« The Sentimental Journeys Of "Call Me By Your Name" and "Lady Bird" | Main | A Christmas Gift To You From Some Came Running (That Is, A 2017 Blu-ray Consumer Guide) »

December 18, 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Richard Neer

Thank you for this! I lurked on this blog for years (well, less now of course) and I think I posted comments like twice. So thanks are way overdue.

And thanks also for constantly advocating Edward Yang. I was all over Brighter Summer Day when it came out on Criterion because of how you'd been hyping it since forever and it was everything claimed and more. And for giving mother! the time of day.


Baby Driver should be on more people's lists. Where's Good Time? Okja? Honorable mention for The Last Jedi?

Chris L.

Phil, the vivid impression I've gotten from following Glenn on Twitter (which provides at least 90 per cent of the fun & education that site has to offer!) is that Good Time might very well come in last out of all the new films he's seen this decade, if not century. I won't get into why, as he's also indicated he's done talking about it; just thought I'd mention in case anyone else thought it was an oversight.


Thanks, Chris L. You know what, now that you mention it I seem to recall seeing that on Twitter, too. I'll have to keep my eye on the ball better next time!

Andrew Del Monte

Curious if you've seen Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2? I thought it did the "action-set-to-music" thing more dynamically than Baby Driver, which probably sounds like some asshole contrarian position but excepting the first twenty minutes and Jamie Foxx's performance I found Baby Driver pretty ho-hum. Also, I thought Guardians subverted the "chosen hero" narrative in a more provocative and less pretentious way than this year's Blade Runner & Star Wars movies.

I've already bugged you about this on Twitter but I just don't get what I'm supposed to feel at the end of The Bad Batch. During that final shot, everything about the movie's tone would indicate that I should be happy about the formation of this new family... am I failing to detect some irony? And if I'm not and there isn't any, am I really supposed to forget that the hero played by the bland white model pointlessly murdered the little girl's black mother like 40 minutes earlier? I think part of my unease about the movie in general stems from the transparent cynicism of casting [trendy white model's name] as a ploy to garner some mainstream interest in the movie. I thought her performance was bland and empty and I'd have much rather seen Yolonda Ross in the leading role. It's hard to think of this movie as "Exciting New Feminist Content" when it seems unwilling to challenge the precept that I should be more interested in watching the young blond white model with no acting skills than the charismatic black actress. But again maybe I'm not getting something.

Anyway if you think Gaurdians 2 isn't worth your time maybe this scene will convince you otherwise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZTwuDi49uA


To Andrew Del Monte:

I've not seen "Guardians 2" and likely won't for some time. It's not a matter of whether or not it's worth my time. It's a matter of the time I have, and how I choose to spend it.

As for "Baby Driver," yes, we saw it differently.

I don't know how you are "supposed" to feel at the end of "Bad Batch." I found the ending not exactly uplifting, and no, I did not forget that the "bland white model" "pointlessly" murdered the black mother. I guess you could call the murder pointless, although certain factors—the bland white model's missing leg and arm, the not-small-chance that the black mother would kill the bland white model given the chance—could be seen as mitigating factors. One of the reasons I found "Bad Batch" interesting and provocative was that it avoided making choices that comforted its ostensible target audience, instead treating the title realm as a Hobbesian nightmare in which race and gender concerned were replaced by a mindless amoral survivalist atavism from which "Comfort" seemed the only reasonable escape, until of course you find out that "Comfort" is an utterly venal patriarchy. The movie's ending posits a "third way" and mock-sentimentalizes it, but it provides no assurance that it's sustainable.


Four comments: (1) It's good that somebody remembered A QUIET PASSION this year. Why can't more? (2) Is the idea that LOVELESS, ISMAIL'S GHOSTS and LET THE SUN SHINE IN are all going to be released next year? Because quite frankly they all sound more interesting that most of the critically admired movies this year. (3) I personally thought GET OUT was somewhat muddled as a metaphor, and it would have been much less successful had Trump had lost by fifteen points or if Rubio had been the nominee. (4) Everybody loved THE FLORIDA PROJECT. Everybody that is, except Richard Brody, who certainly best summed up my dislike for the film. Personally, I found it exhausting, like watching a small, and very annoying, child play with a loaded gun for 95 minutes.


Oh man, I totally missed Glenn ripping into Good Time on twitter - I deleted my account a while back, one of my better life decisions - but I'm sure it was fantastic (no sarcasm). I won't ask him to revisit it, as I'm no way entitled to his feelings if he doesn't want to share them.

2017 was the year I couldn't summon much hate for any movie I saw, nor was there anything I would ride or for. A lot of stuff I really like, some I did less so, but it was really... fine. Am I getting old and arriving at the end of the long road to the middle? I'll need another year to know for sure.


Some massive typos in that last post. Please forgive me.

Jon K

I'd say "cinematic contrivance" gets "Baby Driver" exactly right. I've enjoyed nearly all of Edgar Wright's films, imperfect as they've been, and I was really looking forward to "BD." But I enjoyed it the least by far. Very difficult to get past the lame plot even if the craftsmanship was top shelf.

"Personal Shopper" riveted me for most of it's running time, but the ending was a pretty big letdown as far as I'm concerned. (I can't recall for sure, but I may have laughed out loud.) As with "Baby Driver," I admire the talent at work, especially the control of tone, but it was in the service of something I couldn't connect with at all.

Does James Gray build whole films around one killer shot he has in mind to end with? He did it in "The Immigrant" and again now with "...Z". The one from the latter practically took my breath away.


I've managed to overlook that Taipei Story was included on Criterion's Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project No. 2 - too many good blu-ray releases this year and not enough time to see them all. I'll clear the schedule for this now.

Robby Baskin

Extremely late to the game, but I'm happy to see you enjoyed Lost City of Z. That film seemed strangely absent from most of the end-of-year lists I read. Spot on with the Lean comparison, one of the film's many positive characteristics is that it functions as a welcome revisionist take on the Heroic Brit in the Colonies trope (albeit without renouncing all the awesome pleasures of the genre).

I really need to get to Taipei Story, and Yang in general. Thanks for all the great writing on this blog, I hope it continues!

Herb Heller

Ernest Borgnine and Betty Blair are perfect in this tender tale of a growing relationship between these bypassed loners.I cry at the memory of this sweet romance. I'm 91;a Jewish boy from Williamsburg.Herby

The comments to this entry are closed.

Tip Jar

Tip Jar
Blog powered by Typepad