The Art of Self Defense
The dialog delivery was definitely from the Yorgos Lanthimos school of deadpan, and the general vibe was extremely absurdist. I loved this film. Quite a bit of this movie was unexpected, and had me cracking up. A genuinely odd delight.
The Day Shall Come
An utterly bizarre and fantastic satire about the very real lengths the state goes to in order to prop up folks with no real chance of committing “terrorist acts”. It’s worrying watching this interview to get more behind the scenes of this film. Morris makes seriously strange stuff, and this is no exception.
Space dads! I don’t know if this is a genre, but perhaps it should be since Interstellar, High Life, and Ad Astra all appear to answer: “what if dads, but in space”. However there was a lot of assault in this film… it’s largely about felons being jettisoned into space, and artificial insemination experiments, it turns out. If you like very grim space movies, this might be for you.
A wild visual ride with a rather bizarre (it’s Trigger, naturally) story of fire people and the folks who fight them. There’s mecha, tons of goofy jokes, and even though it felt a little long, it was fun.
The idea of this movie made me very anxious. Middle school is rough, and I was on edge for most of the film wondering if something very bad would happen, or if Checkov’s AR-15 would reappear. Spoiler Alert No. There’re definitely some sad moments, and some very tender and sweet ones, but no one big terrible event occurs. This isn’t that kind of movie. Instead, Eighth Grade perfectly encapsulates how nervous and awkward we felt in our youth, and just how embarassed we were by our parents. I loved it.
Between Two Ferns
I love the parallel world of these bizarre and failed actors. I haven’t seen very many episodes of the web show, but this was pretty fun.
TL;DR: Low-budget sci-fi cruise ship. This movie reminded me of a Twilight Zone episode, at least in its premise. I really enjoy movies where something goes horribly awry, and “what if we’re stuck in space forever” definitely meets that criteria, but unlike the Twilight Zone, there’s no big twist, just a slow sadness. There’s a certain charm to the fact that it’s Swedish as well. Plus, there’s space lesbians. We’re everywhere.
Mega Time Squad
Completely silly and fun. Low-budget time travel movies are often awesome (think Primer), but what if it was also a very low-brow comedy? Sweet as.
Wow, I really should’ve watched this in the theater. This movie ruled. Outstanding cast, hilarious from start to finish. I want so many more amazing comedies that center rad women. More. Lesbian. Characters. In. Everything.
Steven Universe: The Movie
I’m not super fond of musicals, and this was most certainly a musical. Generally, I’ve enjoyed Steven Universe, but more so when it’s weird, and not saccharine. This movie leaned more towards the latter, so it was cute, but not really my bag. If singing and supportive friendships are your favorite part of the show, you’ll love the movie. TL;DR your ex’s polycule adopts you.
Godzilla: King of Monsters
Ridiculous, but exactly what I expected. A bit of Godzilla, a bit of the Core. I’m fascinated by the idea that “eco-terrorists” have wide-reaching military power, lol. Shin Godzilla is still the best movie in the series, hands down, but this was a silly action romp.
I fondly remember the British show Spooks, which ended in 2011. This movie was a nice reminder of the great things about that silly spy show.
Battle Angel Alita
I read this comic when I was younger, and it’s kind of neat to see it made into a live action film. I still can’t get over the uncanny valley eyes that Rose Salazar’s character had, or the goofy “love story”. Overall, this was a fun action film.
I’ve seen folks watching this on a bunch of planes in the past year or so, and as a long-time fan of the Predator, I entered into it grudgingly. The first two films were tight thrillers, but at this point, I can’t tell what the series wants to be. If you can watch this for free, I guess it’s ok?
Bad Times at the El Royale
This was fun enough, with a pretty good ensemble cast. Nothing really stuck out as excellent, and in a few ways it felt like a less-ambitious Tarantino film.
A good reminder that disaster movies don’t need to have the glitz and glam of a big budget Hollywood film. This sequel to The Wave was rather slowly-paced, but exciting as it picked up steam.
Killing of a Sacred Deer
Wow, this was an eerie film. At this point I’ve enough of Yorgos Lanthimos’ films that I enter into them thinking “what’s the strange twist?” This film delivered on that quite well. I love the strange, flat performance Lanthimos actors provide—they lure you into this world with everything just a bit off. Also the young man in the film was haunting.
I went into this movie thinking “it’s about religion and maybe climate change”. That covers it to a degree, but beyond that is so much truth and sadness. This was a grim, beautiful film that struck me right at the core—both as an ex-religious person, and someone who often mourns for the end of life for so many folks effected by climate change. The movie, at it’s core, asks if there’s any forgiveness for our destruction of the planet, for our destruction of humanity. I don’t have an answer to that question. This film however, was excellent.
I can now say that I have indeed considered the Lobster. After seeing The Favourite earlier this year, I decided to go back to watch Yorgos Lanthimos‘ other films. I’m glad I did. This was fantastic.
The Ceremony (儀式)
A bizarre 70s Japanese film about family, duty, and incest. Reading about this film, it seems like much of it was meant to be an indictment of the older generation, as well as the younger generation’s unwillingness to speak out against tradition. As a film, it’s truly strange, but also brutal in its methodical breakdown of the protagonist.
Hobbs & Shaw
A very silly buddy comedy. They talk about balls a bit too often for a movie with two 50 year old protagonists, but it was fun at times. There’s very little connection between this and Fast & Furious, but if you like Stratham & The Rock, you’ll have fun.
I cried a lot during this film. Awkwafina did a fantastic job, and it’s cool to see a major US release mostly in Mandarin. If you’ve recently lost a grandparent, or have gone through family illness, this might just hit you really hard.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
This was a very strange movie, even by Tarentino’s standards. A mix of fake show clips, stories of a man and his valet, and glimpses into the Manson family. I laughed quite a bit, and generally found this movie to be a blast.
This was hard to watch. It was very well done, and intensely paced, but the abuse in the films was painful. There’s a grim morality in this film, and a certain catharsis in seeing abusers punished, but fuck.
A fantastically creepy film about ennui and friendship. I loved it.
Spiderman: Far from Home
This is exactly what I want from a superhero movie: fun. The stakes were much smaller than an Avengers movie, despite this film happening in the aftermath of both the “blip” and many deaths, and that’s a good thing. Instead of world-changing events, we got to enjoy Peter and his classmates goofing around in Europe, and the zany world of Mysterio. I loved this movie. The action was exciting, and the jokes were silly and fun.
