Letterboxd - Demi Adejuyigbe

Letterboxd - Demi Adejuyigbe

The Last Black Man in San Francisco, 2019 - ★★★★½

Wow. Honestly not sure what to say about this movie, past calling it beautiful, inside and out. I kinda can't believe it's a debut feature. Another great film in a series of great recent films about the gentrification of the Bay Area and conflicts of race and masculinity that come with the desire to push back against it.

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:35:01 +1200

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, 2019 - ★½

THE ROCK: brother, we ain’t gonna see eye to eye. and not just cause you’re small
STATHAM: oi only seem small cos yer fogettin the soize of me nuts
THE ROCK: you think you got a big dick? buddy my dick couldn’t fit in this jeep 
STATHAM: prolly could if i got me big ol wanker out of the droivers sait 
THE ROCK: wanker? i hardly know her. and by her, i mean your mom. and also i know her very well, from having sex with her
STATHAM: me mum would never touch your tiny willie, mate
ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR GUY: yea aight y’all gonna have to clean this jeep before we take it back

Sun, 18 Aug 2019 17:04:01 +1200

Tangerine, 2015 - ★★★★

Honestly the most “LA” movie I’ve seen in a long time- by which I mean it captures the spirit and feeling and people of LA as I know it, more than so many other films that try to depict LA as people want to see it. The iPhone aesthetic of it all lost its value to me so quickly and became really distracting and kind of frustrating, but I still really dug this! I love that Sean Baker seems dedicated to making humanizing depictions of the lower class that don’t lean heavily on the tragedy of living without privilege (save for one moment that was so unexpected it kind of broke my heart.)

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 21:30:54 +1200

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, 2019 - ★★★½

Maybe it’s the lack of Tarantino-ness in this film that left me feeling underwhelmed but I didn’t feel particularly satisfied with this one. It makes me upset how hot Brad Pitt is though? So, that’s something.

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 04:31:51 +1200

Midsommar, 2019 - ★★★★


I have been waiting for Midsommar since I first heard about it last year. It was easily my most anticipated film of 2019. I’d avoided knowing anything about the plot or the characters or who was in it or even seeing a single second of footage, all in the hopes that July 3rd was going to be an incredible day. Then I scheduled myself to leave the country days before it was released. So I deftly navigated the internet and blocked pages and moved all my Twitter followings to lists and avoided literally anything that might accidentally reveal any aspect of Midsommar for the following month, as it wouldn’t be released in New Zealand until August 8th. Then I found out it was playing at the NZIFF and essentially begged Twitter to see if there was anybody that could pull a connection and get me into the screening so I wouldn’t have to wait four whole days longer than I planned, and somebody came through. Then I was feeling extremely down about a conversation I had with my girlfriend in the hour before the movie, and the movie opened in a way that made it clear this was going to be a 140 minute film that put a spotlight on a relationship in slow demise and made me feel even more dour in a way that dragged me down and made it near impossible to actually process the movie or feel affected by any of the things I saw. All I could think was “Jesus Christ this movie is long. I feel awful. I want to go home.”

Anyway, then I talked about the movie with my girlfriend and read some reactions and pieces about it and I think it’s good.

Sun, 11 Aug 2019 15:00:06 +1200

Carol, 2015 - ★★★½

about 75 minutes in i looked at my phone to check the time and the reflection in my screen had more black people than all of Todd Haynes’s idea of New York in the 50s

Sat, 10 Aug 2019 23:24:18 +1200

Who You Think I Am, 2019 - ★★★½

I went into this thinking “if this is a movie whose message is that it’s hard for women to age because their looks fade, and they’re using Juliette Binoche to say that... garbage.” Luckily, it’s a little bit more padded than that, and there’s an incredible tension built off of little more than Juliette Binoche’s facial expressions that pays off in a quietly satisfying (but not so wildly unpredictable) way. And god, is Juliette Binoche fucking incredible.

Sun, 4 Aug 2019 08:39:13 +1200

The Day Shall Come, 2019


I haven't stopped thinking about this movie since 10:23pm NZT last night when the credits roll, and we all sat in the theatre in stark silence for a good minute or so before moving. I can't concisely explain my feelings on this movie, and I can't write anything lengthy about this movie without spoiling it, but I can say that it made me absolutely fucking angry. And yes, I'm angry in the way Morris wants me to be angry, but on a completely separate level I'm truly fucking livid that Morris even made this film.

The Day Shall Come is very good. For a while. Most of the runtime, my biggest thought about the film was that it was clearly a British take on a very American story that felt like it was being forced back through an American lens (but trying it's best to keep the Armando Iannucci style all the writers know very well)– but one thing it never does is try and put it through a black lens. I don't think Chris Morris or any of the four white British male writers consulted a single person of color (much less a black person, much much less an American black person) in making this movie. And I can't think of a worse movie to have made with that in mind.

