Part 5 of a 12-part series whereupon I watch one movie a day and rank them in their given month based entirely on subjective preferences.
1) must be a movie I've never seen
2) review must be 32 words or less
3) must include an assortment of genres, directors, countries, and films inside and outside my comfort zone
4) must watch the film in its entirety, no matter how atrocious
Like you, I have a lot of movies on my list, many of which are so painfully popular, I carry great shame in having missed them. Few regrets. But great shame.
For each, I shall write only brief thoughts and become an intolerable quasi-cinephile who thinks Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles is more interesting than any Marvel movie, and Phil Alden Robinson is a better director than James Cameron. Both of which are true.
I apologize for nothing.
Despite an always-enjoyable Christopher Walken, it's a Paul Schrader film you can skip.
I know the instinct is to say "It's Top Gun but with racecars!" and that's accurate. But more vapid. Er, a lot more vapid.
I had higher expectations—on paper, an urban fantasy (lite) is my zone. Just doesn't click. Tonally off. Morbidly graphic by the end. Just blah. Though tragically timely.
I knew of this film, but wasn't aware it had this cast. And despite that, and despite the glory of Frank Oz ... I dunno. It's okay? Feels tired for the first half.
"I would give you a good spanking ... in a business way of course" is pure pre-code naughtiness.
I don't get why these two are friends.
They managed to cram in enough late 90s songs to win me over. Seth Green and Lauren Ambrose stuck in the bathroom could have been a whole spinoff.
The cars talk.
Like John Waters, Amy Heckerling, and 2023 had a baby. Bizarrely deep. A few side characters felt extraneous, but doesn't distract.
PTA was, what, 25 when he made this? 24? It's not great, in comparison to the masterpieces that are Magnolia and There Will Be Blood, but for a debut it's something.
It's aight. I'm sure it's partially to credit for the aughts poker boom? I don't like Matt Damon's playing strategy.
It's no Frances Ha. But I admire the fact Baumbach can consistently make lowkey dramedies that feel undeniably magnetic, to undulating degrees.
It's whatever, but still the most entertaining Marvel franchise.
Hard-pressed to find a movie with more on-screen chemistry (non-romantic chemistry, you sick perverts) between the leads than this. Which, if you know your history, seems ironic.
I don't particularly like music-centric films. This is an exception. But if you strip away the adorable accents, is it still charming? Yes. And the songs aren't half bad.
This movie, a psychological arthouse film, released in two thousand and nineteen ... God bless A24. That said, I have no idea what to make of it. Cheers.
A very plain idea and a very plain story that's entirely engrossing. As I've always surmised, execution is everything. Plaza, the directing, the writing ... aces.
Humiliated to admit this is my first Cronenberg film. I'm sure they get even better, but stiff, comically, fucked-up horror from the seventies remains undefeated.
The directing is the star for me. It's about women's collegiate rowing—how universal can it be? But takes a surreal approach. A psych thriller without a real villain. Really interesting watch.
Like a three-hour therapy session with penis and vagina close-ups.
It's a very fine movie, but is it too early to say Florence Pugh is The Actress of this generation?
More stunning than I assumed. I personally didn't mind Harvey Keitel's penis either.
For three decades, I avoided it because I knew it could never live up to the hype besieged upon me since freshman year of high school ... I was mostly wrong.
Really have to suspend your belief with Oldman's character, otherwise it's super kick-ass. I know her role is sketchy, but for a debut, Portman is magnif.
As someone who's decidedly not a fan of the Marvel movies, I'm presumably a fan of the DC / Gunn movies. Hits every note.
I loved Searching, and this one slaps, too. Perfect casting. Editing is a winner. The "gimmick" still feels fresh and exciting, which is so hard to do, but they pull it off. Again.
One of the more satisfying and stupidly obvious endings I didn't see coming.
All the random out-of-context clips I've watched over the years finally make sense. A top three John Candy comedy for me.
I half-watched in 2007, and now that I've whole-finished, I believe there is so much to be gleaned on a broader cinematic scale ... I said what I said.
If you enjoy slow-moving, dry-witted dramedies entirely focused on incredibly multi-dimensional characters, then I guess you'll like it as much as I did.
Spent 20 years thinking I had seen this and hated it. Not only had I not, but it's extraordinary. Todd Field is a marble icon.
*Feature image by Graham Sisk, created for Pipeline Artists