A strange movie reminiscent of a short story I read years ago where. house guests slowly take over a family’s home. It’s dark, funny, and a poignant commentary on xenophobia.
Wow. What a gorgeous, twisted, wild film. From the music to the ultra-bright summer of it all, I loved this movie. If you’re quite squeamish, give it a pass. Otherwise, skål!
A slow burn of a movie. Largely, this is about a family, and a father who is kind of a shit. Tormund from GoT shows up. Lots of skiing. Grey fog. Fin.
Ralph Breaks the Internet
This was super cute, with a nice mix of weird jokes and internet references. It’s wild how many amazing actors they got to join in the strange fun. If you liked the first film, you’ll enjoy the new one.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
This movie wasn’t as bad as critics have said, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. Out of the two treatments of the Dark Phoenix, I think this one was better. The story was a bit odd, but overall, it was fun and a lot of shit blew up. B- summer pap.
A largely solo trek through grief, loneliness, and the end of the world. The soundtrack to Starfish was excellent, as was the performance of Ginny Gardner. Without spoiling anything, it’s best to say this movie goes in interesting directions and is shot beautifully.
This is the second-highest grossing film in Chinese cinematic history. I’ve heard about this book for a while, and conceptually it’s interesting to think about the Earth moving instead of colony ships leaving, but it’s frustrating that Chinese censors meant that the themes of the film are somewhat limited. The end result felt more like The Core than Star Wars, and overall it was rather disappointing.
John Wick 3
Ridiculous from start to finish. The fights were fun, the plot moved forward at a fast clip, and this is one of my favorite silly action franchise.
Lego Movie: Part 2
Fun, but didn’t match up to the sheer weird joy of the first movie.
Hilarious and so, so fun. This was definitely a kids movie, but aimed solidly at kids who’re 28-35 now—my generation has the funds to relive our childhoods in cinema. I played a few Pokémon games, and watched the cartoon for a little while in middle school, and seeing all of the Pokémon I know flitting around the screen was a hoot. Ryan Reynolds did some fantastic Pikachu voice acting, matched by the incredible CGI of his fur. One of the sillier, funnier movies I’ve seen in a minute. “My clues!”
It’s been years since I read the story that this movie was inspired by, so I barely remember it. The pacing of Burning was slow, but each shot was artful, and each scene a strange delight. Also, the ambling, slightly clueless protagonist seemed to fit right in to Murakami world.
This was in a really intense movie about how fucking cold it can get in the Arctic, and how scary it is to be crashed there. I like to think that this is somehow an extension of the Hannibal universe, and that in order to escape capture he became a pilot.
This was like three movies jammed into one. It was fine, but I hope they stop doing the massive super hero stuff for a while.
Bizarre and utterly obsessed with liquids. Hard to watch, but also beautiful at times.
A delightful meditation on family. I watched an earlier Koreeda movie called Nobody Knows just after college, and it destroyed me. I mostly forgot about this director until Shoplifters last year, and damn, I loved that film too. I think i only have the emotional wherewithal to watch something he made every few months, but each time I dive into his world, there’s an incredible depth to how he shows the small ways we love and lose each other. Also it’s wild to see You-san in an acting role, and not on the Terrace House couch.
I don’t know where to start with this weird mess of a movie. It was super funny at times, but left a lot on the cutting floor, had an utterly bizarre trans “joke”, and the worst driving scenes I’ve seen. At the same time, it was goofy, cute, and a man behind us loudly said, “that’s her when she was little”.
Well, I’ve finished Shyamalan’s weird comic trilogy. I remember watching Unbreakable in the theater at the mall near my house as a kid. I’d don’t know if that mall even exists anymore, but for a while, you could go to the arcade downstairs, and then watch a movie in the theater near the food court. I was straight-up enamored with Shyamalan at the time. Sixth Sense was fresh on my mind, and Unbreakable was bizarre, but hinted at something wild. Subsequent movies took this M. Night from a must watch icon, to an amusing auteur, and I think that’s great. The Happening is a movie I deeply love, but this trilogy never really lived up to either the mystery or weirdness of his best work. I think in an effort to make a meta-comic movie, he made something that ultimately doesn’t deliver much past a so-so premise that heroes do exist. Which, is fine, but isn’t “he was dead the whole time,” or “the plants!”
The Night is Short, Walk on Girl
This movie is gorgeous, which is to be expected from one of Yusuke Nakamura’s works. The plot is pretty bonkers, and includes everything from strange gods, rare alcohols, and a collection of Classical Japanese porn. If you like this, you might also love Tatami Galaxy from the same folks. There’s a certain spiritual similarity to Tampopo in this film’s over-the-top appreciation for food and drinks too.
This was a really fun movie about how amazing food can be. Tons of literal and figurative porn scenes about noodles, eggs, and more. The western film style is kinda wacky and silly, but the overall tone was interesting. I was a bit out of it when I watched this film, so I missed some of it, but likely this’ll be a rewatch.
Super spooky. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the combination of very good dad jokes, incredibly talented actors, and tight pacing kept this film feeling scary and fun throughout. There’s twists and turns, and a very good boat name or two. See this movie. I’m stoked we get to see more of Peele’s work in the future.
What a cool movie. This tense space flick proved that you can do a lot of sci-fi stuff with less budget. I love media about shitty tech, and this is kind of “what happens when you’re a skint space prospector” angle down pat. This could’ve been a weird Cowboy Bebop live action, but instead tackled the idea from a different angle. Sophie Thatcher rules, too. Wherever this was shot, it was gorgeous.
Super fun! Brie Larson made for a very compelling super hero, and I love Goose with my whole heart. The 90s throwback setting was a delight, along with its soundtrack. I’m stoked to see what this sets up for future Marvel films, and hopeful that we see the Skrull again (please show up in Runaways).
Flavors of Youth
An alright film about the things we leave behind as we grow older, and the tastes and regrets we have. Most of this film is set in China, which is an interesting place to hear all the characters speak Japanese. There are three vignettes, and none really tugged my heartstrings, but it was still a well done movie.
Anna and the Apocalypse
A high-school musical with zombies. I really don’t like musicals, to be honest. I’d heard good things about this one though, and wanted to give it a chance. The cast is doing a pretty good job throughout, though the relatively one-dimensional characters of the “hot jock” and the “asshole headmaster” are schlocky. This movie mostly made me want to watch Sean of the Dead again, which used rock music to better effect.
Mads Mikkelsen got his Takeshi Kitano take-no-prisoners action role. This movie was adapted from a comic, and it feels just like a comic, down to the choppy dialogue, fast-paced action, and dead-simple plot. It’s kinda fun, if you can get over the copious amounts of cartoonish murder.
Weird. I read this book probably 10 years ago, and enjoyed it. The movie is a lighter adaptation, as it’s trickier to capture internal dialogue on film. Mia Wasikowska is outstanding as usual. I also enjoyed the general 70s aesthetic, and the cool selection of lingerie. This film only clocks in at about an hour and twenty minutes, but manages to build and release tension a few times.
I don’t know why I slept on this film. I guess I like Paul Fieg movies? This is delightful fare from Melissa Mcarthy, and a solid supporting cast.
Noomi Rapace is a badass bodyguard in this short, high-action thriller. The “rich girl who eventually learns she needs help” is a long-standing trope, but it’s plays well here. This movie takes place in a weird parallel reality wherein everyone uses Blackberrys. Shout out to Indira Varma too, who was great in Luther, Game of Thrones, and now as a potentially treacherous stepmom.
Another great eco-pocalypse movie. Limited cast and locations, but a cool premise overall. This movie was short, but definitely hit many of my speculative fiction check marks. I want to ride an ATV now.
I loved the intense opening scenes of this film, and the scrolling credits—I’ve rarely seen something like this, and it felt brutal and fresh. Sadly the rest of the film felt like an idea that they forgot to film. Was she the devil? Didn’t explore that. Single mom? Didn’t explore that. There was so much buildup with no payoff. Terrorists? Nah. Long song b-roll? Yep. Even Sia couldn’t be bothered to record anything great for this film. Missed opportunity. This could‘be been Wicked and Divine, the movie.
Another film with Tony Kebbell—seeing him in this after seeing him in Hurricane Heist was a wild ride. I think his American accent got better. Also, Kusama seemed pretty obsessed with Kidman’s face throughout this film. This was a intense sad cop/revenge film, with elements from many old sad cop guy films—transformed into something new by letting the old cop be a woman. I really appreciated the Halt & Catch Fire alumni, as well as the always delightful Tatiana Maslany. This movie felt like a different era, and painted LA in a grim, dusty light.
What a fantastic film. In some ways this reminded me of the anime Tokyo Godfathers—which is also about a group of underground folks taking in a child. The way Shoplifters weaved chosen family in with delightful vignettes and outstanding performances by two children was masterful. This felt like a Japan that rarely appears in cinema—a group of folks struggling with poverty, and not sure how to be part of a society that seems to expect them to join in. I will probably rewatch this, and highly recommend it.
I knew going in that this would be a bonkers film, having listened to the How Did This Get Made episode about it, but wow. Everyone in this film except for Maggie Grace is from England or Australia, and their accents are absurd. I feel like everyone got drunk, decided to use an “Alabama accent” and then a movie happened. Nothing that happened made sense, but also it was a hoot.
I’m still not sure what I saw. I think this aims to be a cautionary tale about mob rule, privacy, and misogyny. It’s brutal, graphic, and so full of -isms, I can’t say I recommend it. It’s wild that this movie played in theaters. I’m kinda stoked Hari Nef got to be a mean teen trans lady. By the end there’s a revenge bloodbath that I can’t tell if I was meant to find cathartic, or sad. This is definitely the most misanthropic and nihilistic movie I’ve seen in years.
Hearts Beat Loud
I cried through a lot of this, because the dad was so good. A+ always here for rebellious lesbian daughters with amazing musical talent and cool girlfriends. Also here for every person in the cast, and a random Jeff Tweedy cameo. Also Best American Girl was a dope song/Puberty 2 was an amazing album. I will rewatch this.
Spooky fun times. A bit of Blindness, a bit of the Happening, and a bit of Sandra Bullock. This was a star vehicle, with lots of randomly awesome small characters. Worth a watch, especially if you’re already a Netflix person.
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
Such a fun, silly movie. I recently played the Spider-Man PS4 game, so it was cool to see Miles return. Also, I’m a fan of Spider-Gwen, and I’m stoked she got a movie appearance. The whole theater was cracking up for over half of the film, and then it got a little serious and action-y. I really hope they make another one of these. The animation was wild, and super original too.
A lesbian triumph. Olivia Coleman had me laughing constantly with her performance as the queen, and Rachel Weiss & Emma Stone were a delight. This movie was a bizarre, hilarious, and strangely shot film; using fisheye lenses, and lots of smooth pans on a rail made for a truly odd experience. There was quite a bit of creative anachronism, and some very adorable ducks. Easily one of the best movies I saw this year.
The Equalizer: 2
This is apparent the first sequel Denzel has ever made. I’ve loved the genre of Denzel as an ultraviolent avenging angel ever since I saw Man on Fire. Some folks may prefer John Wick, and granted, those movies have a great style, but damn, the Equalizer is a series I hope to see more of in the future.
The Death of Stalin (rewatch)
It’s the season for rewatching films.
Super goofy horror film with lots of great folks. I think B movies can only rarely be made great from the start, and this one could’ve used a little less effort.
The Fast & the Furious (rewatch)
A few friends hadn’t watched this before, so we drank a bit, and had a rip-roaring good time seeing this again. Everyone is decked-out in the most late 90s gear, the camera work is bonkers, and the cars are cool, but painted like awful hot wheels. I love this series.h
Granted, the central twist was spoiled for me, but so much of this movie felt joyless. Theoretically this movie should’ve been right up my alley, but honestly I would’ve rather rewatched the VVitch for the umpteenth time.
This was one of my favorite movies of the year. Wow. A all badass lady heist movie with actual stakes! Everyone delivers in this film, and it was a hoot. A+
Crazy Rich Asians
This was a schlocky romcom about a very rarefied set of Chinese Singaporeans. It was fun enough, and now both of the people I saw it with want to flood the aisle of a building during their wedding. Moms are a lot.