I really dug Four Lions, and I think Chris Morris is very talented and politically righteous & biting in a wonderful way and this movie proves that– but there are SO many huge misfires here that made me leave the theatre feeling furious and embarrassed. In a way I really don't think any other movie has. I don't know how to rate this.

P.S. Fuck Anna Kendrick.

Fri, 2 Aug 2019 11:07:31 +1200

Vivarium, 2019 - ★★★

This movie was 97 minutes and it still felt like it was too long. A lot of intriguing and weird set-ups, some truly unnerving devices that make for great comedy, but it doesn’t build to anything of worth. Feels like it should’ve been a short. Imogen Poots tho... fuck, she’s great.

Wed, 31 Jul 2019 17:59:39 +1200

Bacurau, 2019 - ★★★★

ME WALKING OUT OF THE THEATRE AFTER ‘BACURAU’: hm. well that was certainly overhyped. kind of feels fairly across the plate? maybe i’m missing something. it was fine
ME AS I’M TRYING TO EXPLAIN THE STORY OF ‘BACARAU’ OUT LOUD: [slowly giggling more and more] lmao fuck that movie actually went so hard

additional note: Thomas Aquino is the Brazilian Will Smith and I need this to be acknowledged by the future of his career.

Wed, 31 Jul 2019 09:12:44 +1200

Water Lilies, 2007 - ★★½

We decided to track down and watch this movie after Maddie loved Céline Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire but this one didn't click as much for me. I was tipsy, and found myself saddened in the first half by how much I related to Marie despite feeling like I "couldn't" relate to Marie, but the second half felt like a cruel (and– though, yes, i've never been a woman and can't truly say for sure that this is not how teen girls, much less french teen girls, ever are– unrealistic?) subversion of what I'd understood that first half to be, and made me feel like it was turning one of the characters into a villain. I don't know. I'm glad someone has been making intriguing cinema about queer love and queer adolescent love that doesn't just rest its plot solely on the 'forbidden/sordid' aspect of being queer, though.

Tue, 30 Jul 2019 08:16:25 +1200

Long Day's Journey Into Night, 2018 - ★★

Extremely obtuse and hard to follow, and the famous 50-minute 3D tracking shot that encompasses the film's second half felt like a show-off move more than anything else. Technically impressive and interesting but... what more?

I truly don't have any concrete thoughts about this movie, as I can barely tell you what the fuck was really happening through it. I'm am choosing to believe it's a feature-length adaptation of the song and video for Arctic Monkeys' "Cornerstone" though.

Tue, 30 Jul 2019 08:09:30 +1200

Non-Fiction, 2018 - ★★★

I’m bored of movies where directors wrestle with the encroachment of the digital age, like it’s a new concept people still haven’t settled with or like there’s many new things to say about how technology will change creative industries. But the conversations in this movie are at least fun to watch. The interpersonal antics, not so much. Not really sure what I’m supposed to gain from the intersection of romance and publishing here. Feels like a french Nancy Meyers film.

Mon, 29 Jul 2019 12:29:21 +1200

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, 2019 - ★★★★½

It’s very dumb how much time I spent considering whether to rate this 4 or 4.5 stars.

This movie is fantastic, but for a lot of the runtime I had sort of resigned myself to feeling like this might be a very typical-feeling period gay costume drama. As the movie unfolded, I was definitely more and more enrapt in it, but not finding it particularly exciting or special, save for great dialogue and a few moments. Then there are two things that happen in the film that really perked me up– one being a truly phenomenal use of music in a movie which, otherwise, does not really have anything in the way of score or soundtrack.

The other was a retelling of the myth of Eurydice, told in a way that you know it’s going to be thematically important (as if that’s ever not the case any time a character in a movie starts reciting a story.) I found myself liking it a lot more in the second half- and then the ending fucking floored me. And I feel like anyone who reads this and then sees the movie might go “really? That’s what did it?” because it’s a very simple ending. But I really really liked it, and it moved me a surprising amount. Walking away from the theater, i had a conversation about what the final few scenes were intended to mean, and no matter our interpretations it felt powerful. Outstanding.

Also, Adéle Haenel’s facial expressions throughout this film are so captivating, she gives an incredible performance. Also also, I was not expecting the title to be so literal. The very first scene of the film really set me up to think it would be something much worse upon realizing that it was. Also also also– GOD it is pleasurable to watch someone paint.

Sun, 28 Jul 2019 22:12:35 +1200

Animals, 2019 - ★★


One of those movies that should've ended at like 6 different points and ends in a place where I have no real clue what the point of the movie was except to provide a series of characters that I am not going to like. Not for me!

Thu, 25 Jul 2019 23:05:23 +1200

Judy & Punch, 2019 - ★★

I’m always intrigued when a person manages to channel a very similar energy into two different roles in one year so imagine my “huh!” upon realizing Damon Herriman’s Manson-y (and Heath Ledger-y???) ass is also playing Charles Manson in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. This is the only valuable thought I had walking out of this theater. The movie spins its wheels on a very simple plot for a bit too long and can’t really commit to or nail a single tone, but I weirdly respect what it was trying to do. Which is, of course, give Quentin Tarantino a shot to see and go “That’s it!!” when casting Charles Manson in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. I know the chronology of this joke doesn’t make much sense but I’ve chosen to ignore that.

