Bio: Ratings are clinically formulated via felicific calculus specifically excluding the 7th variable.
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|71 53%||Nomadland (2020) - Sep 27, 2021
"Ambitiously tackles an interesting subject but doesn't quite commit to focussing it. Despite the strong lead performance & tone, the more conventionally dramatic character study often feels jarringly in contrast to the documentary-like approach, undermining the vast subtext. Its clinging to familiar structure, pacing & aesthetics left surprisingly little room to actually "feel" the nomadic lifestyle. Has plenty of meat & bones but I'm not sure which is which due to the lack of connective tissue."
|53 16%||Persian Lessons (2020) - Sep 24, 2021
"The ultimately poetic premise (clearly better suited for a novella) is potentially brilliant but would require some exraodinary filmmaking not to succumb to its own immense contrivance. Instead, the film's generally competent execution only highlights the prolonged implausibility of the situation, which they attempt to fix by building some forced tension & (melo)drama (in a holocaust film!?!). Character psychology in this setting is almost impossible to portray in an honest & fitting way though."
|78 75%||Gamera 3: The Revenge of Iris (1999) - Sep 23, 2021
"Very strong conclusion to the trilogy that builds on everything established in the previous movies & delivers exactly what we didn't know we wanted. Pushes the limit of seriousness but walks its talk with an ending so earnestly bombastic in its spiritual message I can't help but admire it. Pinacle suitmation & broad clean character strokes with touches of weirdness. Doesn't escape the usual narrative problems of these types of movies but thwarts their overall effect with its bold conviction."
|83 86%||Bride of Frankenstein (1935) - Sep 23, 2021
"Just wonderful. Takes the axe to the 1st movie, splitting it into so many different tonal & cerebral directions it should be a bizarre mess. As it turns out, (through Whale's confident axe-handling) it's a bizarre delight. Despite the wild fragmented ideas it maintains a fluid dreamlike consistency, never losing its punch or sense of playful fun. The supremely assured visuals & performances (Thesiger fuck yeah!) stitch the mismatched parts together & Whale's sly electric touch shocks it to life."
|67 38%||Promising Young Woman (2020) - Sep 23, 2021
"Due to its industrial fringe-position, exploitation cinema holds a precarious potential to cut through (some) BS & address difficult topics in a more direct confrontational way. Attempting to bring something like this into the acceptable mainstream seems to engage a curious struggle within its own premise. The fact that this is a well crafted entertaining movie very aware of the issue does little to quell the feeling that it's afraid of its own ideas & adds little to what's already out there."
|47 11%||The Uninvited (2009) - Sep 23, 2021
"Predictable, dumb and uninspired but just about passes the questionable bar of being more entertaining than studying for the exam you're supposed to take tomorrow morning. Consequently I don't even have the energy to go for a cheap title-pun."
|75 66%||Dune (2021) - Sep 18, 2021
"Dune's epic grandeur & esoteric intricacy cannot practically coexist in cinematic form (as of yet). Villeneuve heroically avoids betraying Herbert's story but his caution also fails to do justice to its depth or work on its own, too afraid to dive into the characters & weird complex detail so essential to its meaning. The exquisite militarist dream aesthetic had me initially spellbound but without sufficient contrast it started to feel quite flat by the end. Part 2 may or may not solve all this."
|87 94%||Goodbye Dragon Inn (2003) - Sep 14, 2021
"What the hell movie. How is nothing happening very slowly this poignant? Nothing keeps on happening until nothing stops happening and then nothing ends. There's a lot of high-level conceptual shit going on here but none of that really accounts for the lingering evocative punch (of nothing happening). Lingering unfulfillment, lingering gaze, lingering longing, lingering stream of piss. Poetry is a bitch. This movie haunted my brain. Would not recommend to anyone."
|68 41%||Minari (2020) - Sep 14, 2021
"Well crafted and pleasant enough to watch immigrant story but for me it kinda felt like it was avoiding all the interesting aspects of the story by placing emphasis on familiar plot structure, excessive mood establishing and slightly trite central metaphor over characters and their dynamics. Doesn't do very well at balancing subtlety and poignancy or lightness and heft. Somewhat uneconomical storytelling and wavering dramatic focus make this feel but a sum of its (at times lovely) parts."
|48 12%||The Crown (2016) - Sep 14, 2021
"All the production value and acting talent it throws at us cannot hide the cheapness of its soapy (at worst tabloid level) approach, deliberately or accidentally undermining any thematic backbone it tries to establish. Even judged as a cheap soap opera some of this is just painfully contrived. Its relationship to history comes off as lacking any real commitment and there might be something discreetly gross about its superficial critique of monarchy and underlining fascination with its trappings."