Letterboxd - Demi Adejuyigbe

Letterboxd - Demi Adejuyigbe

A Cinderella Story, 2004 - ★★½

embarrassing that the academy took so long to get regina her make-up oscar for this

Fri, 3 Apr 2020 19:45:43 +1300

My Life as a Zucchini, 2016 - ★★★★½

I didn't know what this movie was about, I just knew it was a) on Netflix b) co-written by Céline Sciamma and c) short. Sold! Should've maybe figured out how much of a tender, feeling movie it would be before I decided to launch into it, though! Absolutely no regrets about it, but this is the second time in 24 hours that I have launched into a movie thinking "let's have some fun" and left with my heart in knots. Starting to feel like I'm subconsciously doing it to myself. Nasty! Not cool!

Every few minutes I told my friends "Thank god you're watching with me or else I'd definitely be crying right now." Then about ten minutes from the end I realized I was fully comfortable crying in front of them and a few little trickles came out. It's good to be vulnerable with your friends. Friends are the family you choose. And sometimes we cry because we are happy.

It is insane that Netflix has this categorized under "Family Comedies."

Fri, 3 Apr 2020 13:03:29 +1300

It's a Disaster, 2012 - ★★★★½

Certainly not the most comforting film to watch right now as it’s about 4 couples quarantining themselves from the imminent lethal threat of a contagious chemical outbreak, but the relevance is what made me want to watch it again, and I loved it. A pitch perfect black comedy that examines several different approaches to grief in both a relational and personal context. A stellar script, a stellar cast- it feels like a stage play turned into a film and I’m honestly shocked it isn’t. That’s the UT touch, baby! I also find the ending to be such an inspired choice that left me confused as to the thematic implications on my first watch, but I don’t think I cared as much this time because it’s just so good.

Thu, 2 Apr 2020 22:52:56 +1300

All That Jazz, 1979 - ★★★★½

Can't remember the last time a movie made me feel so emotionally drained. I felt like watching a musical today and just brute forced myself into watching this one while the inspiration struck, but now I feel like climbing out of wet sand. Fosse never lets up on the playful tone the film starts with but he slowly mixes in a darkness that makes the levity so grim. It's a shame Leland Palmer didn't act more, because I think her performance here feels so crucial and well-executed. Wish I wasn't so familiar with Bojack Horseman that a lot of the sequences that inspired parts of the show just reminded me of the show, but there's a lot that can't be done as well in animation that really rankled me so much harder here.

I also didn't realize how much of this film was so autobiographical, down to the fact that Katie was played by Ann Reinking, a woman he was having an affair with. Wild that someone could make a portrait of their own life that is so self-reflexive that it feels unpretentious and wholly critical, while making decisions in the process of that project that suggest a total disconnect from the feelings your audience is going to leave with. It's as magnificent and fascinating as it is truly sociopathic.

Thu, 2 Apr 2020 16:48:48 +1300

Tootsie, 1982

Don't wanna give this a rating because I was extremely distracted with multitasking as I watched this with my friends but wow! Great movie! Very funny. Terrific script. Everyone's batting a thousand here. Teri Garr is so funny. I don't understand why Jessica Lange got an Oscar here. I have a crush on Elaine May now. The only time they say "Tootsie" is in one of the songs on the soundtrack. Weird!

Wed, 1 Apr 2020 12:44:18 +1300

The Adventures of Tintin, 2011 - ★★★★★

It's a masterpiece. The best adventure film of the decade. Gorgeous, inventive, globetrotting, swashbuckling fun that only Spielberg could do. Caught myself going "oh shit, now this part is gonna rule" every few minutes over Zoom to make sure my friends took stock of every clever transition and oner. So much credit is given to Andy Serkis for playing apes and golems and all sorts of non-human characters that we ignore how good he is at just making a man like Captain Haddock feel real and lived in. Even the silliness of this film works so well– calling Sakharine "a sour-faced man with a sugary name" and giving him the pseudonym of "Shuggair Addeitiff?" Spielberg making a movie with a villain that looks like himself? Wonderful. Joyous. I live for this shit. Please cancel every non-Tintin project and put Peter Jackson to work on the sequel right now.

Tue, 31 Mar 2020 19:45:05 +1300

Jupiter Ascending, 2015 - ★★★

This movie is off-the-wall whackadoodle and unfairly maligned. Is it "good?" Not really. It's a massive cyberpunk hodgepodge of every sci-fi blockbuster of the past few decades wrapped in the skin of the Star Wars prequels. But, does it still fucking rule? Yes! It's a massive cyberpunk hodgepodge of every sci-fi blockbuster of the past few decades wrapped in the skin of the Star Wars prequels! The villains are harvesting human bodies for youth on some Peter Thiel shit! Channing Tatum plays a genetically-engineered military half-wolf! It’s a DeviantArt project come to life!