Thu, 25 Jul 2019 17:32:59 +1200

The Farewell, 2019 - ★★★★

This is maybe the cutest movie I’ve ever seen! Go visit your grandmas!

Thu, 25 Jul 2019 13:26:28 +1200

Snowpiercer, 2013 - ★★★★

I wish Tilda Swinton did more comedy. Doesn’t even have to be on a train if she wants

Wed, 24 Jul 2019 10:36:37 +1200

The Art of Self-Defense, 2019 - ★★★★½

I was always going to love this movie because the look and premise are so reminiscent of Battles’ music video for “Ice Cream,” (one of my favorite music videos) but I went in knowing nothing about it and wasn’t expecting a Lanthimos-esque dark comedy with one of my favorite performances of the year (Alessandro Nivola.) Fucking great. Big ups to Riley Stearns.

Also, are Eisenberg and Poots the indie Gosling/Stone?? (I’m basing this on knowing they are in two movies together this year and pretty much forgetting any of the million other famous collaborative actor duos)

(Also also, I didn’t realize there would be an absolute banger of a film festival happening in Auckland while I was here (sponsored by Letterboxd even!) and I’m absolutely stoked to catch a bunch more stuff in the next few weeks. If anyone is here/has recs for shit I gotta see, [Mistah Fab “Ghost Ride It” voice] holla atcha booooooooy)

Tue, 23 Jul 2019 18:20:06 +1200

Train to Busan, 2016 - ★★★★½

I’d put this on a list of movies to show Maddie while living in Auckland for the summer (er, winter) and finally pushed to watch it for real tonight when Marvel announced Ma Dong-seok was gonna be in Eternals, and it’s just as fucking phenomenal as I remember. There’s a lot of moments and choices that ring as cheesy or strange but there are just as many moments and choices and balancing acts in this movie that are fucking great. I love it. A zombie movie about compassion. What a joy!

Also, there’s no way the American remake ever becomes a reality, right? My least cynical reasoning is that there are so many important performances to balance with the budget needs that it would require too many well-known actors, each requiring a certain amount of pay and screen-time and billing and backstory that it would end up having to be a super-expensive limited series. My most cynical reasoning is because they’d have to pay too much for the rights for when the little girl has to sing “Fight Song.”

Sun, 21 Jul 2019 22:21:43 +1200

Tully, 2018 - ★★★½

MARLO: Holy shit, is that Tully? Tully!
TULLY: Bro, no way!
MARLO: No way– Tully! Babe, I gotta say "what up" to Tully.
DREW: Okay.
MARLO: Sweet. Hey– don't you two go falling in love
while I'm gone. Like that'll happen!
[Marlo runs off to Tully, leaving Drew to talk with Video Games]
MARLO: Tully, you chode! I owe you a shot to the nuts!

Sat, 20 Jul 2019 21:14:40 +1200

The Lion King, 2019 - ★★

this is going to sound extremely stupid but my big problem with this movie is that nobody has eyebrows and i truly believe the movie would be fine if everybody just had eyebrows

Fri, 19 Jul 2019 17:29:41 +1200

Toy Story 4, 2019 - ★★★★½

There's a new Randy Newman song in the middle of this movie called "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away" that absolutely sounds like a parody of a Randy Newman song

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 02:57:44 +1200

Princess Cyd, 2017 - ★★★½

it’s a 90-min, practically-conflict-free movie about a horny bi teen and her successful writer aunt who teaches her about a love of the written word. it’s my bi writer girlfriend’s new favorite movie

Mon, 15 Jul 2019 22:07:58 +1200

Baraka, 1992 - ★★★½

damn!!!! i hate being tricked by a movie into thinking i'm gonna see some stunning images of the magnificent nature of the world and its culture as they exist beyond my immediate surroundings but then bein forced to also see some images of the unnatural world as it now exists thanks to the manmade perversions war, pestilence, and capitalism have unleashed upon a once-natural land!! i fucking HATE it!!!

Mon, 15 Jul 2019 18:41:42 +1200

Jiro Dreams of Sushi, 2011 - ★★★½

something very charming about an old man that only cares about one thing, even if he seems to be kinda shitty outside the one thing

Sun, 14 Jul 2019 09:22:38 +1200

Koyaanisqatsi, 1982 - ★★★★

So what we get drunk
So what we smoke weed
We're just doin drugs
But nothin' wild, just weed
So what we got high
That's how it's supposed to be
Watchin' Koyaanisqatsi

Sat, 13 Jul 2019 11:32:17 +1200

Kedi, 2016 - ★★★★

wow all it took was two viewings of Kedi for me to go from "cats are fine" to "hands on sight for anybody that doesn't fuck with cats"

Sat, 13 Jul 2019 11:25:18 +1200

The Handmaiden, 2016 - ★★★★½

shit.... korean cinema be hittin different...

