Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Monday, May 22, 2023

Saturday, May 20, 2023

The Encyclopedia Brown: My mother was a saint


Directed by Nick Grindé and Clarence Brown
Written by John Meehan, Sylvia Thalberg, and Frank Butler (based on the short story "Girls Together" by Mildred Cram)

Spoilers: mild

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

The Encyclopedia Brown: Ace attorney


Directed by Clarence Brown
Written by John Meehan and Becky Gardiner (based on the play by Willard Mack based on the book by Adela Rogers St. Johns)

Spoilers: moderate

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Towering with you


Written and directed by Makoto Shinkai

Spoilers: moderate (also discussed, Shinkai's early short films, 1999's "She and Her Cat" and 2002's "Voices of a Distant Star")

Monday, April 24, 2023

Monday, April 10, 2023



Directed by Chad Stahelski
Written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch

Spoilers: moderate

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Cardboard Science: You didn't get paid to be eaten by prehistoric animals, did you?


Written and directed by Bert I. Gordon

Spoilers: as the film would have it, high, but practically mild by the standards of anyone with the intellectual faculties of a six year old

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Cardboard Science: I brought the atom bomb, I think it's a good time to use it


Directed by Bert I. Gordon
Written by Tom Gries, Al Zimbalist, and Bert I. Gordon

Spoilers: high, I guess, but who could possibly care?

Monday, April 3, 2023

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Cardboard Science: Little men come when anything goes


Directed by Bert I. Gordon
Written by George Worthing Yates and Bert I. Gordon

Spoilers: moderate

Friday, March 31, 2023

Atlas shrugged


Directed by David Sandberg
Written by Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan

Spoilers: moderate

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Getting punchy


Directed by Michael B. Jordan
Written by Keenan Coogler, Zach Baylin, and Ryan Coogler

Spoilers: moderate

Saturday, March 18, 2023

American Gothic Week: Fragments as our universe must needs disown


Directed by Daniel Haller
Written by Jerry Sohl (based on "The Colour Out of Space" by H.P. Lovecraft)

Spoilers: moderate

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Reviews from gulag: 2022's junk drawer, part 3

So on the eve of the Oscars, we're still cleaning up 2022, which I suppose isn't that new here at Kinemalogue, and of course halfway through March there's still a fair amount left from the previous year that I want to see.  It's entirely possible I won't be "done" with the year, then (though one is never done with a year, like, what does that mean, I'm never going to watch any other movie from 2022?), until April, which is of course a bother because newfangled release patterns means that these days we're already starting the new year in earnest by late winter, and there's already very important stuff I'm missing in theaters (Creed III, for example).  Yeah, I say this, as if I actually felt like leaving my house.  But whatever, here's a mess of semi-mini, semi-new reviews that shall at least begin to close the loop on 2022: Utama, The Woman King, The Menu, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, and Women Talking.


It kind of makes sense that, prior to this feature debut, Alejandro Loayza Grisi's been a cinematographer, and not an especially veteran cinematographer, at that, with his biggest deal being Planeta Bolivia, what looks like a tolerably cool travelogue documentary miniseries.  It explains several things about the movie.  One of them is, unfortunately, why Utama isn't edited very well.  It's not, like, edited terribly or anything, but it's full of images just bonking into one another.  For instance, we will eventually arrive upon a very long shot of our protagonist, Virginio (Jose Calcina), a Quechua llama herder and potato farmer living in the Bolivian Qullaw highlands; we see him cresting a roadside from long down the road, and this swings 90 degrees and several thousand feet to bonk into a very close axial shot of his face.  Grisi may also be a cinematographer who was never asked the question "where is the horizon in this painting?", though a one-clause aesthetic philosophy is for the birds anyhow.  "Being a TV documentary cinematographer" probably also explains Utama's extremely "nature doc" videography, which can be distractingly (sometimes unpleasantly) smooth, though, to Grisi's great credit, it's color graded for naturalism, and despite the overriding goal being a sort of poetic realism erring on the side of just plain realism, no doubt a well-attested mode in Latin American film though what Utama makes me think of is early Fifth Generation Chinese cinema, he even manages some rather interestingly narratively-weighted lighting set-ups inside the family cabin.

