Sour Grapes

How much is that bottle of wine? Where did you get it? Check the label, carefully. And the foil. And the glass. And also the contents…

Fascinating account of a wine savant gone rogue. It’s juicy, but something doesn’t smell right…

While We’re Young

Wait, is this Ben Stiller again? In a Noah Baumbach film again? I may just become a fan. Add Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, and Amanda Seyfried and you have a winner.

Magic Mike

Channing Tatum cancels out Matthew McConaughey. I always like the former, and I’m always annoyed by the latter. Not what I’d expect from Steven Soderbergh, but this is pretty fun – more for the energy than for the depth of the material.

The Meyerowitz Stories

Netflix can do no wrong, it seems. This is a film that, on the surface, I wouldn’t expect to enjoy so much. The cast is not one that I have much interest in. But I’ve never liked Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller so much as I did here. They are both excellent, good enough to keep up with Dustin Hoffman, with no-one outshining the others.

Ah, the writer/director is Noah Baumbach… That goes a long way in explaining the quality on hand.

Blade Runner 2049

Wow.

A sequel worth seeing. Not only worth seeing, but quite possibly better than the original… this is very nearly a masterpiece.

Some will say it is too long, but I think that the pacing is very deliberate, and quite necessary. It allows the viewer the time to think, to ponder the questions that are being asked, and to come to the same conclusions that K comes to. This flies in the face of most current moviemaking, and that’s fine with me.

I was reminded at one point of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” when a key character talks about how memory is essential to identity. And it is the intersection of memory, DNA, robotics, and all of the ethical questions raised by those things that make this movie so interesting.

See it and think…

Gaga: Five Foot Two

Cameras follow her everywhere she goes – sounds like a typical, modern documentary, right? Meant to be intimate and give you an inside look. Which is fine, except with someone like Lady Gaga, there’s very little that is not scripted, or at the very least, not very un-guarded.

She’s a genuine talent, but I can’t say I like her any more after seeing this than before.

mother!

What the fuck was that?!

Even by Aronofsky standards, that was a fucked-up fever dream… I tend to agree with those critics who say it was supposed to be a comedy. But I only laughed in the uncomfortable way that you do when you are just completely at a loss as to what to do…

The Dilemma

Trying to remember how/why this ended up in my queue? Must’ve been the cast. Mostly forgettable although completely competent. What is this genre called, anyway? Not quite a rom-com, not fully a buddy movie, and only sort of a drama…

Southpaw

Boxing movies. Tough to make a good one. People get all excited about Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby,” but I found it to be utterly, irredeemably cliched. And so that’s a primary danger of the subject matter. One more chance. One last fight. One more obstacle to overcome. The loss. The comeback. Redemption in the balance. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Southpaw veers in that direction, but maybe somehow manages to stay just this side of it? Or only a little over the line? It’s okay…