It's confusing and campy as fuck, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Wachowskis for absolutely going for it. No other working filmmakers deserve to use the descriptor "visionary directors" as much as they do and I fully support them making any movie they want for the rest of time.

Also, Channing Tatum running around on hoverboots made me really want a Jet Set Radio movie. If the Wachowskis are bored during quarantine...

Sun, 29 Mar 2020 21:00:24 +1300

Burlesque, 2010 - ★★½

This movie isn't good, but you know what it is, is available on Netflix to stream through Netflix Party with your friends and goof on. Also, very horny.

There are three songs in this movie that are pretty much named Burlesque. The song "Express" is a banger and easily the best part of the movie. I played it immediately after it ended and we all danced to it. It's a passion. An emotion. And a fashion. Burlesque!

Fri, 27 Mar 2020 19:24:37 +1300

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, 2017 - ★★★★★

Watched on Tuesday March 24, 2020.

Wed, 25 Mar 2020 14:16:25 +1300

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, 2017 - ★★★★★

"I saved you, dummy. That's how we're gonna win. Not fighting what we hate. Saving what we love."

exiling yourself to an island and projecting yourself across the planet to protect a more vulnerable populace... luke skywalker is a king of social distancing

(Watched this twice– once with director's commentary– for next week's episode of Newcomers with Nicole Byer & Lauren Lapkus)

Wed, 25 Mar 2020 14:14:30 +1300

Clueless, 1995 - ★★★½


Mon, 23 Mar 2020 18:02:50 +1300

One Cut of the Dead, 2017 - ★★★★

A truly grueling 30 minutes followed by an okay 30 minutes followed by a great 30 minute payoff that almost makes it worth it-  but boy, do really you have to be committed to finishing this movie for it to be worth it. The structure of this film is both necessary and frustrating. If you’ve got the commitment, it’s like a feature-length Always Sunny episode with absolutely ludicrous music choices. But ultimately fun!

Sat, 21 Mar 2020 17:11:57 +1300

Hello, Dolly!, 1969 - ★★★★½

The beautiful technicolor!! The intricate dancing!! The lanky delicate steps of Tommy Tune, who is certainly a swan that was turned into a man!! Wowee wow wow, they don't make 'em like this anymore!!

Sun, 15 Mar 2020 20:28:52 +1300

Emma., 2020 - ★★★½

Someone brought a dog into the theater. Society has broken down past any semblance of rules.

Spent the first thirty minutes going "I don't know what the fuck is going on." Spent the rest of the film going "oh, this is surprisingly funny when I understand what's going on." Beautifully shot. Shocked at how much a single moment of rudeness really felt like a gut punch. I liked this movie. Maybe the closest I'll ever get to truly loving an English period film.

My friend Kevin is watching me write this behind my back. I think he liked it too. We are going to eat pie now because it's Pie Day. A lot of the women in this movie have big eyes. What is this, the 2014 film Big Eyes, starring Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams? Kevin didn't laugh at that.

Sun, 15 Mar 2020 14:58:09 +1300

La La Land, 2016 - ★★★★★

I enjoy the 2016 Damien Chazelle film La La Land.

Tue, 10 Mar 2020 20:29:37 +1300

Stop Making Sense, 1984 - ★★★★★

I’ve been listening to Stop Making Sense nonstop for the past few months since I did talked about it on the Blank Check podcast (great cast good boys!!!!) and I keep forgetting to log it. So here are a bunch of the very unorganized notes I took from when I last watched it (on the 35th anniversary of the film!!)


–– I’m embarrassed to admit this but… this is the only Jonathan Demme movie I have ever seen. Yes, that includes Silence of the Lambs. Yes, that includes Ricki and the Flash. Please don't doxx me over this, Flashheads.

–– I actually only really discovered Talking Heads in college when a friend of mine told me that this Friendly Fires song I loved, called “In The Hospital,” seemed like a rip-off of Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed and Painless.” And whenever we talked about them, I'd say “the Talking Heads” and she’d go “Talking Heads. No ‘the’.” Which I thought was so pedantic until I realized they literally have an album called ‘The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads.’

This was also the time I got suuuuuper into Radiohead, which eventually became my favorite band, and of course, they are named after the Talking Heads song "Radio Head." Which I have never heard. (And was a song inspired by Stephen Tobolowsky! Who co-wrote True Stories with David Byrne and Beth Hanley. He also inspired Dismemberment Plan with a line he had in Groundhog Day.) (<— I have since rectified this and literally watched True Stories mere days ago! See Flashheads, I'm capable of growth!)

