Archive for 2023

49 posts from 08 January to 20 August 2023.

  • The Northman

    A very modern take on the revenge plot even though our “hero” murders uncountable people in the most gruesome ways, his raiders of the land of Rus burn up hundreds in a barn (Come and See, history rhymes), and not even his mother escapes his night blade. This is exactly what Beowulf wanted to be, but wasn’t.

  • Poltergeist

    A 50 years old parable on how screentime in children is bad for them, delivered as a long stretch of PG-13 screentime. Ya’ know, fo’ kids!

  • Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

    Back to the convent she goes, this time to teach a group of unruly inner city kids what life is all about: bust your ass for a possibility of an education, while external consultants suck the school money into their pockets, until they close it down and earn passive income from the capitalist leeching.

  • Psycho

    Gus van Sant does a shot-for-shot remake, with Anne Heche as Marion, the thief and philanderer, and Vince Fucking Vaughn as Norman Bates. With Viggo Mortensen on the cast, as the married boyfriend!

  • Asteroid City

    Yet another prototypical Wes Anderson film. Not an inch of novelty, no twist on the formula, just whimsical stories within stories, within stories, with the regular cast, deadpan deliveries, and gorgeous visuals. It’s less on the nose than The French Dispatch, but a similar state of mind.

  • Total Recall

    Come on man, I got four kids to feed!

  • A Quiet Place

    As intense as Sicario. A family drama with aliens. And with little to no dialogue. But the ending is very abrupt, there’s no resolution. There’s plenty of sequels though.

  • Solomon Kane

    An origin story. How did a philanderer, murderous wretch privateering in the name of Glorianna, a guy that sailed under Francis Drake, turned into a pilgrim warrior-monk? By watching pilgrims die at the hand of raiders while his vow of peace remained unbroken.

  • Scream

    That’s what I did when I noticed the Miramax logo. The Weinstein treatment. It’s so meta, it even opens with the youngest Barrymore clan member being slashed, to prove this is not your regular Hollywood film.

  • Blood Simple

    A reversed noir with an horror twist. A great start to a meteoric career.

  • Die Hard with a Vengeance

    Starts with a incredible scene and manages to hold up pretty well through the whole film.

  • The Rock

    Classic Michael Bay/Bruckheimer collaboration. Not as much rotating cameras yet, but a lot of shit blows up. It’s also a non-official The Treasure prequel, since Mason gives up the secret location of Hoover’s archive.

  • The Vanished

    Thought it might not be a low budget thriller with mental health plot points (the modern daemonic possession), but it turns out it was a figment of their imagination all along.

  • Blast from the Past

    This is a more romantic twist on Back to the Future, just another excuse to have the good old 40’s and 50’s back in the spotlight. At least the theme park version.

  • Blade Runner

    Like tears in the rain, the sheer visual power seeps into the water table and contaminates all downstream art.

  • Tár

    MrToo with a woman. I can see with the Oscars steer clear of this, there’s enough controversy with anodyne films, let alone one that takes deep stands in the culture wars.

  • Zardoz

    The Wizard of Oz. 50 Shades of Matrix. There’s more flesh on display than all the abbatoir scenes in Rocky.

  • Ocean's Eleven

    Like a refined jewel inside a pouch of imported silk, devoid of any imperfections or blemishes. Makes Frank Sinatra look like a complete idiot without charisma.

  • The Young Victoria

    Just here for Emily Blunt, this is a very short and narrow look at a small part of Victoria’s life, focused exclusively on palace intrigue, not even a glimpse into the outside world.

  • Bacurau

    This was not what I was expecting for a “political allegory”. Surely not Tarantino-esque shootouts and actual characters saying “Wanna fuck?”. This is not Parasite, not by a long shot.

  • The Mummy Returns

    The Mummy Revolutions: The Two Towers. A lot of big set pieces and fight scenes, but less plot and quips. Not as good as the first one, but it’s still nice to recognise all these people, particularly 20 years later.

  • John Wick: Chapter 4

    Three hours? Sacrè bleu, that’s too much, way too much. I like the fight scenes and think they are up to par in inventiveness and brutality, but the rest is just a slog. Way too many people play their characters straight, unlike Laurence Fishburne, who is just having the time of his life. Please don’t make a fifth one, I’m spent.

  • Fabian: Going to the Dogs

    The opening says it all: a tracking shot of a modern subway station cuts seamlessly to the same subway in 1931 Berlin, right in the middle of an election campaign.

  • My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done

    David Lynch produces a Werner Herzog film. It’s much weirder than you can imagine, just full-on craziness.

  • Hitman

    This is a just 2 or 3 stunt pieces wrapped in the thinnest of plots. It would barely cover a single game mission. A flimsy excuse to see Olga Kurylenko naked.

