HACHI: A DOG’S TALE (2009) was ABSOLUTE DEVASTATION. okay, look. this is a movie where you need to get on its level. embrace the cheesy 90s-adjacent setting. accept Richard Gere into your heart. just let the movie do its thing. give it your full attention for an hour.
then cry for 45 goddamn minutes straight.
you’ll try to fight it.
you’ll say to yourself: PULL IT TOGETHER MAN, YOU WATCHED REQUIEM FOR A DREAM AND DIDN’T CRY LIKE THIS. YOU’RE NOT EVEN THAT INTO DOGS.
but the tears will come, and they won’t stop. as each new scene rolls in you’ll start to brace yourself and it won’t matter. you’ll be a snotty disgusting mess and your roommates will look at you with confusion and concern.
MANDY (2018) was CAGETASTIC. i don’t think i could ever recommend this movie, per se, but i sure enjoyed it. build up is way too long and torturous (literally and figuratively), but if you can make it to Cage’s seminal vodka-chugging-sobbing-underwear performance, you’re in the clear.
COCO (2017) was A VISUAL FEAST. i decided to catch up on some Pixar movies because animation is an important art form. this was maybe a little heavy-handed on its messaging but i’m not gonna argue with a dog that mutates into a technicolor butterfly, and all the skeleton gags were primo slapstick.
THE LIVES OF OTHERS (2006) was BEGRUDGINGLY ENGROSSING. it’s too long overall and much of the ending was unnecessary, but there is gorgeous poetry in the meta-meta-ness of slowly finding yourself engrossed in watching the story of a man who finds himself slowly engrossed in the story of a couple.
ANNIHILATION (2018) was A MESS. Natalie Portman is not a convincing sci-fi lead. cool premise, neat vfx, no likable characters or engaging dialogue.
THE GOOD PLACE was THE PERFECT BINGE. an excellent premise with a few incredible side characters propping up a mediocre main cast. totally fun.
CASTLEVANIA (S2) was TOP-NOTCH COMBAT. the production as a whole is super low-budget and they save everything for some of the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen in animation – the last few episodes are absolutely stunning. i’m also a sucker for the setting and themes here, which makes the poor illustration easier to deal with.
HEAT (1995) was SELF-INDULGANT. i can get behind Al Pacino and Robert De Niro any day of the week, but this felt like a movie where the editor got shoved out of the room before they could put a stop to the absurd conversations where they self-analyze or just veer into outright monologue.