–– I love rock that you can dance to. Talking Heads is peak that. I think they’re one of my favorite bands. Talking Heads feels like a band that could very easily be making music for a children’s variety show with puppets if they hadn’t hit it big with so many adults– and that is NOT an insult. Their music is so fun and dance-y but still weird enough and with enough crazy instrumentation that it probably speaks to kids in this strange way where they like the sounds. Like David Byrne’s voice when he howls “Drop me in the water!” During ‘Take Me To The River” or whenever Jerry Harrison sings JAMES BROOOOOWN on Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love.”

–– I love that Demme doesn’t let the crew be invisible and focuses on the machinations of this show. Like, watching a crew pull a stage out is super distracting during a song, but it feels like they really want you to notice them doing it and not let the flow of the show stop for this build up. It makes me think he wants you to know that they’re just as much a part of the performance as the band is, at least for this concert film.

– When Lynn Mabry & Ednah Holt come out and sing and they’re dancing and clearly having SO much fun with each other, I think that’s the point at which I fully realize the greatness of this documentary and how it showcases performing as something that feels best (to me) when you get to be fun and loose with people that make you feel comfortable. It’s not about making Byrne or anyone seem like rockstars or music gods, it’s about showing how much they all LOVE doing this and how good they are at it. Little things like David Byrne doing the little stomp move back and forth with the backup vocalists is fuckin’ great. I love it SO much and it makes me wish I was part of a band. And most of the moves don’t look very rehearsed which is why they work so well.

–– “Burning Down the House” is so fucking good, especially when Steve Scales and Alex Weir go OFF. Alex and David dancing at the end of Burning Down The House is one of my favorite things and makes me feel truly warm inside. Wild how they cured racism together in that one moment!!

–– Very curious about the director’s role during a concert film or like a standup performance. Is it mostly running the concert a few times to see where they should have cameras and what to capture? Moments like when Byrne is dancing during “Life During Wartime” and the camera is through the crowd right on him- incredible decision! Honestly impressed that they could choreograph the cameras so they don’t get in the way, while also choreographing the dancing enough that they can reasonably cut between multiple nights of a performance. I wonder if Demme had some input on the choreo. Reminds me of the moment in the Beyonce Homecoming concert film where they cut PERFECTLY between the two nights and everyone’s outfits change from yellow to pink.

–– Byrne’s cardio is NUTS. Absolutely insane. Would kill to see the 15 minutes of him being hooked up to a bunch of hospital equipment after getting off stage.

–– [Lucille Bluth voice] I don’t care for “Swamp.”

–– “What A Day That Was” is fucking incredible. And shot mostly in closeup which is a strange choice to me for a) a concert film b) a song that is made so much by the feeling of the multiple parts, like that harmonizing! It is criminal that this song, which I fully believe to be one of Talking Heads’ best, is technically a very different song Byrne wrote for a Broadway play. Criminal!!

–– For “This Must Be The Place”, the lamp being the primary lighting & home backgrounds are a great decision, as are having them all perform close to each other without stands. Also, as many times as I listen to “This Must Be The Place,” I will never not feel so absolutely moved by it. A perfect love song.

–– “Genius of Love” is a great song with insane lyrics. Chris Frantz playing hype man on it is so fun, and made hilarious with the way it’s edited.

–– My man lookin’ like “Forrest Trump” in that red hat and big pants.

–– The film is perfect as it is, but something about the shots of the audience at the end makes it even… more perfect? Somehow? How diverse the crowd is, how much fun they’re all having. AND THE BABY! WITH THE UNICORN! And the stage guys!! This is the magic of music!

Thu, 5 Mar 2020 20:14:18 +1300

True Stories, 1986 - ★★★★

honestly the exact kind of beautiful, weird, specific, small town working class wonder-piece i needed time watch tonight. it’s a shame byrne didn’t direct anything else because he’s got such a specific style that feels like it could’ve been applied to an entire generation of eccentric comedies to great effect! i love you david!

Tue, 3 Mar 2020 21:43:48 +1300

The Invisible Man, 2020 - ★★★½

i didn't care for Upgrade much and the Upgrade-y parts of this movie were a lowlight for me, but certain moments and reveals were more rewarding than they should've been! still feel like the movie was too long and characters were frustratingly stupid at times (although i guess this serves the film, because it just makes you even madder and madder about cecelia's situation) but i gotta give him credit for how he builds tension out of the blank space of the frame! but also, very little else– it's fine!

Mon, 2 Mar 2020 23:23:27 +1300

Pete Davidson: Alive from New York, 2020 - ★★★

Thought this was surprisingly funny at many points and then unsurprisingly bad and almost strangely unedited at others. A lot of this special seems like he’s working out frustration specifically with people that hurt his feelings, which is fine and can churn out some good comedy but it also feels like “hey buddy- you’re rich, young, and on television. ignore those people! it’s okay!”

