Jan 2019 #Movie #Review Roundup

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Not all films deserve their own reviews. Some here are good, some mediocre. None of them cried out for a standalone critique.

 

I Think We’re Alone Now

Elle Fanning and Peter Dinklage in one of the most boring post-apocalyptic tales I’ve ever seen. It’s all mundane activities, plus gratuitous anamorphic lenses and slow-motion to drag it out even longer.

 

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The Miseducation of Cameron Post

This is the dry, humorless version of But I’m a Cheerleader. Get the latter instead. Okay, that may be too harsh. This is a decent tale about being sent up for gender reprogramming.

 

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Black Panther

Stunned that it’s on the list for Best Picture, I had to give it a watch. I’m so sick of Spandex and CGI, but this one does manage to include enough complexity to distract a bit. Still, the action sequences are physics-free and so consequence-free. If forces and acceleration don’t mean anything, then the outcome doesn’t matter in the slightest: it’s whatever the screenwriter was told to type.

Disobedience

Just stopped watching.

 

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Incident in Ghostland

Not a good movie. The story had some potential when the mother became a warrior and took down the monsters, but scratch back. It’s all in your head.

 

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The Beguiled

This one stands out, but not enough. I just can’t get on board any of Sofia Coppola’s movies. This Civil War/feminist story is quite oddball and almost worth serious consideration, but there’s not enough there to like.

 

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Madeline’s Madeline

Schizo filmmaking. I’m not sure if it made any sense.

 

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Tully

I have a perfect record of disliking everything Diablo Cody has ever written. Pretentious Los Angeles pseudo-wit doesn’t go far with me.

 

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Upgrade

This one, compared to most of this list, rocked the house. We’ve got hard sci-fi, genetic engineering, malevolent artificial intelligence, future noir. I might have upgraded this to its own review.

 

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Izzy Gets the Fuck Across Town

Low-fi indie indieism. I didn’t mind this one. Mackenzie Davis is fun to watch. Feelings and stuff.

 

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How to Talk to Girls At Parties

More Elle Fanning, I already complained about the fake punk aesthetic. A little too plastic for its own premise. But–YA teen, alien chicks, and the whatnot, there will be an audience.

 

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MDMA

I appreciated this more upon watching the behind the scenes, as it’s a true story. The director was a wild one, and so points enough for a fucked-up life.

 

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Souvenir

This film saddened me. There is also a music element, and it’s not handled as well as I would have preferred. But the aging, the generational displacement really made it grate.

 

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Oh Lucy!

Weirdly, there’s an aging theme here but it works this time. This comedy follows a Japanese spinster who falls in love with an American language tutor, and so does her wild child niece.

 

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Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

I didn’t know what I was expecting, but the film ignores most of Jones’ career, and it’s almost all contemporary. I would have preferred more about her rise to stardom in the 80s.

 

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The Night Eats the World

Low-budget French zombies. It’s watchable for geeks who can’t get enough zombie in their lives. Adds little.

 

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The Endless

Surprised this ended up on some best-of-2018 lists. It’s small, contained, acted decently, with enough weirdness to see it through to the end.

 

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Filmworker

Basically the tale of the guy Stanley Kubrick exploited for a few decades, when they really needed to hire some assistants.

 

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Blame

Some meanie girl high school shenanigans, but honestly not memorable enough to continue typing.

 

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The First Purge

I liked this one, maybe the best so far. They took the premise seriously, and they kept sight of the political machinations of those who would set us on a path to Purge.

 

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Terminal

What is wrong with people? Actors do some twisted shit, and I’m not at all sure why they agree to these roles.

 

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Eighth Grade

I do remember that comedian prodigy Bo Burnham wrote and directed this. It surprised, more than the pack, and so I suppose I have to give it a reluctant thumb up.

 

 



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