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

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

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

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

brooke A part of me wants to skip this review and say that anyone reading should stop what they’re doing and go watch I Am Not Your Negro, but I’m excited to talk about it. But also, stop what you’re doing and go watch it.

casey I think James Baldwin tends to be an overlooked figure in the history of American civil rights. I wasn’t aware of him until a few years ago, and am not as familiar with his writing as I’d like to be. But I think we’re living in a moment when consciousness about race and racism is higher than it’s ever been in my life, which makes it a perfect time to become (re)acquainted with Baldwin. Fortunately, I Am Not Your Negro is an amazing vessel for that. Read More

13th (2016)

brooke Dang. This documentary is powerful and made me feel heavy.

casey I have an operating hypothesis, which is that America is essentially depraved and bad, and 13th didn’t do much to disabuse me of that notion. But Ava DuVernay is a good enough filmmaker that her documentary on mass incarceration in America is a real gut punch even if, sadly, not much of it came as a surprise.

brooke gut kick, more like… Read More

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

casey What a steaming pile of boring nonsense for washed up boomer jocks.

brooke I hated this movie. I think I guffawed once or twice, but it was because the jokes were so bad that I couldn’t believe someone took the effort to write them down

casey I don’t think I hated it so much as I found it incredibly tedious, like someone took every college movie montage ever made said “Screw it, let’s do that for a whole movie.” It’s two hours of self-congratulatory, boozy frat boy nostalgia. Read More

Late Spring (1949)

casey Late Spring is the second Yasujirō Ozu film we’ve watched for our Great Movies project, following his 1959 work Floating Weeds. It took me  minute to get in sync with its rhythm, but once I did I thought it was pretty damned great.

brooke Despite a few spots that dragged, I found it incredibly enjoyable

casey And compared to Floating Weeds (or maybe because if it!), I felt more connected with the characters and themes despite parts of it remaining a bit opaque.

Read More

Hell or High Water (2016)

brooke Hell or High Water is a wild ride.

casey It’s the kind of movie that deserves to be a cable TV classic ala Shawshank Redemption.  Are cable TV classics still a thing?

brooke If not, it can just be a streaming classic. *hint, hint Netflix* Read More