My roommate Gabe said this was the best comedy special he had ever seen, and one of his top three films period. He said it had rejuvenated his sense of humor and given him a reason to live. Sounds are clearer and colors are brighter now. He’s currently writing a letter to thank Pete Davidson for saving his life and asking if they can go grab lunch sometime. Says he might get a “Pete-head” tattoo this afternoon. A bit much!

Fri, 28 Feb 2020 08:48:50 +1300

I, Tonya, 2017 - ★★★★★

God, every lead character in this film is so well developed that they’re reprehensible, but given moments where you’re meant to see them in a sympathetic/borderline lovable light. A truly tricky balance for Gillespie to manage, but he nails it. No wonder he’s been hired to direct an origin story for a puppy murderer. I’ve written enough about this movie that I don’t have too many original thoughts to write about it any more, so I’ll just say that the moments where Tonya was told that she wasn’t upholding the vision of wholesome Americana enough to succeed reminded me of what’s going on with Bernie right now. Sorry to get political!!!! Let’s all yell about it in the comments!

Insane that I’m still choosing to watch this movie when I have to hold back tears through like 30% of the scenes. (A new friend told me they hadn’t seen it. Dangerous words around ya boy. Also I’m gonna be discussing it on a podcast soon so guess who’s about to watch it for a tenth time!!!)

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 22:02:34 +1300

Mr. Bean's Holiday, 2007 - ★★★½

That’s right, we watched Mr. Bean’s Holiday again. It’s a G-rated film with a lead character pushing someone to suicide and becoming a Nazi! Show me a more watchable film!

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 04:08:54 +1300

Onward, 2020 - ★★★★

The first third set me up for a grueling time but the film gets better as it goes on! If the dad stuff doesn’t get you crying, the brother stuff absolutely will. That third act is so lovely and fun and has a surprisingly simple but terrific climax with one of my favorite “creatures” in recent memory. It ain’t Pixar’s finest, but even A- Pixar is a pretty good film from anyone else. Don’t go in expecting a wild, wide vision of magical realism though– the most inventive fantastical creation of the film is a cop that is a good boyfriend. (Did Lana Del Rey ghostwrite on this)

Not looking forward to yet another inevitable week of think pieces dedicated to an explicitly-queer minor character in a Disney film, though!

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 17:32:41 +1300

Sonic the Hedgehog, 2020 - ★★½

Olive Garden®️

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 15:28:03 +1300

Josie and the Pussycats, 2001 - ★★★★½

Blown away by how much this movie holds up. I remember watching it in 2001 because I was a huge Archie fan and thinking its so fucking weird and funny and thinking “Three Small Words” was the best song I’d ever heard. It‘s still up there! Truly a fantastic, fun anti-consumerist satire. John Field’s video essay says it better than I could: it’s the greatest film ever made.

P.S. the man who shot this film also shot Iron Man, Venom, A Star Is Born, Birds of Prey, and every Aronofsky movie. And no joke, you can absolutely tell the same guy shot this movie and Requiem For A Dream.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 22:20:48 +1300

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

catch me at the amc burbank 16 having a strong emotional reaction to a bunch of women suddenly singing the thx logo music

“Do all lovers feel like they’re inventing something?”

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 18:35:19 +1300

Lady Bird, 2017 - ★★★★★

We put this on while preparing for our Oscars party yesterday afternoon and I found myself getting sucked into every scene going "Oh shit, now this part's great." A perfect movie. Every scene, every line is flawless and eminently quotable. Gerwig doesn't get enough credit for how truly hilarious this movie – as a comedy alone, it might've been the funniest film of 2017. Saoirse's performance is stunning and I'm still stubbornly insisting that Metcalf should've won Best Supporting Actress.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 13:43:37 +1300

Missing Link, 2019 - ★★★


Sun, 9 Feb 2020 22:29:15 +1300

Miss Americana, 2020 - ★★½

There’s a part where Taylor and her manager hold champagne glasses and cheers to “the resistance” and it plays exactly how you’d think it would play, which is the polar opposite of how Taylor probably expected it to play.

I fully believe that this isn’t as cynically-crafted and Taylor-signed as we could believe it is, but the only conclusion I’m left with outside of that is that Taylor’s world has put her in exactly the position where her entire life feels like an image because she actually is just kind of corny and neoliberal, and it’s hard to blame her for that. If I grew up white and wealthy, became a world-famous superstar at 15, and had a documentary made about myself twice-my-life later, you’d probably see me proudly cheers-ing to the resistance too.

