watching n reading
Tales of the Grim Sleeper

Such a profoundly depressing film. Did Lonnie kill all those women? Probably. Did the LAPD give a single fuck while all these black hookers were dying? Doesn’t look like it. Broomfield is a divisive filmmaker but this case is pretty bonkers. Would love to see a slightly stronger take on the material, something a little bigger.

Foxcatcher

Still percolating on this one. It’s really beautifully directed. I can’t tell if Carrel’s performance is revelatory or really hammy. I’m having a lot of difficulty with it.

'71

A really assured film. Performance-wise, I didn’t find anybody that stood out, apart from a young actor near the beginning of the movie. It coulda been maybe 10-15 minutes shorter but it’s still really impressive.

Eden

Found it SOOOOOOOOPER boring.

While We’re Young

It’s Baumbach’s ‘broadest’ movie by far. Baumbach’s depiction of Brooklyn hipsters* is garish and not too nuanced. (They listen to records and have obsessions with kitsch that predates them, apparently) But it tends to come off a little like a grumpy man getting fired up about the youth. Having said that, it’s still better than a lot of other stuff I’ve seen this year. Charles Grodin is great, Adam Driver is a little silly at times but lovely.
The best part of the movie? Adam Horovitz gives a FANTASTIC performance! Fantastic.

Carnage

Pretty masterfully directed (quel surprise) but found that that the escalation came a little too abruptly.

The Trip to Italy

Not sure I loved it as much the predecessor. But it was a delight to spend time with those characters again.

Vic And Flo Saw A Bear

I’d be happier if whatever money was going to Atom Egoyan’s (or Bruce Macdonald or Deepa Mehta or….) movie just went to Denis Cote. Imagine how much COOLER Canadian cinema would look to the rest of the world for a little while? Even if the resulting film was garbage, it would be interesting and weird and singular.

Anyway, Flo and Vic is great.

Premium Rush

An exquisitely stupid action movie in the best way. The big stakes of the plot never feel that impressive (despite a child being on the line) but the immediate stakes (wrecking a bike in Midtown traffic) are VERY palpable.
Michael Shannon proves once again, for the nth time, that he can elevate almost any material. Give him a glowering crooked cop heavy and suddenly he’s got a high-pitched squeal of a laugh. The menace then comes not from physical intimidation but from this weasely jerk who will do anything to get out of his pathetic gambling bind.

Mauvais Sang

I was SHOCKED at how bad I found this. Denis Levant is not fun to watch when he’s a young thug. You don’t really buy that he’s any sort of romantic street tough which, when you think about it, seems crazy. The plot (and I know it’s Carax and plots can be porous) is so stupid. The direction seems so ostentatious. When someone speaks derisively of the stereotypical ‘French Art film’, they’re talking about this.