Director: Dan Scanlon
Review: One thing I appreciate about the Disney/Pixar brand lately is their efforts to tell stories from other cultures while also using actors from those cultures (e.g. Moana, Coco, Soul). What I’m pretty sure I wasn’t pining for was a story combining the cultures of elves and Dungeons & Dragons.
Continue reading Onward
Director: Ava DuVernay
Review: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
An extremely important, moving, heartbreaking documentary that details how the 13th amendment to the United States Constitution set in motion a hundred and fifty years of efforts to criminalize people of color, leading to the war on drugs and the world’s largest (and for profit) prison population.
Continue reading 13th
Director: Max Barbakow
I will pretty much watch any time loop show or movie no matter how terrible it is, but Palm Springs (despite its stupid title) rises above most of them to deliver a funny and entertaining ninety minutes.
Continue reading Palm Springs
Director: Debra Granik
An incredibly well-acted and shot movie that everyone agrees is good and probably doesn’t want to see a second time.
Continue reading Winter’s Bone
Director: Peter Ramsey, Bob Perischetti, Rodney Rothman
I have never been an overt fan of either comics or superheroes, especially the latter. I just don’t find superpowers (especially when the same person has more than one) inherently interesting. It often feels like the protagonist has a cheat code and they’re fighting other people with cheat codes. Of course, like any genre, good writing can overcome that. Into the Spider-Verse is impressive on all fronts and probably my favorite superhero movie.
Continue reading Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Director: Bong Joon-ho
An observation my wife made that struck a chord was that one of the joys of watching a foreign film is that typically you aren’t familiar with the actors and have no preconceived notions or biases about them. Of course a brilliant actor can overcome this anyway, but there’s something to said for going into a movie completely blind. Watching Parasite is like opening a Russian doll, except each doll is better than the last and — oh surprise — they’re not dolls. The movie may be best watched spoiler-free, so a heads up before you read further.
Continue reading Parasite
Director: George Lucas
As I’ve grown older my love for the franchise has abated, and not because of the quality or lack there of with newer additions. I think I just don’t identify with the ethos. While I can certainly endorse the notion that there’s good and evil within all of us and the choices we make matter, the evil people in this galaxy are often sneeringly evil and inexplicably stupid. And in good stories I should be able to either identify with the antagonist or at least understand them. And that never happens here.
Continue reading Star Wars
Director: Donald Petrie
Summary: Eddie and Lou are a couple of two-bit con men on the lam from a loan shark. They hide out in someone’s house and they hear on the answering machine that (A) the owner of the house is out of the country for a month or two and (B) the housesitter supposed to watch the house for the absent owner won’t be able to watch the house due to a new job in another part of the country…
Times Watched: 3
Continue reading Opportunity Knocks
Director: Paul Haggis
Summary: A provocative, unflinching look at the complexities of racial tolerance in contemporary America. Diving headlong into the diverse melting pot of post-9/11 Los Angeles, this compelling urban drama tracks the volatile intersections of a multi-ethnic case of characters’ struggles to overcome their fears as they careen in and out of one another’s lives.
Times Watched: 1.5
Continue reading Crash
Director: Kevin Smith
Summary: When Jay and Silent Bob learn that a “Bluntman and Chronic” movie is being made featuring their comic book counterparts, they drool at the thought of fat movie checks rolling in. But when the pair finds that there won’t be any royalties coming their way, they set out to sabotage the flick at all costs.
Times Watched: 1
Continue reading Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back