Sun, 9 Feb 2020 15:27:46 +1300

Mr. Bean's Holiday, 2007 - ★★★½

Mr. Bean kills a guy and bombs Willem Dafoe. But sure, we just had to give the Best Picture Oscar to Slumdog Millionaire that year. 🙄

Sun, 9 Feb 2020 07:41:50 +1300

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), 2020 - ★★★★½

margot robbie has a scene where she skates to "barracuda" by heart, just like she did in i, tonya. 10/10 best picture

I just wrote & deleted a bunch of stuff about the superficial elements of BOP that I liked because there's one thing about this movie that struck me in particular and I don't want to write a literary thesis about any movie that has a slow, dramatic cover of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" on the soundtrack. Real quick I'll say: McGregor delivers my favorite villain performance. Smollet-Bell & Winstead are terrific. Movie is beautiful, fun, choreography rules, the humor really worked for me, almost gets too Deadpool-y but bounces back, it's easily my favorite DC film since The Dark Knight (i know i know boo to that phrase shut up) Anyway–

My greatest fear with Birds of Prey (not gonna write the full title but for the record, I fucking love the full title and have loved it since they announced it) is the same fear I have for most modern female-led action films, which is that a cynical sense of direction will get us a bunch of 'Girl Power' T-shirt scenes where someone delivers the kind of corny surface-level-feminism line that has studio heads imagining throngs of women standing to applaud in the theater. (This fear is mostly based on not wanting to arm the type of awful online nerd that keeps 'SJW' as a keyboard shortcut.) Fortunately, Cathy Yan has so much more respect for the audience. The message is there, but it's so much more subtle and rooted in the unspoken empathy she has for the women and the women have for each other.

It's in the way that she manages to make her characters sexy without cartoonishly over-sexualizing their actions or their wardrobe. It's in the way that she has even trusted male character make betrayals, knowing that they're acting without the innate empathy the female characters have through their lived experiences. It's in the way she establishes multiple major queer characters without letting their queerness be their downfall or their standout quality, letting it casually exist in a character's description between their height and hair color. It's in the way she depicts a terrible moment of physical violation that makes a woman vulnerable but refuses to cut to the gratuitous, 'sexy' wide shot of the violation that any male director would've lingered on. She does all of this without sacrificing any of the fun, action, or story of the movie or giving any of the male characters the stupid villainous moment where they go "you're just a GIRL!" before getting their ass kicked and it only makes it work on an even deeper level to me.

I know 4.5 out of 5 stars is an insane rating for this movie. My roommate just walked in and asked how I felt about this movie and I said "You ever really love a movie a lot even though you know you're wrong?" But fuck, I really enjoyed it both as a pulpy soap opera of colorful action and an exhibition of female-driven empathy both inside and out.

Still, cannot stress enough that this movie has a truly terrible slow, somber cover of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" used in a key moment. Very happy for Pat Benatar to get those royalty checks. Very sad for everyone else.

Fri, 7 Feb 2020 22:07:13 +1300

Ford v Ferrari, 2019 - ★★★★

The two standout scenes of this film to me are Tracy Letts in the car and Christian Bale at the end of the race. Everything else is great, but only at the bar where I’m left with no emotional impression besides “this guy makes movies real good.”

Fri, 7 Feb 2020 13:24:14 +1300

Klaus, 2019 - ★★★★★

I am the farthest thing from an easy movie crier, and this movie made me cry like ten times. Easily more than any movie I have ever seen. When the kids started being good to each other and the little girl writes her name for the first time and you meet Margú and see her all grown up and every time they do something that makes you go “oh so that’s how Santa got that thing” a tear would well up in my eye. And then at the end I started thinking about how lovely it is to have a teacher that you really care for and love, who makes you feel so excited to learn and gives you that spark of joy that you get when something you didn’t know finally clicks and I started bawling. This movie isn’t really about teachers or children, but that’s what got to me. 

The animation on this film is gorgeous and the jokes are legitimately hilarious and every sight gag works for me. This movie also screams 2000s-era 2D Disney animation in the best way, and reminded me of The Emperor’s New Groove and Lilo & Stitch at several points in a way that made me nostalgic for a period of animation I honestly don’t think about very much. Look into the way they made the 3D-styled animation out of the 2D animation, it’s worth it. The only thing I could possibly take umbrage with is the soundtrack, which felt off to me but that’s probably just because it’s got such modern pop in it that it really kicked me out of my trance. Still can’t knock it though.

Also, this was created by the man who created the Minions. So the creator of the Minions turned me into a sobbing puddle at 4am last night. Absolutely humiliating.

