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Letterboxd Loose Ends 2023

Bite-sized film reviews

Petite Maman

Don’t mind me, just starting off the new year with some quiet weeping over here

The Black Phone

  1. Act 1: Children savagely beating each other
  2. Act 2: Children talking to each other on the telephone
  3. Act 3: Children using the telephone to administer savage beatings

Assassin 33 A.D.

I generally prefer to avoid Christian proselytizing and convoluted sci-fi but apparently if you put them together WE ARE IN BUSINESS


I only made it through about 20 minutes of this, and I think the filmmaker’s vision is at present too underdeveloped to sustain a feature length, but I’d still much rather see more of this kind of unorthodox exploration than another round of rote Blumhouse banality.

Side note for my fellow graphic design pedants: I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone miss the point of dot leaders quite so flagrantly as the opening credits of Skinamarink do.

Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

May we all achieve Bob Flanagan’s level of self-knowledge and self-love, even if it ultimately fails to prepare us to confront death. Bob’s poem, “Why?,” is going to stay with me. “Because you always hurt the one you love.”


Like an 11-year-old boy on a Lucky Charms bender scribbled out a screenplay and then picked up the phone and hired legit Hong Kong action pros to make it. If anyone has ever shot anything more entertaining on location in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I have yet to see it (and would desperately love to see it).

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

with special guest mads mikkelsen as elon musk


It’s all true, obviously, and it saves its best joke for an impeccable closer, and maybe if we’re lucky it’ll be a meaningful feminist Trojan horse for a few people. But the whole thing is just entirely too on-the-nose, and no amount of ostensibly subversive mumblecore cachet behind the camera can outrun the movie’s prime directive of brand rehab for a multibillion dollar toy company.

The good news for Barbie fans is that my opinion of this movie could not possibly matter less.

Ghost in the Shell

I think this is the first chance I’ve had to see Ghost in the Shell with its original Japanese dialogue track, and watching with subtitles reinforced my previously noted view that this film is way too chatty for its own good.

Talk to Me

First half rules, second half drools.

Twilight Zone: The Movie

Pretty incredible that the dark cloud hanging over John Landis’s segment (two kids paid under the table to work in illegal conditions were killed during production, as was the star) isn’t the most unwatchable thing in this movie. That would be the insufferably saccharine Steven Spielberg bit that follows it. George Miller and Joe Dante make valiant attempts to right the ship, but their parts still aren’t good enough to justify the whole, and the entire affair was probably cursed before a single camera rolled.

Wolf’s Hole

Equally unnerving as both genre exercise and political allegory.


Completely lazy script, but astonishing execution, which unexpectedly has me wondering if this whole screenlife shtick actually has legs? Next stop: Searching.

After Last Season

This is the most utterly baffling expression of human creativity I have ever seen.

No Hard Feelings

Incredibly funny until it decides not to be.

Lady in the Lake

This whole thing is shot from the POV of Philip Marlowe, which is a bold choice, but it doesn’t work, especially since this is the most belligerent version of Marlowe I’ve ever seen. Probably my least favorite Chandler adaptation, though the one saving grace is that it lets you spend a lot of time with Audrey Totter staring directly into your eyes.


I can’t say I’ve ever seen a worse idea better documented.

Leave the World Behind

thanks obama