Categories
Review Legacy Revision Candidate

Blinded by the Light (2019)

I can’t even pretend to be objective about this movie because:

  1. As a teenager, I partially built my identity around corny dad music
  2. I also had a spiritual experience with Bruce Springsteen’s music, and know his discography inside and out
  3. I am a sucker for well-made, music-driven, cheerful cinema

So take whatever rating you see posted on this page and take it with a strong grain of salt.

If I were trying to identify flaws (which I’m not), I’d probably point out that the white best friend character serves no purpose, and some of the musical cues are perhaps too on the nose.

I hope Viveik Kalra becomes a star; his demeanor and face are so wholesome and lovable.

Categories
Review Legacy Revision Candidate

Memento (2000)

Memento is a movie almost entirely about its plot structure, which is certainly clever and memorable.

Categories
Revision Candidate Review Podcast Rating Legacy

The Rock-afire Explosion (2008)

I rewatched this documentary prior to my tour at the Creative Engineering factory that built the Rock-afire / Chuck-E-Cheese animatronics.

Categories
Deprecated Review

Trolls (2016)

Update Nov. 2023: Here’s a full review of Trolls.

Categories
Review Legacy Revision Candidate

Babe (1995)

I hadn’t seen this since I was a kid, but I watched with my daughters last night.

Categories
Revision Candidate Review Legacy

Psycho (1960)

Calling a film “perfect” is tossed around a bit freely by movie fans (myself included), but the first half of Psycho really is perfect.

Categories
Review Legacy Revision Candidate

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Howl’s Moving Castle is a bit discombobulated, but charming and lovely.

Categories
Revision Candidate Review Legacy

Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986)

“I’ve never seen such a thing in all my life”

Officially my third time watching this in 2021, but I actually watched it about 5 other times in April to prep for a podcast discussing it.

I think the only thing I’d consider changing about this is that Dave and Dawn (aged 20 and 13, respectively, yet seen kissing) appear so early. It sets up viewers to be judgmental and scandalized, as opposed to celebratory, of this group of joyful, excited, inebriated, deranged people.

(A fun fact about that segment is that the filmmakers and crowd egged them on for a kiss, which was edited out, presumably to increase shock value.)

Everything else though? *chef’s kiss*

I love Zebraman, and “Hell Yeah” girl, and the group from Reston, and the people there to honor their dead friend Timmy, and the parking attendant, and the guy drinking from a beaker who does air guitar, and everyone else.

To quote John Blyth Barrymore in LasagnaCat’s legendary 7/27/78 review…

“Do I find perfection in many things? Some things, I would say. Some things are perfect. and this is one of them.”

Categories
Review Legacy Revision Candidate

The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Gobsmackingly gorgeous from start to finish, even more than I remembered. The setting and characters are all charming, and I love the celebration of working class values. (Tiana’s parents are the best in all of Disney animation, in my opinion.) The characters are almost all well-designed, but especially the lanky villain, his shadows, and all the murky-but-also-neon voo-doo stuff… it’s eye-popping.

I also find that the movie keeps me at a little bit of a distance, at least compared to e.g. Tangled, which I also watched this weekend. I think it might just be too busy — scenes whizz by, and every musical number tries to be a show-stopper (except the tender “Ma Belle Evangeline,” maybe my favorite song here). All that much-ness comes at the expense of some needed character development, especially for Naveen, who I found still pretty unsympathetic by the end of the movie. (Why would Tiana go for him? Frog propinquity?)

I think the movie suffers from having Tiana be a frog for 2/3rds of the story. I missed the lovely, vibrant animation of human Tiana where her frog form feels more generic and difficult to connect to. On the other hand, I decided this viewing that Amphibian Naveen is more interesting than his blandly handsome human form.

But the film is still warm and charming and lovely, and when it’s this goddamned beautiful it’s hard to be too bothered with the rest. Bring back hand-drawn Disney animation!

Categories
Legacy Revision Candidate Review

Tangled (2010)

I always love revisiting this one.