Girl with a Dragon Tattoo (rewatch)
My partner hasn’t seen these, and I would watch them again basically whenever, so here we are.
Ant Man and the Wasp (rewatch)
Just as delightful the second go-round. More fun superhero movies please.
So, so ridiculous and terrible… but also kind of great? Like, what if Die Hard wasn’t as good, and had the Rock in Hong Kong? I watched this so I could listen to this week’s How Did This Get Made, and I am glad I did.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web
We’re on our third Lisbeth actress, and while Claire Foy more than filled the shoes of Rooney Mara, the same can’t quite be said for whoever replaced Daniel Craig. This was a fun, twisty movie, that was inadvertently stressful for my partner because of all the snow and ice driving. Lisbeth continues to deliver her brand of justice, while “then Lisbeth hacks the thing” is a major plot device. Kudos to all the lesbians in this, and the giant case of dildos. Fun movie.
A wild single-room movie, that takes place completely over the phone. I love the narrative device, and the slow, dread-filled pacing. The movie largely takes place in your own imagination, helped along by excellent foley, and voice acting.
The First Purge
Yow, what a good mess. I don’t know why I love the Purge films, and to be honest, this one felt a little too real. However, I watched this on Halloween, so it fit my needs of a spooky, scary movie.
This was goofy and fun, while still being a twisty thriller. Ultimately, these are morality tales about private property ownership, lol. A+ to Jamie Lee Curtis, and also all the random bit players. Definitely a good popcorn flick with friends.
A spooky throwback to get ready for the sequel. I guess they made a bunch of these and they were all garbage, and the new movie aims to erase them. I think somehow the only one I’d seen was Season of the Witch, which is the 3rd movie in the original set. The 70s were a weird time, and the amount of nudity random “gotta take my clothes off” is just yikes. Jamie Lee Curtis did a great job. I’m hoping the pacing of the new film is more up to modern standards though, because dang, did this feel dated and slow in a lot of ways.
From the preview, I assumed this would be a John Wick knockoff, but it was fun in its own right. Lots of action, Jenny Slate, and a wide array of solid actors. The future is a dismal one, but hey, that checks out.
What if John Hamm’s Mad Men character was a state department guy turned negotiator? 70s Beirut is a trip in the way it’s presented, and knowing a little history, this seems like a wild but semi-accurate portrayal of all the folks who fought over Lebanon during and after the civil war. This is a tonally dark political thriller, and I dug it.
What a perfectly odd anti-hero film. I was a big Venom fan as a kid, and this movie delivered everything I wanted in a Venom movie. Fuck the haters, this is a hoot. I don’t think this should win any prizes for cinema but it’s fun, and provided lots of awkward laughs. The action was exciting, and I can’t wait for a sequel full of carnage.
Sicario: Day of the Solado
Another ridiculous action film about “the cartels” that I can’t honestly tell is meant to make folks dislike the US or root for us. If you want to watch Cable/Thanos run around and shoot things, this is probalby a good movie for you. I don’t find these very clever, but mostly I wish we got an Equalizer-style movie focused on Benecio Del Toro’s character. While I’m hoping, perhaps Demián Bichir can be in the third movie.
A weirdo pyschadelic mess of a movie. I hate that a woman’s death is used as a catalyst, but beyond that this is a bloody, ridiculous revenge flick. The music is great throughout and perhaps we were all delirious, but my theater laughed quite a bit.
Dawn of the Dead (2004/Rewatch)
I could watch this every year. This is an excellent remake of an excellent zombie film. Everyone gives their all, and so many of the deaths, kills, and twists are perfect. A+ work from before Zach Snyder made cruddy films.
A Simple Favor
What a silly, fun movie. It ends up in kind of a weird, messy state by the end, as if Feig is like “wait, what if they don’t remember I made Bridesmaids?!?”, but I generally enjoyed seeing Blake Lively be a cool babe, while Anna Kendrick does her thing. All the side-characters were fun, and even though it felt long, it was also consistently enjoyable.
This is the third movie I’ve seen this year that was shot in Oakland, and I loved it. There is so much intensity, and so many parts that made me hold my breath, but everyone in this, especially Daveed Diggs, just showed-up and did an outstanding job. The criticism of gentrification in this felt more present and painful than Sorry to Bother You, and the raw emotional energy between family and friends here was so good.
Lol, this ridiculous series. My friend got me into this while I was recovering from a surgery last year by asking me to watch all the preceding movies before we went to see one of the Annabelle ones. This series delivers spooky times, jump-scares, and a universe completely devoid of a loving god. I’m always down for a movie where the evil folks win, and this series is suitably unclear about who actually comes out on top, so I just claim it for the demons.
What a bizarre, fantastic film. I loved the world and magic of this movie, as well as the general sense of eerie inevitably. I’m excited to see the previous film as well. The shots of this film are a mix of dutch angles, handheld, and some neat CGI. There’s quite a bit of upsetting stuff in this film, but it’s also a fun ride.
47 Meters Down
Mandy Moore has never scuba-dived, but on a vacation to Mexico, her asshole friend convinces her to scuba in a cage with sharks to forget a man. It goes about as poorly as you’d think. I loved every claustrophobic minute of this. Fuck the ocean, I’m sticking to the rivers and the lakes that I’m used to.
Mary and the Witch’s Flower
A cute anime about a young girl who stumbles into the world of witchcraft. Very reminiscent of Howl’s Moving Castle, but with a less encompassing world.
Den of Thieves
A heist movie with a pretty solid cast. Gerard Butler plays a shitty, dirty cop well. He was definitely believable as “the guy who treats everyone like shit, but we’re supposed to believe he is a very good dad who just loves his daughters.” The plot was decently executed, but it’s mostly just a movie with lots of bro posturing and guns. Not a bad way to spend a couple hours on the couch.
A ridiculous heist comedy with Zach Galafanakis, Kristen Wiig, and Jason Sudekis. It’s about as ridiculous as you would imagine. A+ romp. Lots of quality physical comedy.
Watched this on a whim with a couple friends, and it was kinda great? I love Candace Bergen from the Murphy Brown days, and hope I look as good as Diane Keaton when I’m older. Silly popcorn fun. Also I guess I own it now because it wasn’t available to rent.
Wow. This is my new favorite sea-based movie. What an epically hilarious film. A+ good job everyone.