I think it's a little overlong and feels surprisingly (and ironically, given the story) male gaze-y at points, but goddamn this movie is amazing. It feels so much like a fairy tale. I haven't seen any of Park Chan-wook's other films (I know, I know, hush) but if it's anything like this, I'm in for a fucking ride real soon.

Strangely enough, I kept noticing how many things it had in common with the 2004 A Series of Unfortunate Events adaptation. (a lot of the camera movements, the fairy tale feeling, a story about a count in disguise
scamming a young woman into marriage for her inheritance, etc.) Is this me saying the 2004 A Series of Unfortunate Events adaptation is just as good as The Handmaiden? Is this me using my review of The Handmaiden to say that Jim Carrey, Luiz Guzman, Cedric the Entertainer, Jennifer Coolidge, and Meryl Streep deserve to be revered for their roles in Brad Silberling's critically-derided 2004 adaption of the first three books in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Eventsseries? Can't say!

(Also, the Netflix subtitles seem... off at some points? Contextually you can tell what they're supposed to be saying. But it feels like they just ran the script straight through Google Translate.)

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 09:59:35 +1200

Shaft, 2019 - ★½

I only watched this because it's on Netflix outside the US, but I am truly fascinated at how every Tim Story movies feels like it was made at the same time as the original Barbershop. Sam Jackson's comedic timing is as great as ever (has he been relegated to just being the "motherfucker" motherfucker so long that watching him have fun felt fresh to me?) but it's wasted on this wildly regressive trash flick.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 09:38:18 +1200

Blindspotting, 2018 - ★★★★★

• Tisha Campbell, much like everyone else in Martin, is an American treasure. She's not in enough movies. She has one scene in this movie and she nearly runs away with the damn thing. I think about her delivery of "he makes me nervous" constantly. Come 2020, I will vote for whichever candidate enacts a law that requires filmmakers to ask Tisha Campbell if she wants to be in their movie.
• The Utkarsh scorpion bowl scene is one of my favorite comedy scenes of the decade? We rolled back and watched it two more times after finishing the movie. Absolute gold.
• If you ask me, this– not Blackkklansman– is 2018's Do The Right Thing.
• At the 91st Academy Awards, the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay went to Green Book.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 09:00:34 +1200

Anima, 2019 - ★★★★

“how about we just watch this nice lil thom yorke short before bed so we don’t have to go to sleep with all that shit from The Wailing in our heads”

a buncha foreigners not talkin while they dance? uhhh hey thom and paul- The Artist called. i only know it’s them cause of called ID, they aren’t talking

Sat, 6 Jul 2019 01:12:41 +1200

The Wailing, 2016 - ★★★★

catch my dumb ass staying up late readin articles because i decided to watch this terrifying movie that i don't even fully understand at 10pm on a friday night

Sat, 6 Jul 2019 00:49:15 +1200

Samsara, 2011 - ★★★½

the really astounding thing here is the amount of trust from these different cultures that it takes to make a film like this. and also the buddhist sand mandalas. in a thousand years i wouldn’t have the patience or fortitude to go through the process of making and destroying a sand mandala

Fri, 5 Jul 2019 09:29:18 +1200

Spider-Man: Far from Home, 2019 - ★★★½

this movie has some of the coolest action sequences in the entire MCU but it also has a curious level of expository speeches and an absolutely disrespectful attempt to try and convince me that Angourie Rice and Remy Hii are the same age

Thu, 4 Jul 2019 16:31:37 +1200

Anima, 2019 - ★★★★

I love Thom Yorke and I love Paul Thomas Anderson and I love love love weird specific dancing!!!!!

Mon, 1 Jul 2019 18:50:29 +1200

I, Tonya, 2017 - ★★★★★

On my 8th viewing (i know) I think I can finally explain why I love this movie so much.

This movie is an incredible portrait of American celebrity, classism, the media's treatment of women, love, and abuse, centered entirely around a well-known, well-hated figure. It gives you plenty of reasons to sympathize for this figure, but it doesn't try and exonerate her of her terrible personality or tell you she's a good person.

I've heard many takes that the film tries to lionize Tonya, but I think it's extremely critical of her and goes through great lengths to highlight how often she says something supposedly wasn't her fault. She refuses to accept blame for anything. Tonya's talking heads alone paint a picture of a very (heavy sigh) Trump-like figure, who speaks in the same patterns as he does and even thinks of herself as someone who is unjustly beset by somebody else's collusion on her behalf. She's unrepentant, obsessed with her public adoration, and demands that even when she's not doing her best, she deserves credit for how she's not doing her best. (I hate how perfectly the Trump analogy works here but it's extremely fitting– especially since Harding 'would've voted for Trump' if she could've. Gag me.)

