Category: Movies

2016, Movies

Inferno (2016, Ron Howard)

I have never read a Dan Brown novel and I imagine I could not handle reading one. But for some reason, perhaps because I enjoy watching bad movies, this is the second of the adaptations of his novels I’ve seen. I’m not sure this one is as stupid as Angels and Demons, but it’s pretty fucking …

Movies

Cabin in the Sky (1943, Vincente Minelli, Busby Berkeley)

This film may have been the first “major” Hollywood film to feature an entirely African American cast. By major, I think we mean “prestige” – made by a major studio and featuring actual, prominent performers. If that’s true – and my source for that is an encyclopedia other than Wikipedia – then this is a …

2016, Movies

Warcraft (2016, Duncan Jones)

I’ve seen lots of video game adaptations but most of them have been action and horror games, not fantasy games. This fantasy game, which I played at some point in the distant past, has the added disadvantage that at least some of its basic species types have been stolen from Tolkien, giving it even less …

1995, Movies

Carrington (1995, Christopher Hampton)

This is an extremely episodic film about the painter Carrington and her highly unconventional personal life. The film is mostly about her personal relationships and not really about her work so if you’re looking for a biography of a painter, look elsewhere. The film won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes in 1995 but with …

2010, Movies

Casino Jack and the United States of Money (2010, Alex Gibney)

This is an episodic yet frenetic documentary about Jack Abramoff and his lobbying scandal. I can’t say I loved the style of the film, which was a little over-reliant on pop culture cues, but the film takes a serious issue and makes it entertaining, which is something that should be commended.

2014, Movies

The Case Against 8 (2014, Ben Cotner, Ryan White)

So any pretense to “objectivity” for a message movie “documentary” like this is thrown out the window. But if you believe there is a “both sides” to marriage equality you are likely not going to watch this documentary about the law suit to overturn California’s infamous Proposition 8, nor will you accept this film, which …

2018, Movies

The Standoff at Sparrow Creek (2018, Henry Dunham)

This is a very stagey film – so stagey you’d think it was a play – that overcomes that limitation by being expertly made, even though it is Dunham’s first time directing a feature. (It’s a miraculous debut, in terms of Dunham’s ability to film and edit – I would sworn this was not a …

2016, Movies

Suicide Squad (2016, David Ayer)

It’s kind of hard to express how incomprehensibly incompetent this film is for a major Hollywood blockbuster.  I am not a fan of the Avengers films but, watching this I feel like those films are masterpieces in comparison. In fact, watching this film, I long for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s basic film-making competence – yeah, they’re …

2018, Movies

Museo (2018, Alonso Ruizpalacios)

This is a super hyper stylized, completely fantastical depiction of what is apparently the most notorious “art” heist in Mexican history. The movie makes no bones about how inaccurate it is – stating multiple times that it is not the true story – so do not go into this movie expecting a docudrama.

2018, Movies

Hold the Dark (2018, Jeremy Saulnier)

Expectations are an awful thing. I have seen and enjoyed every previous feature film Jeremy Saulnier has made. At some point I was going to see one I didn’t like. I’m not saying I didn’t like this, exactly, but I’m definitely struggling with it in ways I didn’t struggle with his previous two movies, and …

2018, Movies

The Realm aka El reino (2018, Rodrigo Sorogoyen)

This is a deeply flawed but otherwise pretty incredible thriller about white collar political corruption in Spain. The good aspects of it are so good that I really want to overlook the massive problems – such as the run-time – but I don’t think I can. Let’s put it this way: for 2/3rds of this …

2018, Movies

Winchester (2018, Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig)

This movie exists because somebody found out about the Winchester Mystery House and decided that a movie should be made about it, and then they wrote a script to try to explain why this house is creepy. If you haven’t been to the house, or you didn’t find it creepy, I suspect this movie does …

1962, Movies

Carnival of Souls (1962, Herk Harvey)

This is one of those movies where, if you cast your mind back, you can imagine it would have been scary, as there wasn’t much like it in 1962. But now, with fifty plus years in between, it’s hard to look at it as much more than an eerie curiosity, full of great lighting and …

2018, Movies

Screwball (2018, Billy Corben)

If I could describe this documentary about Biogenesis and Alex Rodriguez in one word, it would be “glib.” This is one of the glibbest documentaries I’ve ever seen. On the one hand, that makes for a pretty funny movie. On the other hand, the style is very over the top and the filmmakers appear to …

2013, Movies

Hell Baby (2013, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon)

This is a really dumb spin on The Exorcist crossed with The Amityville Horror – or some kind of possessed house movie, I haven’t seen that one in a while – but which manages to be pretty funny, all the while being fairly obvious. If you’ve seen Reno 911, it’s basically the same kind of comedy – it’s made …

1954, Movies

Carmen Jones (1954, Otto Preminger)

This is a weird one: a film of a Broadway musical based upon Bizet’s Carmen, but which has only been adapted in terms of plot, not in terms of the music (really). Why is that weird? Well, an all black cast, set in North Carolina and Chicago in the ’40s, and they’re singing…French opera.

2011, Movies

Carnage (2011, Roman Polanski)

This is the first time I’ve seen a Roman Polanski film I haven’t seen previously prior to what you might call my “maturity” regarding the crimes Polanski has fled the United States for. I have known about these crimes since I don’t know when – probably since I discovered who he was (so 20-something years …

2010, Movies, TV

Carlos (2010, Oliver Assayas)

This is one of those innumerable high end European miniseries that got transformed into a movie in North America, both in its full version and in a shortened version. I watched the full version because I really don’t get why we should be satisfied with cuts that are just a little bit more than a …

2018, Movies

Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist (2018, Barbara Schroeder)

This is a documentary miniseries about an absolutely bonkers crime, which shouldn’t be called America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist, but rather American’s Craziest Bank Heist, or America’s Worst Bank Heist. If you are interested in true crime, I would strongly recommend watching this, both for how it tells the story and how this particularly story – …

2009, Movies

Carmel (2009, Amos Gitai)

This is one impressionistic film. Impressionistic films deserve your attention and concentration, they should not be watched while you empty the dishwasher and work on your podcast. Alas, that’s how I watched this film, so my appreciation of it, or lack thereof, is coloured by my wavering attention.

2015, Movies

Sicario (2015, Denis Villeneuve)

This is an extraordinarily tense and well-directed thriller about the escalation and increased militarization of the Ward on Drugs. For the most part, I really, really liked Sicario, but I struggled with something and I’m not sure whether or not it could have ended better. SPOILERS

2018, Movies

McQueen (2018, Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui)

This is a pretty conventional chronology + historical footage + talking heads style documentary about someone who may have been, in my ignorant opinion, one of the most interesting fashion designers in history. I know nothing about fashion, and I really don’t care about it. It was only in adulthood that I discovered that there …

2009, Movies

Carcasses (2009, Denis Côté)

Carcasses is part of that trend in Canadian independent film in the early years of the 20th century to mix documentary style with fictional or plots, sometimes with people playing themselves. (I say Canadian trend because most of the films I have seen that do this are Canadian films from this time, or thereabouts.  I …