Oscars Fun 2023

I honor the Oscars as most people docomplaining about themand I rarely discuss them in any systematic way, and I won't be changing that now.  But I will do something I've never done beforeconsider it a lark, pleasebecause for whatever reason, the silly idea, "whom I personally would nominate and award, were my will in command of the collective mind of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences," has been percolating in my brain for a while.  Maybe it's just because I actually saw a non-trivial number of movies from the foregoing year for the first time in a while, and 2022 turned out to be a reasonably great year overall for cinema, so I wanted to celebrate that.  Or I got tired of reviewing documents at work.  In either case, this is the absolute last possible moment of even marginal relevance for it, and while I'd have liked to have seen all the (actual) Best Picture nominees, at least, rather than just 80% of them, and while this kind of locks down my top five even though I'm not done yet, for this particular game, it's now or never.  So with no further ado (except to say, "yes, they're in order of preference" and "part of the fun will be to see if I remember all the categories"), here's what and whom I'd have picked were I the dictator of industry circle-jerking.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Monday, February 20, 2023

The Encyclopedia Brown: Garbo talks


Directed by Clarence Brown
Written by Frances Marion (based on the play by Eugene O'Neill)

Spoilers: moderate

Monday, February 13, 2023

From shell's heart I stab at thee


Directed by Dean Fleischer Camp
Written by Jenny Slate, Nick Paley, and Dean Fleischer Camp

Spoilers: moderate

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Go greased lightning


Directed by Takeshi Koike
Written by Katsuhito Ishii, Yoji Enokido, and Yoshishi Sakurai

Spoilers: moderate

Thursday, February 9, 2023

How to train your leviathan


Directed by Chris Williams
Written by Nell Benjamin and Chris Williams

Spoilers: moderate (high, technically, but anybody over twelve is getting ahead of this film by the time they've seen the trailer for it)

Sunday, February 5, 2023

A kiss goodbye


Directed by Jacques Feyder
Written by Hanns Kraly and Marian Ainslee (based on the short story by George Saville)

Spoilers: moderate

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Greta Garbo will never love you Johnny Mack Brown, accept it


Directed by John S. Robertson
Written by Josephine Lovett and Marian Ainslee (based on the novel by Adela Rogers St. John)

Spoilers: moderate (lot of redactions, though)

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Tiger, tiger, burning bright, something something something night


Directed by Sidney Franklin
Written by Hanns Kraly, Ruth Cummings, Willis Goldbeck, and William Schayer (based on the novel Heat by John Colton)

Spoilers: moderate

Monday, January 30, 2023

Reviews from gulag: 2022's junk drawer, part 2

2022 was a good year for movies, for the most partrefreshingly so after two years where you can blame the poor output on the pandemic (though also another year before that, where you can't).  But, man, some of the movies people have hyped the most have been some of the least worthwhile.  Here's some more mini-ish reviews of a couple of aggravating films I didn't like, The Banshees of Inisherin and We're All Going to the World's Fair, plus a couple of pleasant little animated movies that I did, Inu-oh and The Bob's Burgers Movie.