I've also heard takes about Nancy Kerrigan being unfairly sidelined as comic relief, but that take suggests that Nancy should've been a bigger part of the story, which I disagree with! If Nancy's a larger part of the story, the story becomes entirely about the incident. Which it isn't. The incident is just a lynchpin in a greater story about the abuse Tonya Harding endured from the people who were meant to love her, the classism attached to her public image, her deep attachment to skating as something she loved and as something that gave her the love she so desperately needed, and how strongly the post-incident fallout affected her.

Make no mistake, more than anything this is a movie about abuse, from all sides– even down to the agents who give her FBI transcripts to her abuser and the cop that leaves her in the car with him. It's no mistake that the only characters in this movie that don't hurt Tonya in some way are the ones who train her in the sport that makes her feel loved. I've always been so transfixed by Gilooly's character in this film, who is still portrayed as lovely and romantic in scenes with Tonya well after we've seen his horrible pattern of abuse. (e.g. the "Oh Mys" scene) It's almost disturbing to see a scene that would be considered heartwarming without the context of who he is, but that's the point. That's what abusers are like. That's how their victims see them, and that's how the world sees them when they're hiding their true selves. Gillespie also does a great job of removing any easy excuses for Jeff's abuse by showing a disparity in how he acts when he’s mad with Shawn over something big vs. how he acts when he’s mad with Tonya over something small. And what is Jeff's "punishment" for his place in all this? He's verbed into a cultural touchstone, turned into a celebrity by the media, and paid to comment on the Olympic games– by the same news figures that were coming up with ways to harass Tonya for scoops.

It's always been so curious to me that a movie so clearly about abuse and its effects didn't get recognized as such right as the MeToo movement was in full swing, but I gotta blame that on whatever fuckhead studio execs decided that the way to market this movie was as an "uproarious black comedy." Like, Christ. It's funny, but it's much moreso depressing.

A simpler explanation for why I like this movie: every single scene is good! I like EVERY SINGLE SCENE!!

Other stray notes I took on my 8th (I KNOW) viewing:

• I had very very little knowledge of the Harding/Kerrigan incident before the movie, but it was very interesting to watch this with a New Zealander who had no prior knowledge at all of the Harding/Kerrigan incident!
• LaVona wanting to see Tonya's face as she finisher her routine is such a great moment. She's taking credit for Tonya's smile. It's the closest thing LaVona has resembling pride, and therefore the closest thing she has resembling love.
• Every time I watch this movie a completely new part makes me very emotional, and this time it was the beaming smile we see on 4-year-old Tonya's face in the beginning when she skates for the first time. Knowing how much that joy's gonna come crashing down is so fucking heartbreaking.
• Why spring the money for Bobby Cannavale when you're not even gonna use him for any scenes outside of office talking heads?
• There's a title card that says "12 Months Later"
• This is my favorite sports movie and my favorite biopic!!!

Sun, 30 Jun 2019 22:41:35 +1200

The Sisters Brothers, 2018 - ★★★½

Joaquin in The Sisters Brothers + Joaquin in You Were Never Really Here = Joaquin in Joker

Sun, 30 Jun 2019 13:59:55 +1200

Black Mirror: Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too, 2019 - ★★½ (contains spoilers)

This review may contain spoilers.

Okay, again, I have to read this generously. This is supposed to be a Disney-fied version of Black Mirror, on purpose right? Because save for the swearing and the existential crises within, this is indistinguishable from even the best DCOMs.( Which is only a criticism insofar as, I wanted a Black Mirror episode. DCOMs rule.)

Of course, Miley is playing a heightened version of herself, and all the 'mouse' motifs are representative of Disney itself... but even within that generous reading, there's a lot here that makes me go "Okay you're playing on that Disney trope... but why?" Why is the lead teen girl a depressed, obsessed, lonely archetype that doesn't change or learn in any way over the course of the episode? Why is the dad so singularly-focused on his mousetrap business in a way that is literally only played for jokes? I think I would've enjoyed this more (with all the same criticisms) if it weren't packaged as a Black Mirror episode, and was instead a random Netflix original film that we would all talk about for a weekend and then never again.

Sun, 30 Jun 2019 12:52:19 +1200

Black Mirror: Smithereens, 2019 - ★★★ (contains spoilers)

This review may contain spoilers.

Didn't expect to see Topher Grace at all, much less have him be the best part of this episode, imo! I love the boy

In my most generous reading here, this is a good episode because it's satirizing the entire perception of what Black Mirror is supposed to be. The episode plays out pretty much across the plate, as you expect it to, checking all the cliche boxes– technology kills, technology rules our world, we are all addicted and over-connected to technology and phones– and then the credits pulls the entire premise from under the rug by showing a montage of people who are fully capable of attending to phones, then putting them away and living their lives. If that's "the point," then I like it! If it's not... then this is dumb!!!