  • The Hateful Eight

    More like the hateful two: Weinstein and Tarantino do 2 and a half hours of soliloquies about the Confederacy, then 30 minutes of blood-soaked shootouts for the ratings, but finally both Yankee and the Rebel join forces in reining in the real threat: the only female character. She gets slapped around hard, but is finally lynched, and all agree it was good.

  • Collide

    The original Gone in 60 Seconds, but with plot. Baby Driver without rapists. Not even worthy of Saturday afternoon viewing.

  • 3000 Miles to Graceland

    What the hell, why is this a The Matrix ripoff in the first act? There’s slow mo shootouts complete with waving capes, lookalike music, elevators. Then it turns into a generic 90’s action film, where two of Elvis’ illegitimate children quarrel over 3 million dollars.

  • Knives Out

    Hot damn, that’s a nice modern detective story. Just like most modern plots, it incorporates the detective into the plot itself, even though our Kentucky Fried Poirot bills himself as a dispassionate, cold, calculating observer, seeking only the truth. In the end, all is good, even after all twists, double twists, and even untwists. The butler did not do it, in the attic, with the morphine injection.

  • Around the World in 80 Days

    The silly adaptation. Fogg is still a upper class twit, but mostly the distracted type, always with his head on the books. Passapartout did rob the bank of England, but just to return stolen artefacts, so it’s fine, a kind of Elgin marbles situation. Monique is a struggling artist forced to wait on other twits like Vincent Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec.

  • Freaks of Nature

    Warm Bodies, but crazier, it’s the whole kitchen sink. Zombies, Vampires, Aliens, Werewolves, but also teen romance, jocks, stoners, and nerds.

  • Stigmata

    What a goddamn mess. A 90’s The Exorcist, radical and shit. Hideous in every way. It just ends, no payoff for our suffering girl. Just a stroll in a garden.

  • The Nice Guys

    What a great film, I love how everything fits together. It’s really funny, the dialogue is full of zingers.

  • Jack Reacher: Never Look Back

    Well well, Bourne with a family. But Reacher is still the noir anti-hero, a complete asshole who respects no one, we are supposed to root for him.

  • Spotlight

    Just people talking about hideous crimes. Kids! Revolting.

  • Jack Reacher

    Ah, I think this is a pretty faithful film noir update. Reacher is a complete asshole, to women, to allies, to everyone. But he’s also the Marty Stu protagonist, impervious to any threats. It’s better when the social mores being violated are from the 50s, he’s just a prick.

  • Point Break

    Just a 2 hours long Red Bull/Monster commercial, with the added beats from the older film. No pitbulls being thrown at our protagonist, sad. It kinda makes sense instead of being surfer dudes, the new anti-social anti-heros are ecoterrorist stunt YouTubers.

  • The Wolfman

    Good old Vicky gothic horror, with all the ingredients: ghastly blood and guts, burly men with guns powerless against evil, and last but not least, sexual proclivities which should scare any proper lady.

  • The Banshees of Inisherin

    In Inisherin, not In Bruges. It’s an improvement, since the protagonists are depressed common people, instead of depressed hitman.

  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

    Oh, what a lovely day. I’m expected in film Valhalla.

  • Unfriended: Dark Web

    The quintessential millennial horror film, part of the “nihilist slasher” genre. Incredibly engrossing, naturalistic, and scary.

  • The Cat's Meow

    Part of the Citizen Kane extended universe. In which a bout of jealousy and murderous rage, William Randolph Hearst shoots a guy in the head, while intending to kill Charlie Chaplin (which himself is about to run to Mexico with the 16 year old girl he just knocked up, since the statutory rape age is lower there).

  • Anna

    This is yet another female version of John Wick, but much less po-faced. There’s more than just smouldering rage, there are attempts at humour and drama. The lead is not Charlize Theron, though.

  • The 6th Day

    A serious, philosophical script about the interplay of science and philosophy, warped by Arnie’s Reality Distortion Field. The big soliloquy on who should play God and decide who lives and dies regarding clones ends with a one-liner “So that you can go fuck yourself”. This might be an improvement.

  • The Evil Within

    This is batshit insane. I think the weirdest part is where a billionaire ran a union shop, the SAG-AFTRA logo is prominent.

  • Alita: Battle Angel

    Some kind of mesoamerican Blade Runner, bots hunting bots. It’s mostly self-contained, by way of the tried and true method of amnesiac protagonist that keeps discovering things about herself.

  • Split

    This film is torn between a competent horror thriller about an abused girl turning inward, escaping into her own inner world; and some over-the-top mind-over-matter transhuman, toying with mere mortals like a cat playing with its food.

  • Skyscraper

    Die Hard on a building. The Rock’s Reality Distortion Field approaches Arnie, he just has too much charisma.

  • Tenet

    We live in a Twilight world. Cells, interlinked, within cells, interlinked, within cells, interlinked within one stem. Laputan machine.