Fri, 7 Feb 2020 07:37:18 +1300

The Gentlemen, 2019 - ★★

GUY RITCHIE: hey man, i made that pizza you wanted
ME: ah righteous, thank y–
GUY: a bup bup bup– before you eat it, i should apologize
ME: what? why, your pizzas are always pretty good
GUY: yeah well i was worried the recipe was getting a little stale
ME: yeah
GUY: so i tried to mix it up a bunch
ME: yeah
GUY: and i got a liiiiittle self-indulgent
ME: yeah
GUY: then i threw in a little playful racism in there
GUY: and a dash of rape from– which was honestly not necessary
GUY:just wanted to see what would happen
ME: you–
GUY: and then i told jeremy to set the oven
JEREMY STRONG: yeah and i set it too high
GUY: oh, waaaaay too high
JEREMY: haha yeah. thought it would cook faster, i dunno
GUY: here's the kicker, the lid on my playful racism shaker was loose! so a BUNCH got in there. like, so much
GUY: basically, it's gonna taste weird
GUY: don't be mad at meeeeee
GUY: colin helped too
COLIN FARRELL: i made the pepperonis
GUY: dude, he killed it, the pepperonis are so good
ME: why do you have a playful racism shaker

Thu, 6 Feb 2020 19:49:38 +1300

Fantastic Man, 2014 - ★★½

A terrific introduction to WIlliam Onyeabor for someone who's not at all familiar with him, but it's plagued by white musicians talking about him and Africa with the wonder of a man who's just discovered a fantastical village of magical creatures in his garden. It also gives you like, zero answers about any of the questions you'll have. Loved when they talked with Nigerians and presented the mystery of who he was, though.

Thu, 6 Feb 2020 09:17:55 +1300

Les Misérables, 2019 - ★★★

Honestly just left this movie feeling kind of frustrated, but not in the way Ladj Ly presumably wants me to be. Obviously it’s hard to discuss a film like this without letting your own politics seep into your interpretation, but the film seems to want us left imagining the gradient in both police morality and the morality of minority/poor populations. It tries to depict this scale with a “good cop” protagonist that I didn’t find as likable or right-headed to me as Ly wants me to. And maybe this wasn’t his intention at all, but it isn’t lost on me how much time he had to spend humanizing his protagonists in comparison to entire secondary characters whose humanity goes without saying. 

Baffling that France chose this film as its submission over Portrait. My most cynical reading is that they thought they had a better chance amongst the Academy’s demographic with a film that says “damn cops and poor black people are just as bad as each other, huh?”

Les gangs puent. Les jocks puent. Les flics sont les deux.

Fri, 31 Jan 2020 17:10:17 +1300

Luce, 2019 - ★★★★

"What's the difference between punishing someone for being a stereotype and rewarding them if they're not?"

An impressive, almost Shakespearean drama about the 'American Dream' as it intertwines with perceptions of race and identity– all told with the doubly-impressive goal of making you identify and root for a teenage sociopath. Thank god the director behind The Cloverfield Paradox also had this in him.

Tue, 28 Jan 2020 09:34:40 +1300

The Social Network, 2010 - ★★★★★

This movie is basically The Great Gatsby if Daisy realized how much of a fuckin’ loser Jay Gatsby is. “Good luck with your lemonade stand.”

(Watched this for an episode of The Bechdel Cast, live in San Francisco, which should be available to listen to, uhhhhh, eventually! Soon probably!)

Fri, 24 Jan 2020 01:08:00 +1300

Jojo Rabbit, 2019 - ★★★

Only liked this the slightest amount more on this viewing, but all the things I didn’t like before (Taika’s Hitler, Scarlett, the tone of the entire film not really landing the comedy or the drama for me) are all still there.

Tue, 21 Jan 2020 14:12:03 +1300


this is the first david lynch thing i’ve seen besides the Twin Peaks pilot and, uh... this guy’s freackin weird!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tue, 21 Jan 2020 12:49:18 +1300

Joker, 2019 - ★★

I think this movie is pretty bad. I think it’s shallow and dumb and poorly written/directed and masquerading as a film with meaning in a way that has somehow tricked Academy members into believing it’s a prestigious piece of work and not a ridiculous feature-length 30 Rock cutaway parody buoyed entirely by some nice cinematography and a reliably-terrific performance from an actor who is always as good as he is here, and even often better in similar films (You Were Never Really Here.) 

That said, this is all just my opinion! It’s not right, it’s not wrong. What is wrong- and very weird and embarrassing– is the strong inability for this movie’s biggest champions to accept that some people think this movie is pretty bad without getting defensive or arguing in favor of a conspiracy, or pretending that disliking Joker is a choice made just because Joker is popular, and not because Joker is a bad movie. Every single time, without fail, I’ve been able to personally trace just how embarrassing and bad I would find a movie by measuring the reactions of the people who love it (cough cough really any DC film) and sorry to all of you who do, but good lord the people online who have taken this film into a core part of their personality are troublesome! What a weird thing! Especially given how many of you believe that the message of this film is “be nice to people or they might snap and hurt you.” (Which is a whole other bag of worms that makes me terrified for every single person you come into contact with and firmly makes me believe you should be put on some sort of watch list!)

