A sweat-drenched old school action movie that doubles as a delicious self-parody by auteur Michael Bay. I really just want to talk about the sweat, though. Starting in the second third of the film, buckets of sweat pour out of the screen onto the audience. From Gyllenhaal, from Abdul-Mateen II, from the city of Los Angeles itself. There is no stopping it, there is no escaping it. If you see this movie, you will be sweated upon. I asked a theater employee and they told me it’s a fundamental part of the glistening experience. Five stars.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “Who gave Michael Bay drones and why didn’t they give them to him sooner?”
A movie that dares people to call it a ‘wild ride’ and put it in quotes at the top of the poster or home video case, then just ratchets up the wild and weird and body horror until it becomes something wonderfully uncontrollable and keenly unknowable.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “It does have a lot in common with the Fast and Furious movies, though, and I won’t be elaborating.”
It’s Lord of the Flies in Space and now you know the whole movie which isn’t really a spoiler. Not as “sexy” or chaotic as the trailers and posters tried to make it seem, but it does at least try to discuss toxic masculinity and has a distinct and capable visual style that Neil Burger has evolved since shooting Limitless.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “I saw this at a drive-in and they paired it with Chaos Walking, which made it a B minus shitty sci-fi double feature kind of night. Chaos Walking actually kind of feels like a distant sequel to Voyagers, both attempting to tackle toxic masculinity from an almost wholly male perspective and botching it quite a bit by downplaying the fem characters.”
A paranoid, whispered assembly of folklore and cosmic horror happenings that explores many permutations of this kind of story before vaguely settling into one collectively conjured nightmare. The CULT following it’s gaining is well deserved.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “I don’t need much to enjoy a movie, just a skeleton that’s all kinds of H.R. Geiger/Alien-inspired in the first 20 minutes like this has. Come on, Hollywood!”
A depiction of a critical point in black history, in which the potential of a young leader is all but destroyed by the powerful through the victimization of the ‘Judas’ character. It’s one of the more nihilist movies I’ve seen in a while, if only because it depicts a stark truth of this country so well. I’m bummed.
Anyway, it’s expertly performed and directed with a minimalist style!
My VHS cover pull-quote: “Martin Sheen looks almost as unholy as Leo did as J. Edgar Hoover, which is no small feat.”
A moody detective story that feels way too much like a bargain bin Se7en until it suddenly doesn’t and deliberately pulls away from those comparisons with some telegraphed (but welcome) plot turns.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “Jared Leto is definitely playing a wonky vampire in this otherwise grounded detective flick and I don’t care what you say because that just makes the movie better in my head. It also low-key takes place around Halloween, which I feel lends credence to this being a vampire movie.”
A legal thriller that finds a Mark Ruffalo-shaped bottle of hope pushing back against the power of corporate behemoths that don’t care about us, our children, or even our beautiful, innocent cows. It feels as much like a call to action as it does a call on our Teflon covered telephone to tell us we’re probably powerless and screwed so we should just lay down on the floor.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “It actually looks and plays a little like an episode of the late 70s Incredible Hulk show, only without the fury of Lou Ferrigno to round out the hour. All we get is the righteous fury of Mark Ruffalo, which will have to do.”