Lost Weekend X at the Alamo Drafthouse Winchester, Virginia. My ratings are on a scale of 1 to 10, and that’s my likelihood to recommend. Five would serve as a “Yes, it’s something to check out, but don’t go out of your way.”
The Cake General 7 / 10
Nostalgic and sweet Swedish film. Bitter sweet ending.
Studio 54 5 / 10
Historical interest. Story about friendship of the two business partners. At times a little boring, particularly considering it’s a movie about a club with drugs and sex.
Blue My Mind 7 / 10
German girl coming-of-age sort of movie. Deals with disappointment, confusion, friendship, and self destruction.
Life in the Doghouse 10 / 10
Bittersweet and honest about dogs, and their mortality. Puppy mills euthanasia. Didn’t take cheap emotional shots or pandering.
Prospect 8 / 10
Solid space western. Pedro Pascal’s dialog made a lot of the movie. Set in a sort of crappy fringe of space.
The Party’s Just Beginning 9 / 10
Deals with suicide depression and absurdism. Pointlessness of life, crushed under banality.
Brother’s Nest 7 / 10
Australian fiasco movie. There is a shot shot where someone’s arm is broken that had me shout That broken arm? Lots of relational dynamics. Did a lot with a little.
Blaze 4 / 10
Good acting. Blaze continually said wise things, but was a shit person particularly to his wife. Not without its charm. Early parts of the movie show the main characters living in a treehouse paradise living in pure love, then it immediately goes to crap after moving to town without any real transition or explanation as to why. There are some oil people that back Blaze and then express that they’re bankrupt, but it seems like it is because of a show that goes bad? Not clear. Lots of technical things about the movie I liked, but just hated the character Blaze more than I liked him and there were gaps in the plot that didn’t feel well covered.
United Skates 7 / 10
Focused documentary about African American skating rink culture that I was unaware of existing at all. Cool that it was a product of a Kickstarter.
The Guilty 8 / 10
Does so much with so little. The movie is set entirely in one office. Features a cop working phone dispatch dealing with a kidnapping by calling people. As weak of a premise as that sounds, it’s executed amazingly. Done in the spirit of Phone Booth. The audio on the far side of each of the calls was done very well, making me wonder if it was done on-site or if it was terrifically done foley work.
I Am A Hero 6 / 10
Japanese zombie movie. Got a little repetitive. Didn’t take itself too seriously. Good zombies. Didn’t get bogged down in “Why is this happening” or “How do zombies work”. Did get slow at points.
Under the Tree 5 / 10
Icelandic movie about normal people with an escalating family feud. The dog scene was the crowning scene in the movie. Solid but, didn’t really grab me.
Dead Pigs 6 / 10
Chinese movie. Spiritual cousin of Magnolia. Some of its subtleties may be lost on a western audience. Pacing could have been a touch more aggressive. Haoyu Yang, the pig farmer, showed a very wide range of acting. The movie’s inclusion of a Westerner being hired as a fake CEO is apparently a real thing in China. Also, personal injury law in China is very different, which explains why Wang Zhen was nearly murdered by a car after faking getting hit by a car.
Hal 7 / 10
Movie about the director Hal Ashby. Good showcase of the director’s work. Light touch with personal life. Film is presented in a way that Hal probably would have preferred his biographical film to showcase his work more than his personal life. Music by Yusuf Islam.
What Will People Say 7 / 10
Pakistani / Norway story about cultural pressures, poor treatment of women. The final scene of the movie is tremendously powerful. I did wonder if this film had been made in America, not Norway, and featured Mexicans instead of Pakistani people, it’d probably have been run out of theaters for being xenophobic.
Anna and the Apocalypse 9 / 10
This was billed as a Scottish Christmas zombie musical, and I thought “Well, this is going to be garbage,” Turns out it was one of my favorites of Lost Weekend. It’s very fun and as strange of a execution, it’s well done. Very fun.
Madeline’s Madeline 4 / 10
All the characters are mentally ill and have issues with each other? Too art house for me. Early in the film there is a scene that uses Jungian thoughts on rational versus irrational that I think was supposed to serve as a framework for understanding the movie, but it just didn’t work for me. Terrific acting though.
Night is Short, Walk on Girl 6 / 10
Strange Japanese animated film about drinking and books. Funny and weird. Enjoyed it.
Mandy 7 / 10
Cool style. Felt like an homage to 80’s B movie horror. Super simple plot. Cult was cool and weird. Nick Cage’s role was nearly a non speaking one. Read a reviewer that said that it wasn’t a good movie, but it was a cool movie.
Gurrumul 6 / 10
Biographical documentary about an Austrlian aboriginal singer. Good parts about the relationship between Gurrumul and his musical partner.
Diane 7 / 10
Movie about challenges later in life. Slow pacing, but I enjoyed the story that was told.
Science Fair 7 / 10
Fun movie about science fairs at the national level. Frankly happy that the West Virginia kid who was going up with machine learning didn’t get the prize, but that’s not because of his ambition, but because machine learning is posed to be an absolute nightmare for our society.
The Captain 6 / 10
German black and white World War II movie about “Captain Harold”. Beautiful film. But it’s about a liar that executes Germans who desert from the evil Nazi led German army. After about a quarter of the way into the film, I lost the ability to identify with the main character of the movie. The execution of the movie and the development of the plot were strong redeeming qualities, but watching a terrible person be terrible was a challenge. This also may be the only German film featuring German soldiers in World War II I’ve ever seen, so it gets a point or two for that.
Thunder Road 8 / 10
Awkward cop, daughter. Funny and sad. A favorite of the weekend.
After Everything 7 / 10
This one is a cancer romcom, sort of. There have been others. I think I’ve seen the one where the member of the couple is saved from cancer. And the one where they aren’t. This one lands in a very realistic place. It’s a real gradient of emotion, and I appreciated it.
Love, Gilda 6 / 10
Biographical film about Gilda Radner. Gilda Radner is someone that I’ve really appreciated her work. I’m unsure if I scored this one fairly low at 6 because it seemed sort of boring or if I was ready to get out of the theater after watching more than two dozen films, so take my rating on this one with a grain of salt.