"You're all feckin' boring!" cries Siobhan Suilleabhain (Kerry Condon) about two-thirds of the way through The Banshees of Inisherin, giving voice to my inchoate feelings as regards the ulcerating feud that has developed between her brother Padraic (Colin Farrell) and his friend Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) over the latter's decision to end their friendship of many years because the former is, as Colm has it, simply an excruciatingly dull time-sink.  And nevertheless did Martin McDonagh make a movie about them.  Siobhan isn't very interesting either, for the record.  She has Belle Trait: her personality is she's literate.  As for the movie McDonagh made, what we have is basically a stageplay that happens to have establishing shots sometimesMcDonagh, an Oscar-nominated (maybe Oscar-winning, I forget) filmmaker, is perhaps still fundamentally a playwright, for better and worseand such establishing shots as there are here are mostly just things he likes to drop in, as editing bumpers.  The cinematic element of Banshees is mostly just wondering how a movie devised for theatrical release and with some of the most Hibernian stretches of Ireland at its disposal still looks so much like streaming content in terms of its photography and color grading (the most "theatrical" element is that it's in 'Scope ratio, which is always the right choice for any film that is mostly close-ups and two-shots).  However, if I'm being very nice I do in fact like the occasional use of windows made out of badly-made early 20th century glass to construct frames-within-frames, principally by having Farrell milling about outside a structure, frowning like a middle-aged puppy through the distorting glass whilst Gleeson, sitting in the foreground, scowls and pointedly ignores his silent entreaties.  These threaten to be funny until, as they almost inevitably do, those silent entreaties become active wheedling and Padraic turns about and enters said structure.  This is pretty much his whole character, now that I think about it, except he gets madder about it as time goes on.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

The Encyclopedia Brown: She was the male of the species that is more fearless than mankind


Directed by Clarence Brown
Written by Bess Meredyth, Marian Ainslee, and Ruth Cummings (based on the novel The Green Hat by Michael Arlen)

Spoilers: moderate

Sunday, January 22, 2023

The mountains and the sea


Directed by Park Chan-wook
Written by Jeong Seo-kyeong and Park Chan-wook

Spoilers: moderate (maybe high)

Friday, January 20, 2023

Reviews from gulag: 2022's junk drawer, part 1

There is unfortunately no theme I can think of to bind the following reviews together besides "they're all animated," and, hell, none are even animated in the same medium.  I don't know, maybe the theme is "they are actually good in inverse proportion to how much they're appreciated," but that's just the theme of, like, all fucking existence.  Nevertheless, here's reviews of Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio, Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood, and DC League of Super-Pets.


The fact that it's named Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio is a tiny bit aggravating, not least because it's reminiscent of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas, another stop-motion animated film attributed to a celebrated Gothic dark fantasy filmmaker who has no business claiming sole authorship of itMark Gustafson co-directed, and given the technology, I strongly expect he did more than "co-direct"but you know, it gets a pass.  2022 was lousy with Pinocchios, and there was obviously a need for Del Toro and Netflix to differentiate it from the other ones.   These include a cheapo Russian cash-in with Pauly Shore, and, even more depressingly, Robert Zemeckis's quintuple-down on poorly-received disaster-projects, coming in the form of Disney's remake of their own 1940 Pinocchio that's so plainly bad that you don't need to see it, you can smell it from afar.  It is entirely probable that GDelT's P (hereafter just Pinocchio, thanks) is indeed the best of these.  It has been anointed such, and, because Del Toro fanboys are everywhereeven people who historically have not been fanboys for the extremely-uneven, I'm-gonna-just-put-it-out-there-not-that-good filmmaker have turned out to have nursed a secret desire to join the clubit has been anointed one of the year's great animated films.  I can sort of see the impulseit's been a very bad year for animation (though I'm not sure "more than half of 2022's major animated features are mediocre or worse" is the consensus).  But, you know, I'm particularly enervated by the applause Del Toro has managed to gather upon himself on social media by taking the brave, heretical stand that "animation is a medium, not a genre!", which in A.D. 2022 is such a lamely self-impressed "cow says moo!" thing to say that I doubt it would ever occur to, for instance, Phil Tippet to actually voice it; I'm also not sure why Del Toro, adapting children's literature, thinks he has somehow not made a children's movie.  Is it just because his titular character and his titular character's sidekick are uglier than typical?

Monday, January 16, 2023

The Rock and eternity


Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Written by Adam Sztykiel, Rory Haines, and Sohrab Norshirvani

Spoilers: moderate

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Once upon a time in Hollywood


Written and directed by Damien Chazelle

Spoilers: high, sortaI'm not going to actually spoil the plot, such as it is, but there's just no point in writing about this without writing about the last ten minutes, and I guess you probably ought to see it as unsullied as possible, so I'll try to section it off

Tuesday, January 3, 2023