Mission Impossible Fallout
A wild, nearly 3 hour ride through a comical series of twists and beards. I laughed out loud often, both at the unearned gravitas, and actual jokes. I love this series like Tom Cruise loves being an action hero: deeply, and passionately.
Ready Player One
I blame my friend Mark, because he chose this for us to watch. It was just as bad as I thought it would be, but blessedly we could make good jokes throughout.
There are probably worse Nic Cage movies, but this is the worst one I’ve seen. Every scene is painfully bad.
Fun, and very surprisingly entertaining for a video game movie. Lots of “oh, I could see how this would play in the game,” scenes. Alicia Vikander is a much better Lara Croft too, imo.
Sorry to Bother You
This is the movie Idiocracy wishes it were. Sorry to Bother You skewers tech culture, bay-area poverty, racial injustice, and so much more. Throughout, Tessa, Lakeith, and the rest of the cast deliver awesome performances. A mix of chilling and laugh-inducing. One of the best films I’ve seen this year.
What a wild, fucked-up movie about social media, murder, and friendship. Don’t do it for the gram.
Finally watched this with a friend, and wow, it was good but full of very violent abuse stuff. Growing up in the 80s/90s, Tonya Harding was in a lot of news, but this definitely filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge of her story.
What a wonderfully bonkers movie. It kicks off with wild first-person murder fest, and just goes off-the-rails from there. One of the bloodier and wilder action films I’ve seen in a long time. Loved it.
The Incredibles 2
Watched this a few hours after the first one. The animation has gotten a LOT better, even though the first one honestly aged pretty well, since they didn’t try to make it photorealistic. The plot was ridiculous again, and they definitely leaned hard into the “men are bad at childcare” shit that I suspected they would. Fun enough though anyways.
The animation holds up surprisingly well for a few year-old movie, even if the plot depends on some pretty annoying misogynist tropes. I watched this to prep for the new movie, and overall it was a fun, if ridiculous, movie.
Ant Man & the Wasp
This was a hoot. Very silly, and pretty PG, but above all else, this felt like a comic movie. I’d compare this to Spiderman Homecoming or a less stylish Thor Ragnarok. Great summer night movie.
What a wild movie, in which I needed to completely suspend all of my feelings about America, the “drug war” and Thanos. If you can attempt to not emotionally connect to the actual monsters in this movie, it’s kinda fun in a “tense film where things blow up” kind of way.
Lesbian murder mystery? Yes. This was fun, even if the music felt super weird at times. Good bangs. Cool cars. A movie where men are the worst. Also this seems consistent with the choices and habits of geminis, so, lol. shots fired.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Lol, this movie was absurd. They rushed off the island and so many of the subplots never really paid off? I can’t forget that Pratt is a conservative, and I didn’t really care much about anyone in this film, except for the dinosaurs. I guess I was rooting for the dinosaurs, and I figure they probably came out ahead.
This movie ruled! The world feels pretty rough these days, and this movie doesn’t shy away from difficult topics, but the overarching feeling of Oh Lucy is a kind and happy one. It was also cool seeing an actor I’ve watched in lots of Kiyoshi Kurasawa films show up in a very rad role.
All. Ladies. Heist. A+. I hope everyone involved in this comes out as gay. Points for literally every outfit, and double points for Rhianna’s devil-may-care overalls, and Cate Blanchett’s Carol-as-a-Timelord character.
Terrible title unless everyone involved had to get a karyotype test to be involved. Most of the horror was related to having kids, which meant this movie hit me hard, because kids are the worst and deeply frightening on the best days.
I’m a sucker for middling spy movies, and Noomi Rapace, so I now own this film. It wasn’t great, but it was fun, and dammit, sometimes that’s all I need. TIL Michael Douglas is still around.
I will never believe for one second that the protagonist would fall for Joel Edgerton’s bland spyman. For some reason, I expected this movie to be set during the cold war, but instead it’s vaguely now. This had more sexual assault than I expected too, which is a fucking bummer. The saving grace in this film is that by and large Jennifer Lawrence kills or beats all the men in the movie. I can only hope she gets cast in more movies where she doesn’t have to participate in misogynist porn first.
This was a fun movie about being a Persian Bisexual woman in NYC. Shirin goes through a major breakup, then struggles to date, and heal, while dealing with a family she doesn’t think will understand her queerness, and the strange world of the NYC queer and poly scene. I laughed out loud during a lot of this, even as I scratched my head at the confusing references to trans guys—like, why are they a joke? Overall, I dug this movie, and hope the director/writer Desiree makes more films soon.
This was probably tied with Last Jedi for my least favorite of the new Star Wars, but I liked it better than pretty much any of the old or prequel ones. It was fun, had a few rad women, and didn’t go overboard on “remember this?” fanservice. I laughed a few times, and I’m hoping they make sequels.
As fun as Avengers: Infinity War was boring and meh. Full of silly jokes. There were definitely jokes that were in really poor taste, but pretty much what I expected.
Avengers: Infinity War
This movie tried to tie together too many disparate stories, to bland effect. The attempt at some sort of emotional climax was a big wet fart, despite ten people in the theater I was in yelling at the screen. Like, spoilers they’ll all be back, bc Disney isn’t going to kill off their money-makers. Go rewatch Black Panther of Thor Ragnarok, or like, spend 3 hours outside instead.
In the Fade
One of the saddest movies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s gorgeous, well-shot, and soundtracked, but phew, what a brutal movie about the evils of nazism, and racism.
A trash movie in the best way. If you liked watching Jake Gylenhall run from ice in The Day After Tomorrow, and people saying “zap!” and “geostorm!”, then this movie is for you. Continues the trend of big-budget action films being largely targeted for non-US success, but that means we also get some cool co-stars.
A Quiet Place
A “good christian family” who loves gender roles has to be vewwwwwy quiet so they don’t get eaten by some kind of creatures. This movie was silly as fuck. Every time the monster was on screen, someone had to pantomime “be quiet,” as if the entire movie hadn’t been quiet. Also spoilers but how the fuck do you get pregnant if you know that a baby is going to make loud baby noises and get your family killed? And where did they fuck? Anyways, this is a hate-watch.
