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Letterboxd Loose Ends 2019

Film reviews I’ve written on Letterboxd that are fewer than 100 words are collected here.

God’s Not Dead

They Photoshopped Adam’s junk out of the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Cold War

Fuck yeah.

Greta

Isabelle Huppert’s demented performance is more than this movie deserves and not enough to save it. One might expect the filmmakers to have some fun with this kind of pure pulp, but the whole thing is rote and flat, with plainspoken design and direction and a script that pulls every punch. The closest it comes to generating tension is triggering flashbacks from The Piano Teacher, seemingly intentionally. So maybe just watch that instead.

Us

Okay, I know, fine, I’ll quit Twitter.

Live and Let Die

When Bond goes blaxploitation, the man to hire for the theme song is clearly… Paul McCartney?

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé

A generational juggernaut of a performer at the height of her powers creating a spectacle of empowerment and representation with a cast of hundreds. It also happens to be an enormously entertaining show, and an effective encouragement to channel your very best self toward putting something good into the world.

Experiment in Terror

The plot is a pretty big pill to swallow—a bank teller is somehow threatened into robbing her workplace by a psychopath who clearly has no leverage—but the exquisite cinematography and score make it go down a lot easier. I would watch a feature-length documentary on how Glenn Ford’s spectacularly terrible haircut found its way to the screen.

Memories of Murder

While I can’t speak from experience, I’m pretty sure that a person getting hit by a train/bus/car/etc is unlikely to result in a blood explosion, as if the victim were an overfilled water balloon primed to coat bystanders with viscera upon impact. I get that hyperbole is a thing and bloodying a bystander is a handy visualization of the trauma they incurred from witnessing a terrible accident, but come on, actors get paid to act. They can do traumatized just fine without PAs whipping ketchup at them. If you’re making a silly and/or highly stylized movie, by all means, paint the town red. If you’re not, don’t. Pass it on.

Invader ZIM: Enter the Florpus

I haven’t seen the Invader Zim TV show in many years, so it’s hard to say if I was underwhelmed by the movie because a) it’s not as good as the show was, or b) my brain is just no longer calibrated to enjoy Invader Zim. Maybe both?

Ready or Not

Bad script. Bad cast. Bad direction. Closing credits set in Arial.

The Irishman

I’ve never shared the average cinephile’s effusive fascination with Scorsese’s brand of pathologically dishonest men, but I’ll give said men credit for consistency: their demands for much more than they’ve earned are always reflected in how much time the audience is made to spend with them.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Modern fandom is little more than ravenous consumerism, and more than any other Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker’s blockbuster maximalism is calibrated with this in mind. When I rewatched The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi the night before, it felt mostly like homework, and trying to summon anything else to say about The Rise of Skywalker feels about the same. Anyway, I’m done. Thanks for the memories, Star Wars, if not this particular one.

One Hundred and One Dalmations

Quite possibly the best-looking Disney film.