Does this mean everybody who likes Joker is bad? Of course not! That’s a ridiculous statement, and the people who I’m actually talking about won’t even make it this far into the review anyway to read this caveat. Movies are wonderful and the best thing that could have resulted from the countless hours of loving work that went into this film, or any film, is for you to love it. What a powerful thing! I wish we ALL loved Joker! But the irony is not lost on me as to how many people find themselves deeply relating to this absolutely, irredeemably horrid man simply because they threw “he’s mentally ill” and “he’s been bullied” into his character, only to then turn around and show their whole asses online.

This isn’t really a review of Joker, though. It’s more a review of Joker’s audience. That’s because I already wrote a review of Joker, and a bunch of clowns (natch) came out in droves to shout me down about not liking it, as if they weren’t a block button away from being thrown into the phantom zone (DC ref! I’m one of you! Except, not!) Anyway, let me get back to reviewing the 2019 film Joker

I think the movie is pretty bad.

Tue, 21 Jan 2020 11:03:49 +1300

Parasite, 2019 - ★★★★★

“Dad, today I made a plan.”

It’s absolutely fucking absurd that Song Kang-Ho did not get any Oscar attention for his role in this film. He gives the most expressive, wide-ranging performance of the year. I mean, the entire ensemble is outstanding (I think I’ve already said how terrific Cho Yeo-jeong’s comedic performance is) but Song is the emotional center of this film both in its funniest and it’s most tragic moments. Also, after five viewings (I know) of this film, it’s so fun to me which line deliveries (in a language I fully do not know) stick out to me so much. Kim Ki-taek screaming “Lady! Are you mad?!” is a strong favorite.

I retain a dumb optimism that the Academy will wise up and give this film Best Picture, but even if they don’t, I have no doubt that it simply is the year’s best picture. Every single time I watch this film, I feel my heart breaking at the ending as if it’s the first time.

Mon, 20 Jan 2020 20:29:15 +1300

Bad Boys for Life, 2020 - ★★★

Three thoughts I had during this movie:

1) Think of the best possible cameo that this movie could have. Yeah, they got it. (No, not ** ******. The other one.)

2) Honestly a little disappointed at how smooth the action in this film felt– it was like they wanted to sand down the edges of Bayhem into something a little more palatable. Which is impressive! But Bad Boys should be the kind of dumb action movie where a bunch of cops drive recklessly through Brazilian favelas, just because it seems cool.

3) If they ever make a Gears of War movie (sorry- when) these guys should be behind it. The entire third act screamed Gears of War to me, which is an outstanding thing to do since that is a game and phrase I have not seen or thought about in maybe 8 or so years now.

Sun, 19 Jan 2020 10:43:48 +1300

Goldman v Silverman, 2020

I hate Times Square bcuz of the Silver man, he was disgusting, i hate him with my life, he doesnot leave the gold man alone

Sat, 18 Jan 2020 23:52:39 +1300

Singin' in the Rain, 1952 - ★★★★½

I had never seen this movie before but my friends Jocey and Celia insisted I had to, and I’m so glad I did. :) The “Make ‘Em Laugh” sequence has been something I’ve known and loved for years, and I can’t believe I was depriving myself of the rest of this film for so long. Gorgeous, vibrant, joyful, funny, and cornball in all the best ways. 

And the dancing! A beautiful physicality that is all but gone from modern film in the most crushing way. It’s why those dancing scenes with Channing Tatum in Hail, Caesar! made my heart soar so much; a glimmer of what talent might still exist, hidden in the repertoire of some of our greatest stars, if only someone were to just fucking usher it out of them! Give us more incredible choreographed dancing routines, goddamn it! The people deserve it!

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 22:09:48 +1300

1917, 2019 - ★★★★½

I’ve been wanting to rewatch this every day since I first saw it and it was just as rewarding as I thought it would be. 2:20PM on a Thursday and the theater was still full, the reactions were still audible and powerful. It feels weird for this movie to have come out so late in the award season, as it feels like the kind of thing that should’ve taken over the last few months of our collective discourse, but it popped up and become a Best Picture contender all in what feels like a matter of two weeks. Deservedly- it’s beautifully shot, spectacularly paced, and the aspect that makes the film most notable never feels like a showy gimmick. It just works!