Another “maybe these are bad people” everything-goes-wrong movie. This was a rewatch, and yet, the cave scenes still had me feeling super claustrophobic. It didn’t help that I was in the middle of a middle row on a plane to Portland from Amsterdam when I watched it.
I can’t tell if this was the original, or if this was a remake, but either way, it’s nice to watch annoying and awful people fall apart. This is a theme of the previous and next movie.
A very good “get lost in the woods” movie. Bad things happen to unlikeable men. A+.
The Death of Stalin
Super dark comedy. It has that abusive asshole Jeffrey Tambor, but otherwise is full of hilariously weird old men. If you like Veep or In the Thick of It, this is a must-watch.
rewatch Wesley Snipes is a half-vampire vampire hunter. It rules.
Wrinkle in Time
I’d recommend listening to this podcast after you see the movie. It was very, very disney, and they burned through everything pretty fast without a lot of wonder. Really glad that the god stuff was gone, but I think they could have jettisoned Calvin too without losing anything.
A great movie about being queer, growing up Christian, and maybe having super powers. Relateable AF. Highly recommended.
What a wild movie. I read these books back in 2014 when they were released in a frenzy. I was pretty constantly afraid of the house I was staying in, as I was pretty well disturbed by the book. It had the kind of sneaky quality that gets in your head. The movie did a brisker job of telling a similar story, but I enjoyed it. I’ll probalby see this again, and I’m very curious if they’ll try to make more.
I hadn’t seen this movie for a long time, but recently Imogen watched and talked about it, so my roommate and I sat down for a revisit. It held up. There’s something fantastic about watching these very gay vampire boys run around and be punk teens. Listen to Imogen’s podcast if you can, bc she says everything I’d wanna cover. Oh, and watch this movie.
Holy shit. I thought this movie would be good, but I had no idea how amazing it would be. Action like woah, a solid plot that doesn’t dig into origin story over and over like other Marvel films, and amazing set and costume design. The array of talented actors in this film is unbelievable. This is one of the best films of 2018. No doubt.
The Cloverfield Paradox
I’d heard a lot of “this movie isn’t good” from folks who hate fun, I guess. It was fun, and a pretty decent “stuff goes wrong in space” movie. I LOVE Cloverfield and even though I was mad at the gendered threat of violence that permeated the entirety of 10 Cloverfield Lane, I still enjoyed bits of that too. The Cloverfield universe is a wild one that I really enjoy. See this if you have Netflix, like seeing WoC protagonists, or like Cloverfield movies.
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore
Elijah Wood is doing his all in this movie, as is Melanie Lynskey. This goes off the rails midway through, and becomes a thrillride, but keeps up the laughs. Also, yay for a movie that’s set in Portland.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Ahhh, this ruled! Sam Neil, and the kid are spectacular. Taika has a lovely cameo as a bizarre priest. This might end up being the best movie I see this year, and it had me laughing pretty consistently throughout.
My second viewing of this movie since I saw it in theaters in Berkeley. I love how rad and amazing this tower-escape film is. The fight scenes and film style is so kinetic, and carries you through the film. There’s not a lot in the way of plot, but some of it feels like a Die Hard homage.
Jackie Chan vs Irish James Bond. This movie kinda ruled. Jackie Chan is fantastic, even at 63, at just dominating the screen with his personality and action. This is definitely a more subdued and serious role than many of his more famous films, but he shows up and is great. Parts of this reminded me of taken, and others of name a political thriller, but overall I really enjoyed this movie.
Battle of the Sexes
I’d heard good things, and this was pretty fun to watch. The lesbian storyline was surprisingly compelling, and very well-done. I’m mad that Adidas didn’t reissue BJK’s signature shoe when this movie came out though. It’s a good shoe. Steve Carrell seemed like many of his other characters in this, but whatever… Billy Riggs was an ass, and they do a good job of showing that.
Murder on the Orient Express
Everyone is acting so hard in this, and yet the result is a mess. That said, I’d watch this again just to see Branaugh’s ridiculous mustache. 10/10 mustache. I saw this in Japan, so I had a beer and french fries to make it slightly better, and pre-roll video that repeated “NO NO NO” in English to admonish us for even considering texting or talking.
this list is super truncated because i forgot keep it until july
Everyone forgets their training, acts like an ass, and gets munched by aliens. It was entertaining in a schadenfreude way.
Cried through most of this. It’s about growing up black & gay, with a neurodiverse mom. It’s beautiful, intense, and in my top five movies I’ve ever seen. Incredible.
At times hilarious, and others biting AF. I really loved this movie. A pitch-perfect callout of “good white folks”, like we often are.
Aliens rule. This movie ruled. Kenny Powers flies a spaceship, and new Ridley is solid. Also Magneto is creepy AF in this.
It’s like Wolverine, but better, because he’s old. Also this has Rictor, who was gay in the comics with Shatterstar. Super entertaining.
Fast & Furious 8
Haven’t seen one of these? Ready to live your life a quarter-mile at a time? Start at 1, then watch 2, 4, 5, 6, 3, 7, 8. I think. Anyways, this is bonkers in a perfect way.
A anime movie? Yea, this series by Nihei is kinda rad, and there’s cool killer lady. It’s 3D animated, which is kinda the worst, but it doesn’t look horrible in this.
Ah, this was super good. A+ characters, fun action, and a lack of space incest! Also the robot was comic relief without being a jar jar.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe
Brian Cox from that other X-Men movie and also Rushmore is a morgue-guy, like those cuties from Six Feet Under… except spookier. Also I think the other guy was Spiderman.
Gob Bluth is the bat. This movie is hilarious. Bonus points if you’re a DC comics nerd, or just enjoy fun.
Train to Busan
Seriously one of the best zombie movies I’ve seen in a long time. Also I love trains, and this is the best train movie since Snowpiercer.
Ugh, this sequel to Alien was so good, and still is so good. RIP cool cat, but yay for all the rad ladies in this. Also Bishop is the only ok robot in this series.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Overall, pretty entertaining. Gomorra is cool as always. Baby Groot was less awful than I expected, and hey! Kurt Russell space dad.
John Wick 2
So, this is more Keanu as a vengeful Denzel Washington-esque character, but not as good. I liked this movie, but also Man on Fire did it better. Well shot though! And there’s at least a nod towards ammo being a thing.
