Slow West

There are cowboys. There are Indians. There are good guys and bad guys as well as the one ambiguous guy. Arrows are shot. Long rifles and six-shooters. We’ve seen it all before, right?

Except something is a little off-kilter. Everything is not as it seems. Or rather, everything is not going the way it goes in your typical genre Western. It’s different. Not True Grit different. Not The Ballad of Buster Scruggs different. It’s its own thing.

And that’s a good thing. Interesting and engaging from start to finish. Which is not the expected finish – if there even is such a thing, once this film gets going. One unsurprising thing at the end, though: Michael Fassbender gets the girl.

Biggie & Tupac

This director has to be one of the worst documentarians on the planet. And definitely the worst narrator. And yet I managed to learn a few things from this movie. And strangely, the people that he approached for interviews and filming seemed oddly to allow him a level of access that I wouldn’t have expected. Why? How?

This is probably only for real fans of the title characters. Otherwise, just check out Notorious – much more entertaining.

Bright

Magic is so unsatisfying. When anything is possible, the screenwriter can be so lazy. Just wave a wand at it. So while the premise of an alternate society that evolved with fairies and orcs alongside humans is sort of intriguing, and makes the race relations story somewhat fresh (?), I just can’t commit my full attention to this kind of movie. I spend too much time complaining out loud…

Jackie

I think I read that there is archival footage interspersed with the scenes of this movie, but if so, it is done so well that it’s almost seamless.

The accent is a bit off-putting at first, but I’m guessing it’s pretty accurate. Natalie Portman is a tour de force here, present as she is in nearly every scene. By the end, I’d almost forgotten it wasn’t really Jackie O.

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…

Get Out

I don’t watch a lot of “horror” films, because they are almost always too predictable and clich├ęd. This one is anything but. It is very good at making the viewer feel a little bit uncomfortable, and then very slowly ratcheting that up. Until all hell breaks loose.

I did not see that ending coming…

Jane Got a Gun

Natalie Portman is probably too attractive for this role. But then, she nearly always is. Tough, good-looking woman with a gun, what’s not to like?

I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore

This wants to be indy weirdness, luring you in with its awkward, schlumpy protagonist girl, teaming up with her equally nerdy neighbor (played nicely by Elijah Wood) to exact (very) bloody revenge on some methed-out local thieves who ransack her apartment.

And in fact it is. And not just for the shuriken in the face, or the buckets of vomit… but possibly because it syncs so well with the current zeitgeist of angst that so many of us are experiencing. Good timing for a movie whose message, according to the director, is “don’t be a dick.”