Sunday, February 25, 2018

Duncan Jones, part I: Three year stretch


Fundamentally perfect sci-fi delivered in a gorgeous package that never quite belies either its pittance of a budget or the inexperience of its director, Moon is a movie for the ages.

Directed by Duncan Jones
Written by Nathan Parker and Duncan Jones
With Sam Rockwell (Sam Bell), Kevin Spacey (GERTY), and Sam Rockwell (Sam Bell)

Spoiler alert: high, in the sense that I describe the basic dynamic of a decade old film's plot, anyway

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Stupid Lives Matter


Enormously strong central performances and occasional bouts of directorial excellence manage to weld together a bunch of mismatched parts into something that sometimes almost feels like a coherent whole; and, as easy as it is to talk shit about everything wrong about it (for there's a lot, and, boy, is it easy to talk about it), it's not possible to quite deny its finer qualities, either.

Written and directed by Martin McDonagh
With Frances McDormand (Mildred Hayes), Caleb Landry Jones (Red Welby), Abbie Cornish (Anne Willoughby), Sam Rockwell (Officer Jason Dixon), and Woody Harrelson (Chief Bill Willoughby)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Godspeed you, black emperor


Okay, the first thing you should know is that I liked it. The second thing is that I get to write about race in American discourse, so... yippee.

Directed by Ryan Coogler
Written by Joe Robert Cole and Ryan Coogler
With Chadwick Boseman (King T'Challa), Lupita Nyong'o (Nakia), Letetia Wright (Princess Shuri), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Angela Bassett (Queen Mother Ramonda), Forrest Whittaker (High Priest Zuri), Daniel Kaluuya (W'Kabi), Winston Duke (M'Baku), Martin Freeman (Everett Ross), Andy Serkis (Ulysses Klaue), and Michael B. Jordan (Erik "Killmonger" Stevens)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sans soleil

La mort de Louis XIV

If you fell asleep, it wouldn't be your fault, but The Death of Louis XIV has better reasons for being boring than the typical exercise in pretension—French or otherwise—and if you don't want to be bored while it's on, well, perhaps try actually looking at it.

2016 (France)/2017 (USA)
Directed by Albert Serra
Written by Thierry Lounas and Albert Serra
With Jean-Pierre Leaud (Louis XIV Bourbon) and Patrick d'Assumcao (Dr. Fagon)

Spoiler alert: if you can't read, then I can't spoil it for you with a written review, can I?

Friday, February 9, 2018

It's pronounced "van gahhhkk"


Actually, it seems like it's pronounced a whole lot of ways, but no matter what you call him, this tribute to the unforgettable Vincent Van Gogh is a piece of animation history that won't be soon forgotten itself.

Directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman
Written by Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, and Jacek Dehnel
With Douglas Booth (Armand Roulin), Chris O'Dowd (Postman Joseph Roulin), Joseph Sessions (Pere Tanguy), Helen McCrory (Louise Chevalier), Eleanor Tomlinson (Adeline Ravoux), Aidan Turner (the Boatman), Saorise Ronan (Marguerite Gachet), and Jerome Flynn (Dr. Paul Gachet)

Spoiler alert: moderate, leaning toward inapplicable

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Send me Tony Randall and booze


Day, Hudson, and Randall are back, and having explored goofy mid-century sex to their satisfaction and our own, set their sights now upon goofy mid-century death.

Directed by Norman Jewison
Written by Julius J. Epstein (based on the play by Norman Barasch and Carroll Moore)
With Rock Hudson (George Kimball), Tony Randall (Arnold Nash), Doris Day (Judy Kimball), Paul Lynde (Mr. Akins), Hal March (Winston Burr), Edward Andrews (Dr. Morrissey), and Clint Walker (Bert Powers)

Spoiler alert: moderate