What We Do in the Shadows (2014, Jermaine Clement, Taika Waititi)

Categories: 2014 and Movies.

This is an amusing parody of reality TV disguised as a vampire comedy. It’s pretty slight, however: the plot is basically an extended reality TV episode about what happens when the house gets a new member or two, rather than anything more compelling. But there are enough gags – and the now patented New Zealand style of humour these guys have been spreading around the world for a number of years now – that you mostly are not bothered by the absolute slightness of everything about the film (or its noticeably tiny budget). Read More

Cold in July (2014, Jim Mickle)

Categories: 2014 and Movies.

I’m not sure exactly what to say about this bizarre film that offers a new twist (or several) on the age old “redemption through violence” theme in American cinema. The plot goes a very different way than I would have ever expected which is to the novel’s credit, I guess. But that big left turn (which becomes significantly bigger) is hard for me to reconcile for reasons I cannot quite identify. I often like movies like this, but something about this left turn didn’t sit well with me for the whole film. Read More

Coherence (2013, James Ward Byrkit)

Categories: 2013 and Movies.

This is one of those super talky, high concept science fiction films which feels like it was written for the stage. (Many of these have been written for the stage, but this one apparently was not.) There are a lot of these by this point and it’s sort of become its own sub genre. I’m not sure that’s a good thing necessarily. It’s a genre that’s heavy on ideas and a little too weak on much of what most of us love about science fiction (imagining a different future). SPOILERS Read More

Passengers (2016, Morten Tyldum)

Categories: 2016 and Movies.

I feel like every single time I watch one of these legendary blockbuster bombs I find myself asking the same question: did I watch the same movie as everyone else? Make no mistake: this is not a good film. But once you’ve been told something is The Worst over and over again, your expectations get so low that you end up seeing positives, I guess. Passengers is a mediocre sci fi film – really it’s two sci fi films stuck together – but it is not the worst movie of the year. If you think it is, I suggest you go Read More

Jason Bourne (2016, Paul Greengrass)

Categories: 2016 and Movies.

Why there’s another Bourne movie I don’t know. This one hits all the marks you’d expect: Bourne is mad at the CIA and is taking some kind of action, there’s someone on inside helping him out (actually 2 people, but whatever). The cast is too good for the material, as is usual with these films, and Greengrass does a good job with a plot that gets dumber and dumber as it goes on. SPOILERS! Read More

High Spirits (1988, Neil Jordan)

Categories: 1988 and Movies.

This is a very, very silly but endearing film, shot in just an incredible-looking castle and half the fun is just ogling the castle. But Peter O’Toole is great and there are some memorable turns by other members of the cast. This is one of those 80s films with rough edges (the script could have used some tightening, among other things) where the charm of the film outweighs its obvious problems. Read More

The Fate of the Furious (2017, F. Gary Gray)

Categories: 2017 and Movies.

It occurred to me after I watched this latest of the Fast franchise films that these movies have the Bond license: back when Sean Connery and then Roger Moore made Bond films, these films could be filled with the most ridiculous nonsense and nobody cared. In fact, people celebrated them. You put that crap in another film and people wouldn’t accept it but in a Bond movie and it’s perfectly okay. Such is the case with the Fast franchise and this steaming pile of garbage that everyone else but me enjoys. I feel like I watch different movies then everyone else who likes these films. Read More

Bronson (2008, Nicholas Winding Refn)

Categories: 2008 and Movies.

There are probably two types of people: people who think Winding Refn is a genius and people who think he is ponderous, boring and way too interested in style over substance. You can count me among the latter. Despite all the praise over Valhalla Rising and Drive, I found both movies to be flawed. I wanted to like the former more than I actually did, for example. Anyway, I appreciate someone who is trying to chart their own course, even if I don’t like his aesthetic, so I still watch his movies. And, for once, watching Bronson, I think maybe Read More

Cocaine Cowboys (2006, Billy Corben)

Categories: 2006 and Movies.

I have heard about this film from a number of people and wonder if we watched the same movie. This is a poorly made film that absolutely reeks of early digital technology (even if 2006 would suggest it wasn’t made with early digital technology). Why is it that so many people are okay with watching movies that look like they were assembled in somebody’s basement? Read More