Category Archives: Like It

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

AUFDRUCK (LABEL) Short Film Review

Aufdruck (stylized AUFDRUCK or LABEL) is a short film from independent filmmaker Jaschar L Marktanner. It is a film shot in elegant black and white that features a plunking piano score, a score which plods along with the conversation of two women (Mary Krasnoperova and Kira Mathis) at a restaurant.

At first glance, the film appears to be Continue reading AUFDRUCK (LABEL) Short Film Review

Cold Deck (2015) Movie Review

 

Cold Deck opens with a jazzy soundtrack and a warmly-lit montage of poker tables being played. The film zooms in on one particular table, where the players engage in emasculating ball-busting, each jab met with the same uproarious laughter.

 

cold-deck-movie-review-2015-poker-thriller-gangster-drama-paul-sorvino-stefano-gallo

One player, Bobby (Stefano Gallo), loses out to the clubs owner, Chips (Paul Sorvino), who takes sympathy on him and lends him some cash.

 

Bobby works in a factory, but his conversations are all on gambling. It is his lifestyle. Strapped for cash, barely able to Continue reading Cold Deck (2015) Movie Review

Brooklyn (2015) Movie Review

 

Brooklyn is a film starring Saoirse Ronan as a young Irish emigre, Eilis, who moves to New York in the early 1950s to find work, leaving behind a mother and sister as a result. In Brooklyn, she stays at a boarding house with four other women of differing personality, works at a department store (but takes night classes to become a bookkeeper), and falls for a young Italian man named Tony (Emory Cohen).

 

brooklyn-saoirse-ronan-drama-romance-movie-review-2015

 

The film makes a marked transition from Eilis’s process of immigration and settling into her new world to her Continue reading Brooklyn (2015) Movie Review

Goodnight Mommy (2015) Movie Review

 

The main diegesis of Goodnight Mommy begins with two twin brothers being children. They play tag in a corn field and frolic through the woods. They cautiously enter through a dark void of a passageway, referring back to the viewers themselves, who are choosing to do the same by watching this film.

 

goodnight-mommy-movie-review-2015-horror-film-austria

 

The film opens with an immediate sense of stillness. But there is Continue reading Goodnight Mommy (2015) Movie Review

Respire (Breathe) (2015) Movie Review

 

Charlie (Josephine Japy) lives in a household demarcated by fighting parents. She hears her mother sob at night. At school, she becomes quietly fascinated by new student Sarah (Lou de Laage). Sarah is more impulsive, more charismatic than Charlie. They are foils, and yet their chemistry is instantaneous.

 

respire-breathe-melanie-laurent-2015-movie-review-josephine-japy-lou-de-laage-drama-film

 

Their relationship grows when they vacation together, but it grows toward the realm of the complicated. Lines are grayed. And all the while, Continue reading Respire (Breathe) (2015) Movie Review

Dude Bro Party Massacre III (2015) Movie Review

 

After two mass murders in frat houses—recounted in an almost imperceptible montage of brutal murders at the hands of a burn victim serial killer and her daughter “Motherface”—there is a third mass murder of a group of frat bros.

 

dude-bro-party-massacre-III-3-movie-review-2015-horror-comedy-midnight-movie-patton-oswalt

 

Dude Bro Party Massacre III is a take on B-movie slasher flicks of the 1980s. Filmed in “glorious VHS quality,” the film is Continue reading Dude Bro Party Massacre III (2015) Movie Review

I Believe in Unicorns (2015) Movie Review

 

I Believe in Unicorns is a bildunsroman of a seemingly average order. A teenage outcast–one who is childlike in a way that she shouldn’t be, but somehow it makes perfect sense–falls for a rebellious skater/punk with long hair and unnatural charisma.

 

I-believe-in-unicorns-movie-2015-leah-meyerhoff-natalia-dyer-movie-review

 

The two, Davina (Natalia Dyer) and Sterling (Peter Vack), have a love story. Davina is virginal and naive, yet her voiceover narration (seemingly looking back on the events) is very grounded in the reality of the situation.

 

Davina and Sterling run away together to start an exciting and spontaneous life on their own. Davina abandons her Continue reading I Believe in Unicorns (2015) Movie Review

Mistress America (2015) Movie Review

 

Noah Baumbach’s Mistress America follows alienated college freshman Tracy (Lola Kirke). Tracy is a writer wanting to be part of the Mobius Literary Society, but, when she is rejected, ends up on her own.

 

mistress-america-noah-baumbach-greta-gerwig-movie-review-2015

 

Enter Brooke (Greta Gerwig, who also co-wrote the film). Brooke is Tracy’s sister to be, as their parents are scheduled to marry in the near future. Brooke takes Tracy under her wing, taking her around New York City and making her feel welcome.

 

Brooke is undergoing a major business venture: trying to open a niche restaurant. Tracy initially idolizes Brooke, but soon comes to realize that Continue reading Mistress America (2015) Movie Review

Manson Family Vacation (2015) Movie Review

 

Manson Family Vacation opens on interview footage of notorious criminal Charles Manson addressing why he thinks he receives so many letters from teenagers each year. “I am those kids,” Manson says. “I never lived in your society.” He then engages in some interpretive dance, and the film takes off on that sentiment.

 

manson-family-vacation-2015-movie-review-jay-duplass-linas-phillips

 

We see cross-cut events depicting very different lives. One, Conrad, a mangy tramp (Linas Phillips) sticking his thumb out on the highway for Continue reading Manson Family Vacation (2015) Movie Review

Spectre (2015) Movie Review

 

In the new outing for James Bond (Daniel Craig), we open on a gun barrel sequence. The classic gun barrel sequence, which we haven’t seen up front in a Daniel Craig Bond film until now. Signifying a return to classic Bond form, perhaps?

 

spectre-daniel-craig-007-james-bond-christoph-waltz-monica-belucci-lea-seydoux-movie-review-2015

 

In Mexico City on Dia de Los Muertos, Bond stalks through a parade in a skeleton mask. He is on an off-book mission to assassinate a series of targets before they Continue reading Spectre (2015) Movie Review