Sun, 30 Jun 2019 12:45:52 +1200

Black Mirror: Striking Vipers, 2019 - ★★★½

The first half of this feels like what I imagine every YouTube Red series to be and the second half is a somewhat intriguing story with a VERY intriguing conclusion that makes me go [quizzical-sounding dog in a trailer for a PG family romp]

Real interested in reading what trans people have to say about it though, if anybody's got the hook up to some Good Takes (he said, apprehensively)

Sun, 30 Jun 2019 12:24:06 +1200

Parasite, 2019 - ★★★★★

Holy fucking shit. I can’t tell if this movie is a masterpiece or if Bong Joon-ho himself is the masterpiece.

The poster for this film quotes David Ehrlich’s Indiewire review that says this solidifies his movies as a genre of their own, and he’s totally right. I couldn’t possibly place this into a solid genre, but every little genre it does dip into, it knocks out of the park. I loved it. I can’t stop thinking about it. I went into it knowing absolutely nothing and having seen absolutely nothing besides a passing glimpse at the poster and knowing Bong made it, and that was ideal. It’s one of those movies where leaving the theater gets me insanely excited just to read what other people say about it. 

To quote one of the lead characters, this shit is so metaphorical.

EDIT: you know what, shout the fuck out to Song Kang-ho too, who’s giving a stellar performance here and– I just realized– in countless other great Korean films!!

Sun, 30 Jun 2019 08:39:43 +1200

Toy Story 4, 2019 - ★★★★★

I avoided all of the marketing for this first film past the first trailer that introduced us to Forky, and because of that I was fully ready to hate him. Even though I was combatively optimistic about this movie being great, and annoyed at every internet director who insisted that their hatred of sequels was a smarter bet than believing Pixar of all studios could make yet another good movie, I figured Forky would be a character that was played for childish laughs. And I was fucking wrong!!!!! Forky rules!!!

In fact, everything about this movie rules?? It's easily the best-looking animated film I have ever seen, and possibly the best-looking film I think I've ever seen? There's a rain sequence in the beginning that truly made me think "Alright well, Pixar is just showing off." I didn't think there'd be a noticeable upgrade in CG in the 9 years between TS3 and TS4, but there was, and it's stunning. The dust, the details on all the toys, the way the humans are rendered– there's a TV commercial for Duke Caboom that was so well-done that I spent its entire runtime wondering if they just... made a Duke Caboom toy and shot a live-action commercial with it.

It's also hands down the funniest Pixar film. I scream-laughed multiple times, particularly at one sequence with Key & Peele (I think everyone who's seen it knows the one) and a terrific throwaway gag on a high-five. The Toy Story films have always been charming, but I truly was not expecting to think of this as a great comedy that was overflowing with honest-to-god guffaws.

I don't know what more to say about the plot or characters that won't give anything away, but I really loved seeing this new Furiosa-meets-Rey version of Bo Peep and her part of the world, and the existential nature of Forky's very existence, and the way things play out with the film's antagonist, and all of the gags that played out with Bonnie's family– I can't really think of anything I didn't love! Another absolute fuckin' banger from the lamp and ball gang!!!!

Of course, just like with TS3, I can't possibly imagine how they would do another movie after this– but that ain't my job! They've made 4 absolutely perfect films in this series, and have a near-spotless roster of great movies otherwise. They've got a blank check for optimism in my eyes. I'll see as many damn Toy Story movies as they wanna make.

Sat, 29 Jun 2019 18:56:59 +1200

Toy Story 3, 2010 - ★★★★★

a selection of notes I took while watching Toy Story 3:

• The imagination/play sequence in the beginning moved me sooooo much when I first say this movie in theatres. It just perfectly captures childlike wonder and imagination in a way I've only ever seen one other movie do (which I won’t mention by name bc it’s the twist of that movie, but I think everyone who's seen
 it knows what movie it is.)
• The graphic upgrade in the 11 years between TS2 and 3 is so noticeable. Also, why did making a sequel take 11 years? I'm glad it did because the timing of this movie's release felt so important, but I'm surprised it didn't come out sooner.
• I wish they'd hidden adult Andy from the trailers and made it a reveal in theaters. It's such a staggering moment!!
• I love the casual, non-fatalistic way they go into things this time. They’ve done the “getting back home” plot before, and their attitude of “oh great– it’s gonna take us forever to get back here!” once the conflict kicks in acknowledges that in a way that is neither lampshading it nor trying to make it feel like it's wholly original. It also really makes *that* insane 3rd act scene hit harder.
• Probably not an original insight but it’s very funny that John Lasseter got a story credit for the story on this film since the villain is literally self-described as “a hugger”
• Lotso wields communism against Buzz like a weapon! (“For the good of the community, the able take on the work that the weaker can’t handle”)

• Chuckles’s story is so fucking sad. Weirdly sadder to me than Jessie’s song in TS2.
• I really love how referential this series is! Like with them doing the Palpatine/Vader throw from ROTJ with Lotso and Big Baby

• This movie is graphically outstanding!!! The scene where the claw drops in is fucking outstanding. There’s something so much cooler about seeing that in a world that’s all CG, verses a world like the MCU where the cool CG is sort of a distraction. (not throwing shade at the MCU or trying to pick at it, it's just the standard blockbuster universe that melds CG with live action!)

