Category Archives: Like It

Movies I liked but likely won’t watch again. Something was off that I wish had been done differently.

High Life (2019) Movie Review

Leave it to Claire Denis to make the most original science fiction film of the year. But, in doing so, Denis is sure to polarize in her pursuit of something that spits in the face of generic convention. The first thing we see in High Life is jarring, in that it is not what you would normally focus on in a sci-fi film. It is a baby crying in the sterile, metallic environment of a space ship. Over radio communication, her father Monte (Robert Pattinson) tries to soothe her softly while he works on a panel outside of the ship.

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“We were scum,” Monte later says, in voiceover. “Trash. Refuse that didn’t fit into the system, until someone had the bright idea of recycling us.” He goes on to tell the story of Continue reading High Life (2019) Movie Review

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Crawl (2019) Movie Review

Crawl must have been a terror to shoot. Taking place in Florida during a hurricane, nearly every scene in the film is drenched. The actors are consistently wet and trudging through waist-high water. Rain is constantly falling. The water budget on this thing must have been massive.

And for what?

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Alexandre Aja has made a name for himself in the horror community, but when I look at his filmography I’m hard-pressed to understand how. I understand this may draw the ire of Continue reading Crawl (2019) Movie Review

Midsommar (2019) Movie Review

Ari Aster does not care if you’re comfortable. If his first two films are any indication, it appears that he prefers the opposite. With his debut, Hereditary, Aster approached grief with a macabre twist that winds up making the weight of grief seem feathery by comparison.

With Midsommar, Aster approaches grief with a macabre twist that winds up making the weight of grief seem…am I repeating myself?

Aster’s two films take staid, empty, and largely silent burdens and makes them bleed into

Continue reading Midsommar (2019) Movie Review

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Movie Review

Note: Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame

The Marvel Studios machine keeps turning. With Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, there was a satisfying conclusion to the three-phase arc that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far. This epic two-part film event provided caps on long-standing MCU characters without really hinting at anything beyond.

Yet MCU phase three, as it is currently outlined, concludes with Spider-Man: Far From Home.

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Far From Home shows a world which has moved on from the havoc wreaked by Thanos—the havoc was Continue reading Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Movie Review

Toy Story 4 (2019) Movie Review

Note: I don’t spoil any major plot points in this review, but I hint at aspects of Toy Story 4 that could be construed as spoilers. So let’s just call this a spoiler review.

Walking into Pixar’s Toy Story 4, I thought the pertinent question would be: was a fourth installment necessary? Given how most Pixar sequels have not lived up to their predecessors (Toy Story 2 being the most notable exception) and how Toy Story 3 presents an adequate ending to the then trilogy, it made little sense for a fourth film to exist beyond the want for money.

Sitting through the first act of Josh Cooley’s film, however, this questioning starts to disappear. Toy Story 4 may not wind up being Continue reading Toy Story 4 (2019) Movie Review

The Dead Don’t Die (2019) Movie Review

This is not the elegant, professional way to start a review, but I’ve got to do it. The way that a zombie’s head explodes in Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die…boy, that’s something. Why, before now, have I never seen a zombie movie where the zombie’s dried-out corpse body spews purple dust blood? Just clouds of misting blood all over the frame. I love it.

Anyway…I guess I’ve got a review to write.

Jim Jarmusch is an idiosyncratic filmmaker. His previous film, Paterson, was a quiet and reserved meditation on life and art. His follow up to that is…a zombie film? And it has Continue reading The Dead Don’t Die (2019) Movie Review

Climax (2019) Movie Review

Gaspar Noe is nothing if not an indulgent filmmaker. Visceral is a word often associated with his work. But he can go deeper, to the bone, when his work is at its most mature.

With Climax, Noe toes a line of maturity in filmmaking that can be difficult to parse. From one angle, his visual-forward approach to the film hearkens back to notions of a pure cinema. Aspects of colored flood lighting, minimal set dressing, deliberate camera work, and character movement take precedence over dialogue and plotting.

From a different angle, Noe is unable to fully divorce himself from superficial depictions of sensational horrors. The result of this is Continue reading Climax (2019) Movie Review