Slacker (Richard Linklater – 1990) A

I finally got around to seeing Linklater’s breakthrough flick and liked it much more than I expected. The main characters here are the camera and the city of Austin as Linklater follows seemingly random strangers as they walk and talk around Austin. We are the fly on the wall as we listen in, walk with them a bit, they meet someone else and then we follow those and on and on. It’s very difficult to describe why it is good, probably the ease by which these people seem to exist and spew their dialogue or maybe it’s the ultimate voyeurism that this unique format provides. It’s an approach I love in this style of movie making that Linklater honed and perfected in future films like the “Before” trilogy.

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Enemy (Denis Villeneuve – 2013) A-

It’s a moody strange and captivating movie. Some parts make sense some parts are utterly insane. It’s one of those that get you going to the interwebs looking for “theories” and explanations. I read a few and some are very out there others make some sense and are in sync with the sense I could make out of it after seeing it a couple of times. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Adam, a university professor. He is dating a pretty blond and seems introverted and maybe depressed. One day he sees himself in a movie. He has a doppelganger who is a C-list actor. Naturally Adam gets curious and starts tracking him down. Well, he is also married to a pretty blond, and is expecting a baby soon. This guy though, who goes by Anthony, he is more assured, more outgoing. The two meet and they have much more in common than is reasonable for your run of the mill doppelganger. They soon become obsessed with each other. The film is drenched in yellow tones and seems to take place in a sparsely populated Toronto that looks very alien. I have not mentioned the sex club angle or the bizarre spider imagery that pops up leading up to one hell of a final shot that kind of turns everything upside down.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie – 2018) A

It’s just amazing that the 6th entry in a movie franchise that is over 20 years old is so damn good. It might arguably be the best. MI really is the best action movie franchise. This one picks up -sort of- on the trail of the previous film (preposterous plot and all of course) and proceeds to one up it with set piece after set piece of just amazing action, chases and spectacular shots. We also get the full set of characters including Luther (Ving Rhames), Benjy (Simon Pegg) and Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). I love them all. Cruise is a real action star and he delivers over and over again. Not sure if his on-foot full speed chase is my favorite or his insane high altitude sky dive or maybe the nutty helicopter chase scene …oh hell, I have to watch it again to decide.

Ant-Man and The Wasp (Peyton Reed – 2018) C+

It’s fine, perfectly fine. Rehashes some of the first movie’s tropes but improves others. Evangeline Lilly (Wasp) is given much more room to breath here. It does get a huge knock for weak villain and a side story with some “other villain” (Walton Goggins who I really love usually) that felt shoehorned in and added nothing to anything.

Rififi (Alain Resnais – 1952) A

It is always a pleasure to dive into an old highly regarded movie and discover that, yes, this is a fun great work of art that holds up as opposed to a slog. It’s a minimalist heist movie where 4 guys are plotting to steal some expensive jewelry. We go through the planning phases, learn who they are and deal with the consequences. The crown jewel of this masterpiece is the 15 minute or so totally silent heist. It’s a film I would not mind watching again soon.