I attended the Oscars VFX bake-off earlier this month, where shortlisted contenders for Best VFX presented their films & their accompanying VFX reels. I was the most excited about seeing how this film pulled off its stitches, because it’s clear that VFX had to play a heavy part in it. (91% of the film has VFX in it.) And it did not disappoint. There are some stitches that are obvious, like the one or two times the film completely dips into black, but aside from that they used full CG body/scene doubles and clever frame pans and composited CG scene elements to hide transitions in such a brilliant way. (The way they did the plane scene made me smile, and I hope the reel is released online because I don’t know how to really explain it!) The VFX even helped them stitch together certain scenes that were shot in two entirely different countries. It’s the exact kind of VFX usage that screams “best” visual effects to me, rather than the usual winner that often screams “most.”

They also mentioned how involved Roger Deakins was not only in the cinematography, but also the effects and set design, as they all had to work together to work effectively. Deakins would tell them all “ah, a cloud’s moving in two hours, we’re gonna have to wait to shoot” so they could match the lighting exactly. He also worked with them to figure out the exact trajectory the magnesium flares in the (GORGEOUS) third act had to travel (had to go 30 meters in 22 seconds exactly) and how to specifically design the set so that the shadows would cast a specific way. I shouldn’t be shocked at how tightly so many departments have to work together just to compose a movie like this, but something about hearing the specificity of it broken down like that really drove home how much of a masterwork this film was.

And that SCORE!!!!!!! God damn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 21:58:54 +1300

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, 2019 - ★★★½ (contains spoilers)

This review may contain spoilers.

Took me like a week to finish rewatching this and then I totally forgot I did last night.

It’s fine. A very fun movie that seems unnecessarily long and feels like multiple movies squashed together. The entire Sharon Tate storyline feels completely pointless and like it serves no purpose besides setting up a predictable violent confrontation for the ending (which should have involved Sharon Tate as a fighter herself, if you ask me. I’m shocked that people have called the ending surprising, as if this isn’t the eventual conclusion of every Tarantino movie.)

As others have pointed out, it’s weird that Tarantino’s three big historical revenge films center on slavery, Nazis, and then... the Manson family. And that’s even by accident. A little uneven there. It’ll be nice to see Brad Pitt win an Oscar for a role that is pretty much 100% comedic, though. If only the Academy gave a shit about comedies that weren’t extremely star-studded.

I think individual scenes of this movie are wonderful, but altogether I just feel so empty and unmoved by it all. It’s the Hail, Caesar! of 2019. And I liked Hail, Caesar! So... great!

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 09:54:24 +1300

The Lighthouse, 2019 - ★★★★½


This film is absolutely gorgeous. One of the best shot films of the year. Also one of the most grueling, disorienting, claustrophobic, psychotic films of the year. I’m not sure I even know what really happened, but I was captivated the entire time. I’m sure Dafoe and the cinematographer are gonna get shafted through awards season, but I hope they’re both proud of their work. Shit. I really hope we get to see Eggers’ Nosferatu.

Thu, 9 Jan 2020 20:30:45 +1300

Moonstruck, 1987 - ★★★½

I liked this movie just alright until the final scene, where everything came together so beautifully! A little shocked Cher won an Oscar for this role but I’m glad she has it!

Thu, 9 Jan 2020 20:18:18 +1300

Under the Silver Lake, 2018 - ★★★★

The biggest mystery in this movie is why a broke man who lives in Silver Lake supposedly is going to The Last Bookstore, which is downtown, "all the time."

I think I agree with the take of how poorly the women in this film are shot (yes, even past it being "the point" of the movie) and have enjoyed a nice afternoon of reading various takes on this movie because of how unsatisfying its wrap up was (which also is likely another "point" of the movie) but I really really enjoyed it. DRM has such a great eye and the way this movie is shot is fantastic and gripping that it ended and I thought "hmm maybe I could watch it again, maybe that will explain everything."

And boy, I know I literally live in Los Angeles but this is the first time I've been disoriented to watch a movie that was so noticeably shot in the places where I literally go every day. Big year for surprise Riki Lindhome appearances in mystery movies and Mike Gioulakis split-diopter shots!

Thu, 2 Jan 2020 21:25:18 +1300

Ford v Ferrari, 2019 - ★★★★½

Truly outstanding competence! With a wonderful ending! A simple, familiar-feeling story made as masterfully as humanly possible. Vincent Van Gogh painting the cool S.

Wed, 1 Jan 2020 17:52:38 +1300

movies whose full title can be perfectly and comfortably sung to the rhythm and cadence of the "i know who i want to take me home" part of "closing time"

every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end

(not just any 9-syllable title, has to be able to be sung out loud without messing with the pronunciation of the words)

edit: submissions are closed ’cause no offense but y’all are bad at this

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

Sun, 9 Feb 2020 12:49:55 +1300

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
(note: it's very specific to the way the words have to be pronounced and spread to match with the song and not just any 8-syllable title!)

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

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 08:56:44 +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 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: Fri, Apr 03, 2020 - 09:05 AM GMT