Kong: Skull Island
Wow, they just told Samuel L. Jackson to be his one character, which is a great character. Bonus points for Steve Brule.
“Featuring Kevin Bacon from Footloose” as the least convincing outdoor working man in a movie, ever. He and his boyfriend can’t leave town, so they end up fighting giant worms. This movie is super euphemistic, hilarious, and the best role Reba has ever had.
A fantastic look at how modern bureaucracy and posturing can get in the way of stopping a giant lizard. Too bad they don’t show the environmental devastation wrought by eschewing safety checks.
A super cute, super straight story of love through time. Imagine if the Lake House was better, and didn’t have Keanu. It’s basically this.
The Girl with All the Gifts
Another great zombie movie, with a super cute protagonist. Cute kid zombies are great.
This is literally what happens if you break vegan.
Had to rewatch this after Covenant. Still perfect. Naomi Rapace could do her taxes on film, and I’d probably be riveted. She rules.
Justice League Dark
I wanted this to be better. It was so-so, and seriously, Swamp Thing?
A send-up of Lethal Weapon + every buddy cop film. Mcarthy and Bullock are fantastic in this.
I will watch this yearly, as it’s one of the 4 movies I own. Get high, and watch this movie about a kitten, and the men who love him.
Nick Cage at his most unhinged. Well, close to it. My roommate hadn’t seen this, so I introduced her to this hilarious hellride.
Don’t get into modeling. It’ll end badly. This movie was beautiful, gory, and wild.
I’ve enjoyed other movies from this studio more – Coraline for one – but this was still fun.
I’d avoided watching this because I hadn’t read great things about it, save for this review by Matt Haughey. While I agree with him that the opening action scene was stellar, so were the short films BMW made with greats like Wong Kar Wai a few years ago to sell cars. I liked watching this film, but it’s unfortunate that the men were two-dimensional, and the women collapsed in on themselves, with no characterization, or much motivation. I’d expected a bit more of Edgar Wright, but on the upside, the musical cues were also quite good. I’m not fully sure if this is a tribute to old McQueen movies, or what, but it was alright, but I can’t co-sign the fantastic from the above. It was exciting, but the stakes weren’t ever high, because I never cared much about the protagonist, because I was given no reason to care. We’ve seen chases before, parkour, car work. This movie could’ve elevated them further, but it chose not to. I never believed there really was jeopardy, because as the movie, and the news of the day makes clear, “he’s such a good boy,” is something that will always apply to the white male criminal.
The short version is that this was very targetted towards a Chinese release, partially due to the studio financing, and even Besson was promoting it on Weibo. I had a great time watching this movie, but it was pretty dang ridiculous, and had super traditional and boring gender roles and “marriage is the best” kind of crap. Still, the visuals were incredible, and it was a fun space romp. Recommended.
Secret Life of Pets
I blame my friend Andy – they wanted to watch this because they were tired and we thought it’d be cute. It was very cute, but also pretty silly. I dunno. Kids probably loved it. There’s some good cats.
Charlize Theron as a queer badass assassin/spy? Sold. Because this is mainstream Hollywood, of course that doesn’t last, but still… this was a fun romp. A summer movie devoid of substance, but thick and heavy with style and silliness.
Kiefer oozes weird attraction in this classic about chasing the meaning of life by dying for minutes. I saw a trailer for the sequel to this, I guess, with Ellen Page, so I had to revisit the original. I loved it all over again. Spooky and silly. And, to quote my roommate, “how many Baldwins are there?!”
This was goofy as hell, and was sort of a comedic Blair Witch in Moldova thing. Near the end it takes a sharp left, and we were cracking up. Worth watching on Netflix, perhaps?
A beautifully terrible film by the guy who brought us The Day After Tomorrow. I love a movie where we’re led to believe that John Cusack is the best driver in the world, and a writer-cum-action hero. I love watching this movie when I’m camping, or hiking for a few days, because it’s so ridiculous, and also it’s wild to watch the world end, however silly the movie.
In This Corner of the World
SO. MANY. TEARS. My friends and I sobbed through a lot of this film about the atrocities of World War 2, especially the destruction the United States caused in Japan. The movie follows a woman living in Hiroshima, then Kure, who grows up in the 30s and 40s, and sees her friends and loved ones suffer during the war. It’s beautiful, hilarious at times, and sad. This movie is a shift on the view that Grave of the Fireflies offers, but definitely in similar territory.
Guessed the twist about 20 minutes into this movie and i’m really proud of that because I’m usually the worst at figuring out where bad movies are headed. Don’t trust your grandparents. Don’t send your kids anywhere. Don’t ever clean your oven.
This was great, until the witch didn’t win. I can’t help but think these movies are trying to get me to follow their lord and savior.
The Conjuring 2
Yep, these are definitely witnessing. A cool demon has a hard time with some very awful British people. Watched both of these in quick succession to get to see Annabelle 2 or whatever later on tonight.
This was a very silly movie with children making terrible choices. I don’t think dolls themselves are very scary, but Catholicism is definitely scary. Everyone who gets hunted by the demon or whatever was also a practicing Catholic, so maybe being a satanist or atheist would be some kinda ghost protection.
One of the best movies ever, and it’s held up super well in animation and craft. I love this robot.
I think I watched a movie about a plague
I was on a LOT of drugs for surgery, so I have no idea what this was called, but I’m pretty sure I saw it before?
This fucking movie is straight-up incredible. Mark Wahlberg at his best “I’m just happy to be here,” and a whole lot of incredibly banal deaths. Zooey “Literal Beige Person” Deschanel is also in this for some reason. Anyways, I love that this was one of the movies we all saw, hoping for the return of that GOOD GOOD Sixth Sense action, and instead we got this beautiful god trash. Eat a pound of desert pudding and cry about humanity. “I’m gonna give you… a math riddle.”
Hadn’t seen it, and wow what a silly joy. Not scary at all, but I’m definitely even less trustworthy of Tim Curry now, I guess? Everyone is giving their all in this movie.
Ok, I finally saw it. I literally couldn’t stop thinking about Gal being part of an anti-Palestian army, but once Chris Pine made me laugh by doing a bad German accent. This movie bravely asks the question: “she’s a goddess, but when will she become super saiyan?” Not particularly into this movie.
