg kill it. 2/11/2020
  11. The Shop Around the Corner (40, B+): Lovely, sad, jewel-toned romance. Portrait of this workplace and economic caste even more specific and interesting. 2/11/2020
  12. Monos (19, B): Pretty incredible on sheer level of crafting and committing to a specific vision. Great sound. Doesn’t have a ton to say? 2/12/2020
  13. Luce (19, D+): Unbelievably messy script, proclaiming so many ideas that add up to nothing. Spencer its only reason for being. 2/13/2020
  14. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (19, A-/A): Like the best feel-good movies, melancholic and soul-searching. 2/14/2020
  15. Meek’s Cutoff (11, B+): Hard to really ask it to cleave to familiar structures when its experiments with form and theme are so indelible. 2/18/2020
  16. The Fog (80, B+/A-): Thick, ingenious atmosphere. Frightening, slow burn horror about historical violence come home to roost. 2/18/2020
  17. Wendy (20, B-/B): Could shape some ideas a bit more, but vividly layers its central dichotomies. A singular interpretation. 2/19/2020
  18. The Wild Pear Tree (19, B): Successes and limitations of its approach feel inexorably bound together, but the buildup still stuns. 2/22/2020
  19. Gloria Bell (18, B): Not “cinema”, per se, but the serotonin import is simply remarkable. Moore carries it beautifully. 2/22/2020
  20. Ash is Purest White (18, B+): Trickier, sadder, more romantic than I remembered. Astonishing scope. Shapeshifts so dexterously. 2/22/2020
  21. Tremors (19, B+): Unsteady production values but themes and characters build tougher, disquieting layers as it goes. 2/27/2020
  22. The Chambermaid (18, B): Steady tempo finds lots of room to explore this expansive yet stifling environment. Great lead. 2/27/2020
  23. Caged (50, B+): Walks an indelible line between hard-bitten noir and tough, pointed political critique. Brilliantly acted. 2/29/2020

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