This is the best trilogy of all time.

Sat, 29 Jun 2019 18:42:54 +1200

Toy Story 2, 1999 - ★★★★★

a selection of notes i took while watching Toy Story 2:

• It’s amazing that we were all shocked at how dark the third film was when the first two films in this series are also extremely depressing and existential. The 1st deals with Buzz’s hero delusion and identity crisis and this one deals with obsolescence and where a person belongs. Then you also deal with the conflict of duty towards your genetic family vs. your adoptive family, the preservation of yourself vs. the preservation of a community, PTSD, disability, the us vs. them “takeover” dynamic that also exists in discussions about immigration/race, etc. The entire series also has a premise that involves this nuts ass slave-like subservience for the sake of survival in their need to freeze when people are looking. Am I reading way too much into it? Probably. But also, no– these films are written by a room of people who undoubtedly are thinking about all of these themes for the entire time that they’re writing. It’s astounding how thoughtful this G rated franchise is!!
• The thing about this series that really makes me smile is how the minor mechanics of the toys are absolutely BRILLIANT. Down to the small things– using the Etch-A-Sketch to copy a map they see on TV, turning spilled Cheetos into a mini-minefield, the physical comedy of their obliviousness through the road crossing sequence. I can’t IMAGINE how fucking fun it was to write this! The creative team at Pixar are absolute geniuses and you should all be embarrassed for ever worrying about them making a 4th one!!!
• Gerty cameo!!
• There’s something super depressing about seeing Buzz’s disillusionment with his former identity contested against a version of himself that still believes in his programmed identity
• The B and C stories of these movies would be the GOOD A stories of a lesser film, but Pixar writes these movies like they’re entire seasons of a TV show
• “Beef jerky, very expensive over there”
• man, how can you not love the cute little movie winks they throw in here, like Rex running after the car a la Jurassic Park
• The three-film set up of the claw being in part 1 and the aliens being eternally grateful in part 2, all for the payoff at the end of part 3– absolutely one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever seen.
• I miss the blooper era! Especially when that’s how they made a sequel fun, like in this one and Rush Hour 2.

This is one of the greatest adventure films of all time.

Sat, 29 Jun 2019 17:37:06 +1200

Rocketman, 2019 - ★★½

Richard Madden is so hot and Elton John should not get to be a producer on his own biopic

Mon, 3 Jun 2019 11:07:20 +1200

The Edge of Seventeen, 2016 - ★★★★

told my girlfriend Booksmart made me wanna rewatch Edge of Seventeen, so we did. and it's still wonderful! Booksmart might be a little bit better, but this movie is still firing on all cylinders. Hailee Steinfeld and Hayden Szeto are fucking phenomenal. Even in the little moments, Steinfeld reminds you why she got that Oscar nom.

I really appreciate how well this film starts in a place where you think it's gonna be very boilerplate but slowly starts to weave its way out of that hole. It's directed very functionally, but the performances and script carry it so so far. It wasn't until this second watch that I got to fully appreciate how cleanly they weave in details to explain how Nadine is depressed. Erwin Kim's got a bit of a "nice guy" thing going on throughout this movie, but I still find him so incredibly charming and sweet-faced that I'm trying my best to overlook it. Also, he's hot! Everyone in this movie is hot! You gotta give it up for hot teens.

That said, between this, Booksmart, and Lady Bird (and hell, even Raw) I am absolutely here for the wonderful revival of comic female teen coming-of-age films– but let's get less white maybe! Not a criticism! These movies rule! But they can also rule when it's not just about white teen girls!

Tue, 28 May 2019 19:59:10 +1200

Booksmart, 2019 - ★★★★½

I have nothing to say! This movie is fantastic! Billie Lourd be my friend!

Tue, 28 May 2019 01:00:22 +1200

Fantasia 2000, 1999 - ★★★★

i had completely underestimated how critical the Rhapsody In Blue segment of this movie was to understanding who I was as a child (because I loved it)

Mon, 27 May 2019 11:44:19 +1200

The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, 2019 - ★★★

Didn't really work for me. :(

Sun, 26 May 2019 17:17:52 +1200

coworker/friend recommendations

movies that my friends tell me "you HAVE to watch" (and im GONNA)

...plus 2 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

Thu, 31 Jan 2019 07:53:40 +1300

my favorite movie from every year i've been alive

my favorite movie from every year since 1992 (holy shit this was hard)

  1. A League of Their Own
  2. Last Action Hero
  3. Léon: The Professional
  4. Before Sunrise
  5. Fargo
  6. Life Is Beautiful
  7. The Truman Show
  8. Galaxy Quest
  9. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  10. Ocean's Eleven

