Your Name (2016)

brooke First off, I want to say that anyone who hasn’t seen Your Name needs to go see it. It’s the kind of movie that deserves to be seen with little or no knowledge of the plot.

casey Japanese animation remains a major blind spot in my film self-education. Is it all as good as Your Name? Anyway, it’s gripping, beautifully animated, and strikingly original in its blend of teen romance, Freaky Friday-esque body switching, and, for good measure, a dash of spiritualism and sci fi. Read More

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

brooke So, Reservoir Dogs was Quentin Tarantino’s first film. It has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, it consistently shows up on lists of greatest movies (not Ebert‘s but oh well…), and it is celebrated as a cult classic to this day. It just had its 25th anniversary… and yet neither of us had never seen it before.

casey Just one of those “haven’t gotten around to it yet” shows, but I’ve always liked Tarantino. His movies have a sense of purpose and a commitment to ratcheting up tension towards a violent payoff that few others can match. Reservoir Dogs, it turns out, is no exception, and it deserves its place near the top of the Tarantino heap. Read More

Finding Dory (2016)

casey We finally got around to seeing Finding Dory on Netflix, and it feels a little strange to say, given its pedigree, that it’s not close to being one of the 2016’s most interesting animated movies. Which, honestly, speaks more to the quality of the competition, because Finding Dory is still pretty good.

brooke Yeah, going up against Moana, Kubo, and Zootopia in the same year was no small feat, but this one is sweet and simple. Read More

The Salesman (2016)

casey How do you sum up The Salesman? A tense, compelling, and surprisingly mundane thriller, maybe?

brooke A commentary on gender roles and victim blaming?

casey How about, an excellent movie that maintains a real sense of tension with sometimes flawed but highly relatable and very real-feeling characters. It’s good, is what I’m saying. Read More

Logan (2017)

casey Wow, where do you even start? I didn’t know what I was expecting from Logan, but it wasn’t a powerful meditation on mortality, fatherhood, and cultural alienation. By setting aside the cartoonish violence of previous Wolverine movies and the comic book tropes of the X-Men titles in favor of a contemplative character study, Logan manages to transcend both the superhero genre and, in a sense, the very medium of film.

brooke The first trailer for Logan had me thinking, it’s about damn time we had a pleasant indie-inspired stroll through the life and times of old man Wolverine.
Unfortunately, this isn’t that.

casey In reality, Logan isn’t any of what I said. And it’s not exactly the best at what it does, either. Read More

Get Out (2017)

brooke There are precious few horror films that I’ve gotten excited about, and fewer I’ll watch more than once, but I think I’m going to add Get Out to my rotation.

casey It’s my favorite not-exactly-horror movie since Cabin in the Woods, for a lot of the same reasons.

brooke And it’s gaining praise from a lot of people, so let’s heap on some more! Read More

The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

brooke na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na LEGO BATMAN

casey We saw The LEGO Movie on a whim back in 2014, just before it became a minor phenomenon, and it made me feel the rare joy of seeing something completely new and hilarious. Now comes The LEGO Batman Movie, which, in terms of its capacity to delight, never stood a chance of matching its predecessor, but is still pretty good. Read More

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

casey What if they threw a war and nobody came?
I have no idea, but Hacksaw Ridge answers the question “What if they threw a war and everybody came, except one guy who didn’t bring a gun and is also an incontrovertible badass?”

brooke I want to admit here and now that I wanted to dislike this movie because Mel Gibson is kind of a terrible human being, but dammit I really liked it.
And Andrew Garfield, I take back everything bad I thought about you in Silence.
Oh, and also Vince Vaughn is there, which I found entertaining because it made me think of Dodgeball. Read More