Week 51


Mayhem- The beauty of this film is in the editing. Yes, it’s funny, violent, colorful and decently-acted. But the editing that ties the multiple characters, scenarios, locations and ideas together is what creates this memorable experience. As far as plot goes, it’s not far off from the first Resident Evil just in an uber-corporate environment. I’m aware that the fictional Umbrella Corporation of Resident Evil is indeed corporate but this has the more plausible environment of a high powered law firm. Oh it’s about a virus that makes everyone uncontrollably violent and whether that’s legal or not. Shit, should I have been telling you the plots this whole time?

C8 A6



Punching the Clown- I have heard this recommended on various podcasts and it’s favorably reviewed. Its fine but I don’t get the gusto some have for it. A musical comedian comes to LA to make it big but miscommunication leads to him being reviled as an Anti-Semite and racist. The main character is innocent but naïve to the point of annoyance (on the viewer’s part). It ends the way it starts.

C6 A5




Rare Exports- Yeahhhhhhh buddy there are some good things here but I want them to be a surprise so I’ll just give you the gist and say it’s a high recommend. Basically, Santa is real but that’s a bad thing. He’s an ancient evil and mankind might just be unleashing him on a small Finnish town. Hilarity, violence and great camerawork/acting/special effects ensues.

C8 A6


the work

The Work- I don’t know if it’s better to know what’s transpiring here or not. The plot itself is straightforward but how it culminates and reveals itself is the wonder of this movie. Certain inmates at Folsom Prison in California have weekly therapy sessions and people from the outside are allowed in four times a year. This is the first time that those therapy sessions have been documented. That should be enough to hook you, but what happens in the session themselves will keep you glued for the duration.

C8 A8


killing sacred deer

Killing of a Sacred Deer- Yorgos Lanthimos. Remember that name because you will either want to see more of his work or avoid it. I don’t know if there can be a centrist view of him. Based loosely on Iphigenia at Aulis and other myths, the story centers around a doctor who befriends a creepy boy (we don’t immediately know why) and the tragedy that slowly envelops his life (we’re also initially unaware of the cause). All these unknowns are maddening but add so much tension to the world that you forget the cause and only the day to day experience.  Another draw to Lanthimos’ work (notably The Lobster before this) is the how actors deliver his dialogue. It’s a strange concoction of vocal fry (google it) and monotone way of speaking that settles into a rhythm of speech. You have to hear it to fully appreciate it. Or hate it.

C7 A5



The Greasy Strangler- The first time you see Michael St. Michaels’ (Google him) naked body being whipped by automated drive through car washers, you have to laugh. Then you see it again. And again. And again. And (I think) again but it’s never not funny. By the 5th time, so many other weird and improbably strange things have happened. Seeing Michaels’ penis and hearing his scream, as the titular grease is slapped off his body, becomes a strange comfort. I’m not even mentioning the love triangle with his son or the tour of fictional disco history that they run as a side business. I shouldn’t have to.

C8 A3



Mississippi Grind- Ben Mendelsohn is fast becoming the most dependable actor around. If you’re looking for despondent, violent, villainous or just downright shady he’s your man. Here he is, a down-on-his-luck gambler that teams up with a little less down-on-his-luck gambler Ryan Reynolds. Have you noticed that I rarely say character’s names in movies? Because who cares. Anyway, the two personalities play off each other well in a genre/lifestyle that is both dour and endlessly hopeful. No fancy camera or story tricks that I remember just a strong and well-acted story with two great leads.

C7 A6


cat on a

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof- Fidelity, lost promise and mortality descend on a dynastic southern family. Paul Newman, always the charmer, goes against type as moody, complaining failure. This makes him generally unfun to watch but on the acting front everyone is great and the setting is interesting. Do I have to say this was written by Tennessee Williams or is it pretty well known? I feel like he’s the answer to most “Who-wrote-the-play-this-movie-was-based-on questions.” Him or Shakespeare. I did not love this but history has already shown that my love of a story is not necessary for it to be a classic.

C6 A7

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