The Death of Stalin, 2017 – ★★★★½

Pitch black satire that might surprise those coming from the relatively light Veep…but probably not. This is brutal (and brutally funny) stuff, as the struggle to find a successor to Stalin travels similar territory to Veep and The Thick of It, but with 1000 percent more fear and firing squads. But if you’ve been watching Iannucci all this time, he’s always been pointing in this direction.
Everybody is perfect, but man, Steve Buscemi’s Nikita Khrushchev is amazing, and Simon Russell Beale is an evil bureaucratic monster playing Lavrentiy Beria.
It warms me ol’ cockles that this is banned in Russia…because you know the underground DVD/file market on this is exploding.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Logan Lucky, 2017 – ★★★½ (contains spoilers)

This review may contain spoilers.

Because SS has made so many heist movies, I wonder what he’s trying out in this new one. I feel mayyyybe he’s seeing what elements he can leave out and still make the film work. Because it’s at a racetrack (albeit a NASCAR one) I couldn’t help but think of The Killing, but there’s very little indulgence in the planning–we barely see them even discuss it–and there’s very little investigation and (spoiler) very little punishment. There are no weak links in the crew though everybody is presented as a potential weak link. In the end, there’s a sort of proletarian support of the crime by everybody save the Feds, and an ending that suggests that while justice might be just around the corner, the film could care less. Great frikkin’ soundtrack, btw.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills