"I'm T-S-motherfuckin'-A."

    1 July 2019, late afternoon

I finally watched Get Out. I knew one of the bigger reveals in the film, but for the most part had no real idea what the movie was about. The movie opens with a black dude being knocked out and kidnapped, so you’re on edge from that point on. So, little happens to start, but it’s all so god damn creepy. The film is a really well executed horror film. It’s also an interesting commentary on race and racism and all the good stuff. You should watch this movie. I hope you already have.

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Avengers: Infinity War

   21 May 2019, early morning

Finally watched Avengers … Infinity War. Everyone is talking about End Game so I thought it was about time I got a bit more caught up. The film begins wrapping up all the various threads they have littered throughout all the various Marvel movies, with Thanos finally showing up to fuck things up. The film starts in medias res with Thanos attacking the ship Thor and Loki are on to steal one of the Infinity Stones, the one inside the Tesseract. The rest of the film is him slowly trying to collect the remaining stones. (One is in Vision’s head, one hangs around Dr. Strange’s neck, etc.) It’s an enjoyable enough Marvel film. It’s clearly their Empire Strikes Back. I still thought it weaker than the first Avenger’s movie, but far better than Age of Ultron. Captain America is back with a beard, so that was cool.

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

   15 May 2019, terribly early in the morning

Mythilli wanted to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I don’t recall why it was on her mind. The film is surprisingly good. A film about excess and waste. About being yourself. Family. So much stuff! James Caan plays the lead characters father, and he is wonderful in the role. It’s nice to see someone other than Pixar can make a solid cartoon.

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Black Panther

   15 May 2019, terribly early in the morning

I finally watched Black Panther. I’m almost ready to watch whatever the hell the next movie happens to be. Infinity War? I am a bit burned out on these films. I would have never imagined this would be the case 20 years ago. But, this film is great. Coolger has made a superhero film that stands out amongst the sameness that is much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is so Black I love it. There are so many great performances in this film. Michael B. Jordan is a fantastic villain. The conceit of the film is interesting, and his arc through the film is central to that. The fight scene in the casino is done so well. A memorable film. Worth watching.

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Nighthawks

    4 March 2019, early morning

Collin Geddes, who used to run Midnight Madness at TIFF, now runs a monthly program at the Lightbox called KinoVortex. His last screen was an 80s cop film called Nighthawks, starring Sylvester Stallone early in his career. The film felt very much like a strange slice of 80s film making. Billy Dee Williams plays his partner. Rutger Hauer plays a suave European super-terrorist. (This was Hauer’s debut in Hollywood.) I don’t know if you can call the film good, but it’s certainly something. It’s likely worth watching just to see the films end, which is really something else. The movie also has an amazing score.

Read more about Nighthawks at TIFF.

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The Breaker Uppers

    4 March 2019, early morning

As romantic comedies go The Breaker Uppers was pretty great. The two leads, Madeleine Nalini Sami and Jackie van Beek, are women who both dated the same man, who was cheating on them both with each other. Cynical about love they start this firm to help others get out of their bad relationships. It’s a weird charming film. The leads also are the films writers and directors. Impressive. Like all good romantic comedies it touches on all the different sorts of love that exist in the world. The two leads are really hilarious. I’ll have to keep an eye out for them elsewhere.

Watch the trailer for The Breaker Uppers.

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Cold War

   28 January 2019, early evening

The trailer for Burning was Cold War. A polish film about the complicated and tumultuous relationship between a pianist and composer played by Tomasz Kot, and a fiery singer and dancer played by Joanna Kulig. The movie starts in 1949, ends in 1964, following their relationship from Poland to France and back again. It’s a beautiful film, shot in Black and White, and in what looked like 4:3—what a throw back. The music is incredible. The song playing in the trailer is beautiful, and apparently sung by the actress. What!

Read more about Cold War at TIFF.

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Burning

   28 January 2019, early evening

I watched Burning at TIFF before the holidays. My last film of 2018. Burning opens with Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in) bumping into a girl he knows from his small town, Hae-mi (Jun Jong-seo). He doesn’t recognize her, she’s beautiful now. They begin a relationship of sorts, when a new fellow enters the picture. Someone rich and handsome. And so we have a love triangle. A strange film. Far more sinister than I had expected. Ambiguous. The actors are all superb. I really liked it.

Read more about Burning at TIFF.

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Shoplifters

   17 December 2018, early morning

A posse of us went to the members’ premier of Shoplifters at the TIFF Lightbox last week. This is the latest film by Hirokazu Kore-eda, who made Nobody Knows. I haven’t seen any of his other movies, but now feel like tracking them all down. The premise of the film is simple enough. A family of petty criminals find a girl seemingly abandoned by her abusive parents. They take her home and start raising her as one of their own children. The movie moves on from there. It’s an incredible film. Such a sweet sad film. The acting is so great. It’s playing at TIFF still, you should watch it while you can.

More about Shoplifters at TIFF.

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