...plus 17 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 09:40:54 +1300

2018 ranked

commence the yelling

  1. Eighth Grade
  2. Game Night
  3. Blindspotting
  4. Paddington 2
  5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  6. Mary Poppins Returns
  7. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
  8. Suspiria
  9. Hereditary
  10. Roma

...plus 70 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

Wed, 30 May 2018 09:59:34 +1200

movies whose full titles can be perfectly sung to the rhythm & cadence of “moon river, wider than a mile”

we’re after that same rainbow’s end

...plus 18 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 08:56:44 +1200

movies i own for some reason but still haven't seen for some other reason

inspired by jamie woodham. feel free to yell at me

...plus 16 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 20:04:45 +1200

movies whose entire titles can be comfortably sung to the tune and rhythm of “little red corvette”

“entire titles” and “comfortably” and "rhythm" being the operative words

...plus 63 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 04:43:59 +1200

my favorite films of 2017

my favorite movies of 2018. gotta stress that my choice in "favorite" over "best" was one thousand percent intentional. as you will realize almost immediately, those star ratings don't mean a damn thing now

  1. I, Tonya
  2. Lady Bird
  3. The Florida Project
  4. Brigsby Bear
  5. Get Out
  6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  7. Blade Runner 2049
  8. Coco
  9. Nathan for You: Finding Frances

    (shut up)

  10. The Big Sick

...plus 19 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 21:02:56 +1300


Last year I saw 29 movies. And I think some of those were even repeats. So to challenge myself this year, I'm going to try and watch 100 movies I haven't seen, where there has to be an actor in common between movies. I started with THE REVENANT, so I've got DiCaprio, Hardy, Gleeson, Poulter, hell even Haas movies to choose from next. But past that, who knows how this will go! I'll update each entry with the actor they have in common. Fingers crossed. Also, I don't know why nothing gets 5/5 stars either!

EDIT: I DID IT! And the order got real fucked up because I didn't keep good track of the movies closer to the end of the list (ended up using Alan Tudyk and Michael Shannon twice) so I just filled in the gaps. The last movie I saw was Fences.

So what did I learn from this? I learned that by gamifying the act of watching movies, you'll start to hate watching movies. I learned that there are a lot of bad movies out there! I learned that good actors are in terrible movies all the time. I learned that Ryan Gosling, Tim Curry, Rebecca Hall, Sally Field, and Susan Sarandon are some of my favorite actors. I learned that watching movies is something I gotta do more often on a whim, and not as a means to an end. I forced myself to watch some terrific films that I might've not seen had I not had a reason- but overall, this challenge was nuts and stupid and uhhh I won't do it again! Happy new year!

  1. The Revenant
  2. About Time

    (DOMHNALL GLEESON) Really funny, and really sweet. They spend so much time establishing Domhnall Gleeson's character that it feels like they rush through his relationship at one point (a relationship that never falters, by the way) but it still all works! Bill Nighy is beyond delightful.

  3. The Big Short

    (MARGOT ROBBIE) Wonderfully directed, wonderfully acted, and completely and totally enraging. For great reason- the story told is meant to frustrate you. It's as much a tale of a big fuck-up as it is a warning that the fuck-up is gonna happen again. The last twenty minutes of the film compelled me to start over and watch the beginning again, and that only frustrated me further. Truly can't recommend enough.

  4. Thelma & Louise

    (BRAD PITT) A classic, and with good reason. One of the best road films I've ever seen, both heartwarming and heartbreaking, a powerful and fun movie.

  5. Beetlejuice

    (GEENA DAVIS) Honestly, I didn't love it? It was fun, and clearly inventive- a movie that wouldn't be made as whimsically today, but it felt like there were a few strings missing for what I expected it to be. All of the "classic" scenes fell flat to me. VERY surprised at how little Keaton is actually in this movie! Like he doesn't even show up until halfway. I think I need to watch this again.

  6. Spotlight

    (MICHAEL KEATON) Incredible. Worth every Oscar nomination.

  7. Big Fish

    (BILLY CRUDUP) God, what a sweet movie. My favorite Burton flick by far. I have a real desire to rewatch this one.

  8. Galaxy Quest

    (MISSI PYLE) What was I doing that I hadn't watched this movie until now? I think I'd seen it in parts on TV, but never in full. My mistake. It's so good.

  9. Working Girl

    (SIGOURNEY WEAVER) Sigourney Weaver is the absolute MVP of this movie. Melanie Griffith is MVP runner-up in case of injury.

  10. The Fugitive

    (HARRISON FORD) It's so cool to watch this movie and see its direct lineage to at least 3 other Tommy Lee Jones movies. He deserved that Oscar. TLJ's version of a US Marshal was as distinctive, in its finding a way to play an archetype differently and with personality, as Ledger's Joker. The ending was also very funny having seen Mulaney's Comeback Kid special four times.

...plus 92 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

Tue, 5 Jan 2016 11:17:35 +1300

Page created: Mon, Aug 19, 2019 - 09:05 PM GMT