This is the kind of superhero film that makes me smile. I think this is the best reboot of the Spiderman franchise, and it is filled with silly, fun moments, that emphasize the more joyful aspects of the character. I’m looking forward to the next few. Marvel seems like they’re just going to keep making better movies than DC, save for the Nolan Batman movies. Speaking of Batman – the second best modern Batman (Michael Keaton) also plays the Vulture in this movie. Go figure. Anyways, this was a fun romp.
Ingrid Goes West
Everyone besides Dan is terrible in this movie, and Dan is hella co-dependent. This is a biting satire of the lives folks live in pursuit of Instagram perfection.
Death Becomes Her
Bruce Willis, with hair! Wow. Everything about this movie is perfect. Women seeking eternal youth. Isabella Rossilini just oozing charisma and power. Inexplicable wrestling manservants. Mincing Bruce Willis. The prothesis in this movie is hella Beetlejuice. I loved it.
I think I’m broken inside, because jump scares and all of the “scary” bits of this film didn’t phase me. It was at times pretty cute, but the misogyny and against the only girl in the group was the scariest thing of all. I’m interested to see what they do with the second part of this movie. The visuals were kinda neat and well-done.
Wow, this movie was garbage. I ended up skipping through it because the first 20 minutes were so painful. 0 thumbs out of 20.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Samuel L Jackson at 68 in The Hitman’s Bodyguard is doing a better job than most action guys half his age. What a goofy, fun movie. It’s not particularly smart, but it was a wonderful romp. A summer action movie through and through.
Ghost in the Shell (with ScarJo & white-washing)
The fashion was kinda neat, and some of the visuals were cool. The story seemed worse than the anime though, and I can’t tell if ScarJo can’t act, or just collected a paycheck. Bonus points to Beat Takeshi for just speaking Japanese the entire time, unlike the rest of the characters. He’s great. I hope he got paid for this trash.
xXx: The Return of Xander Cage
Wow, this movie was over-the-top ridiculous. And the terrible coat was back from the first movie. I think this canonically takes place in the Marvel universe, because of Samuel L. Jackson. I have no idea why xXx uses “extreme sports” people, soccer stars, and a DJ(?), but here we are. I love this very, very goofy series, and bought this movie with a big grin when it was no longer available for rent. Everyone is having a blast, and it’s a multi-cultural cast that is filled with neat folks.
Blade Runner: 2046
Damn. This was definitely one of my favorite movies this year. Every scene was so beautiful, and skillfully art-directed. I loved that Mackenzie Davis (also from the San Junipero, the Martian, & Halt & Catch Fire) was in this too. Harrison Ford was spectacular, and somehow Ryan Reynolds didn’t bother me. The outfits ruled, and even though I wish there’d been more central roles for women, the women that were in the film were neat. I’ll own this, and watch it more than once, for sure. Now, to find some of the outfits in the film…
What Happened to Monday
A movie with Noomi Rapace playing 7 different women? I’m in. Willem Dafoe was in this too. Mostly this movie was a neat dystopia with lots of twists, and even though Noomi Rapace wasn’t quite up to Tatiana Maslany’s Orphan Black performance, it’s still really, really well edited.
From the same creators as Obvious Child, which ruled, comes this movie about a family in the 90s trying to keep from imploding. Jenny Slate is great in this, and the sisterhood on display is pretty adorable. John Turturro does a great job too.
Oh, great, a movie about white people working out their alcoholism and relationship issues while murdering folks in Korea. I dunno. This wasn’t great. Also damn girl, those bangs are LONG.
Beyond the Gates
Very silly movie about a VCR-based horror game that… is really happening. A fun time for the spooky holidays.
Vin’s other, other series. Vin Diesel plays the same character, but this time, he’s in a space black tank top, and his eyes glow because he can see in the dark, I guess? There’s a genderqueer-ish person in this film, but I checked and the actress is definitely a straight and feminine-presenting woman now. Was hoping Jack grew up to be a genderfucking weirdo cool kid.
Fried Green Tomatoes
This was charming and cute. It wasn’t as gay as I wanted it to be, but was gayer than most. RIP Smokey. RIP other characters. I read the book before I saw this movie, somehow, and I missed some of the book scenes, but overall this was fun.
If I’d watched this alone I would’ve turned it off after a few minutes. It was garbage. It’s like the creators of Scary Movie read Ready Player One, and thought, yea, we can do that. Terrible.
This movie rules. It’s about jettisoning a sex-negative, shitty family for the loving embrace of Satan and a coven of witches. The vibe is sullen AF, and very stark. I think I’ve seen this movie five times, three of those in the theater. This was a perfect movie to watch during Samhain.
A+ super hero movie. Silly and unpretentious.
The truest old millennial movie. I cried a lot.
Terrible movie. Great rewatch. This movie is epically bad, and I hope everyone has had a chance to see the copious softcore sex scenes, and confusing “american man” football rituals.
A sometimes cute, sometimes very grim movie about the evils of capitalism and factory farming. The protagonist is the cutest, and is really giving her all in every scene, and Paul Dano and Jake Gylenhall manage to not spoil the movie with their characters. Steven Yuen is pretty great, and Tilda Swinton continues in her consistent “I’m definitely not an alien in human skin” character from movies of yore.
The Disaster Artist
Wow. This movie is a parade of actors and actresses who loved the Room in all it’s weirdness. This movie falls somewhere between a tribute, a satire, and a dramatic reinterpretation documentary. I loved it. Saw this with another long-time The Room fan, and we both were in tears laughing. I will see this again. The podcast How Did This Get Made? has a great episode for this movie too that begins with their The Room episode.
This is my second viewing, and this movie was still unbelievably creepy. I made my friend watch American Vandal with me after this to get less scared. It’s a horror film about an STI haunting. I dunno. It’s wild. Watch this, but be ready to always watch for a single, slowly-walking person in a crowd.
A perfectly weird holiday movie about the real santa.
It’s a wonderful holiday time for everyone, except german models turned “terrorist”. Points to this one for accurately pointing out that white people are the bad guys though.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Here for this. Love the porgs, and love Luke punking Kylo. This was a great combination of ridiculous and fun. I like that Rian brought more humor into the world of the star war.
Nothing could redeem this absolute shitpile. We thought it would be funny to watch a movie about Kevin Spacey as a cat, but it was unbearably bad. Avoid.