Thor: Ragnarok, 2017 – ★★★★

What got me reading Marvel comics as a kid over DC comics was the arch and self-deprecating tone. I enjoyed the quips of Spider-man and the Noo Yawwkishness of The Thing. Taika Waititi, coming from the world of comedy, totally gets this and makes this Marvel installment one of the most enjoyable. Superhero movies are meant to be fun, but unfortunately this once-obvious point has been erased by oh-so-serious fans who think this is major philosophical literature (Nolan Batman fans I’m looking at you) and not a romp.

Right from the start it’s a hoot and a hollar of a film, despite tackling the death of fathers, Death itself, sacrifice, betrayal, etc. The serious matters are taken seriously by the script and the cast, but humor is always there.

Of course, Jeff Goldblum is on his best behavior here, but everybody else is in cracking form. Cate Blanchett gets that delicate balance of camp and serious evil correct. Tessa Thompson rocks. And Chris Hemsworth is a justified leading man with a 1940s-style charisma.

Just a *little* bit too long for my tastes, but fun.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Doctor Strange, 2016 – ★★★

Boilerplate origin story/enlightenment tale, but hoo-boy! the special effects are just ace. I’ve been grizzling for years about the wasted potential of “The Architect” character in “Inception” and the kaleidoscopic showdown at near the end of act three (of four) as New York refracts upon itself was just masterful, as was the various trips into multiuniverse dimensions, bringing back the best of 1960s psychedelic Marvel (Kirby and Ditko, et al). Some nice light humorous touches as well in the dialogue, and some moments of physical comedy too. Cumberbatch is a great choice in the lead. Also: not horrifically long.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Doctor Strange, 2016 – ★★★

Boilerplate origin story/enlightenment tale, but hoo-boy! the special effects are just ace. I’ve been grizzling for years about the wasted potential of “The Architect” character in “Inception” and the kaleidoscopic showdown at near the end of act three (of four) as New York refracts upon itself was just masterful, as was the various trips into multiuniverse dimensions, bringing back the best of 1960s psychedelic Marvel (Kirby and Ditko, et al). Some nice light humorous touches as well in the dialogue, and some moments of physical comedy too. Cumberbatch is a great choice in the lead. Also: not horrifically long.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Doctor Strange, 2016 – ★★★

Boilerplate origin story/enlightenment tale, but hoo-boy! the special effects are just ace. I’ve been grizzling for years about the wasted potential of “The Architect” character in “Inception” and the kaleidoscopic showdown at near the end of act three (of four) as New York refracts upon itself was just masterful, as was the various trips into multiuniverse dimensions, bringing back the best of 1960s psychedelic Marvel (Kirby and Ditko, et al). Some nice light humorous touches as well in the dialogue, and some moments of physical comedy too. Cumberbatch is a great choice in the lead. Also: not horrifically long.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, 2018 – ★★★★½

You might be watching this at home, but let me tell you about the mass catharsis that awaited you at a live screening, if you’ve reading this years later. There was sort of a heavy sigh and letting go, a bit of baleful anger, and a sadness as we all worked through this requiem for our childhood friend, our childhood, and a large part of the nation’s heart and soul.

1) The animated sequences really work as you realize how deep that tiger connection goes.

2) The quick clip of FOX News was like being sprayed in the soul by vomit.

3) Like the first one, the Second Coming of Christ was missed by the majority of folks or taken for granted.

4) Who walked our vowing to be more like Fred?

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

The Autopsy of Jane Doe, 2016 – ★★★

Effective, low-budget, one location, three-location horror film which unfortunately drops the ball in the third half, and then earns “the finger” with the final shot. (NO! Don’t do it…ahhhhh, you did. Shame.)

On the other hand, and in it’s favor, is there any other horror film that has a father-son relationship at its core that isn’t antagonistic? Nice economy of dialog and acting situate the two male leads early on, and the reveal of “Jane Doe” in dirt has something very primordial to it.

COULD have been good, but a whole bunch of poor and/or mediocre choices follow. Ah well.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

The Autopsy of Jane Doe, 2016 – ★★★

Effective, low-budget, one location, three-location horror film which unfortunately drops the ball in the third half, and then earns “the finger” with the final shot. (NO! Don’t do it…ahhhhh, you did. Shame.)

On the other hand, and in it’s favor, is there any other horror film that has a father-son relationship at its core that isn’t antagonistic? Nice economy of dialog and acting situate the two male leads early on, and the reveal of “Jane Doe” in dirt has something very primordial to it.

COULD have been good, but a whole bunch of poor and/or mediocre choices follow. Ah well.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

The Autopsy of Jane Doe, 2016 – ★★★

Effective, low-budget, one location, three-location horror film which unfortunately drops the ball in the third half, and then earns “the finger” with the final shot. (NO! Don’t do it…ahhhhh, you did. Shame.)

On the other hand, and in it’s favor, is there any other horror film that has a father-son relationship at its core that isn’t antagonistic? Nice economy of dialog and acting situate the two male leads early on, and the reveal of “Jane Doe” in dirt has something very primordial to it.

COULD have been good, but a whole bunch of poor and/or mediocre choices follow. Ah well.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

The Autopsy of Jane Doe, 2016 – ★★★

Effective, low-budget, one location, three-location horror film which unfortunately drops the ball in the third half, and then earns “the finger” with the final shot. (NO! Don’t do it…ahhhhh, you did. Shame.)

On the other hand, and in it’s favor, is there any other horror film that has a father-son relationship at its core that isn’t antagonistic? Nice economy of dialog and acting situate the two male leads early on, and the reveal of “Jane Doe” in dirt has something very primordial to it.

COULD have been good, but a whole bunch of poor and/or mediocre choices follow. Ah well.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Filmworker, 2017 – ★★★½

Your reaction to this documentary will tie in, I guess, with how you feel about “genius”, about those who undoubtedly are, but also are tyrants in their own way. Would you give anything to work for a genius like Kubrick? Because Leon Vitali did, and it quite literally sucked the life out of him as witnessed by his current appearance in this film. Devoted to Vitali’s career as Kubrick’s right-hand (arm/appendage) man, Vitali gave over his life to working for the director. I was surprised that he managed to court, marry, and have kids in this time, but maybe that’s the editing of this doc. It is shameful the way he was treated when LACMA mounted their exhibition on Kubrick, but Vitali holds no grudges, so what can I say?

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills