Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Brief reviews of every movie I've seen these last two months - part 2

The Final Girls

The Playlist Review

Grade: C+

Winter on Fire

The Playlist Review 

Grade: A-

The Tribe

An unsettling, unforgettable look into the lives of deaf Ukrainian teenagers who fight, turn tricks, and get into all kinds of nasty business. Not an easy film to swallow when it's all said and done, and claims that some content in the film is merely there for shock value is not completely unfounded. Still, you cannot deny that this film, which has no subtitles whatsoever, is a unique achievement.

Grade: B

The Leisure Class

Billed as a comedy, but far from it. Didn't laugh once. The humor was supposed to come from Tom Bell's performance, but man, it fell flat for me. Simply having a character ramble on awkwardly isn't funny, or maybe it can be with a better writing team. I can't quite give "The Leisure Class" a fully negative grade because there is some interesting stuff in here, you just have to really pry. But the characters are wildly inconsistent from scene to scene and the pacing is horrendous for what's meant to be an 85 minute half-farce/half-dark comedy. I also thought that "somebody defecated on the Bentley" line would have more play. Nope.    

Grade: D- 


A curious picture. The underwater scenes are pure eye candy. There's so much clarity in those images under the sea, and the crashing of the waves is a dominant, recurring motif throughout. I'm not quite sure I can piece together the film completely. It has body-horror elements combined with an overall otherworldly feel. Not thoroughly engaging, but I liked it for the most part.

Grade: B- 

James White

An intense character study that contains a couple of stellar performances. Manages to take on a story that, on the outside, may seem like a pretty familiar subject matter, but there's a specificity to these characters and their struggle that makes the drama in James White's life feel realistic and resonant.

Grade: B+


Exquisite, immersive, tender, heart-breaking, reassuring, life-affirming, wondrous, romantic, seductive, sexy, beautiful, lovely, charming, unforgettable, an absolute cinematic treasure.

Grade: A+

Son of Saul

What makes "Son of Saul" so powerful is both what it chooses to show and what it chooses NOT to show. It's masterful, thanks to the bold creative choices made by director Laszlo Nemes and his lead actor Geza Rohrig.

Grade: A


At first glance, a very simple story, but the way Kaufman and Duke Johnson play with form adds such a layer of complexity that becomes harder and harder to ignore the longer you think about the movie. There's a lot going on here than what initially meets the eye.

Grade: A

Magic Mike XXL

I think I actually prefer "XXL" over the first film BECAUSE this one is thinner on plot. It never really drags, despite being almost completely conflict-free. It's just a handful of beefcakes having a great time doing their thang on willing women. I can dig it.

Grade: B

more to come


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