Movies! The Green Inferno, Under the Silver Lake, and The Inventor / by Joel Goodman

The Green Inferno (2014)



Eli Roth has a problem. He, like Quentin Tarantino, grew up on grindhouse cinema and was inspired to emulate midnight movies in his own career. But unlike Tarantino, Roth doesn't do anything to elevate exploitation films. He instead takes the worst qualities in those movies and accentuates them while leaving out any nuance or charm, until the only thing left is an ugly emulation of what people who don't know a lot about movies think of when they hear the word "Grindhouse".

In the case of The Green Inferno, he has taken the worst movies of the 70's and 80's (Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox, and all of their ilk) and reproduced all of their hallmark ugliness without making an attempt to do anything new and without putting an artistic spin on it. His attempts at humor fall completely flat (specifically the spider scene and the "munchies" scene), so what we have here is a joyless piece of trash. This is the worst horror film I've seen in recent years. I could not wait for it to end. I wish that Eli Roth, who is obviously cinematically literate, would put more thought and effort into his homages to vintage B movies.

Under The Silver Lake (2019)


Really interesting film about the sinister and unseen side of Hollywood. Also features subplots about secret codes and hidden meaning in pop culture, and also a plot thread about a dog killer that is almost certainly the main character. This film feels like David Lynch doing Hitchcock, like a psychedelic neo noir. This is one of the most unique and well executed films I've seen in a long time, but I was surprised to find that only half the people who have seen the movie agree with me. The other half seems to have loathed it. Go figure. The film careens from one weird set piece to the next in such a dizzying fashion that the gripes that critics had with this film are almost understandable, but they still miss the point. This movie deserved a wide release but was apparently so divisive that A24, which is normally much better at this kind of stuff, decided to just release it on VOD instead of putting it in art houses where it belonged. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the amazing score that makes this feel even more like a Hitchcock movie.

Silver Lake.jpg

The INventor.jpeg

The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley


Entertaining documentary about a vapid grifter that somehow managed to liberate countless Silicon Valley VCs of their hard earned cash with promises of a product based on impossible science. Recently Elizabeth Holmes has been the subject of numerous books, podcasts, documentaries, and news magazine segments. This doc hits most of the points that all the other media concerning this woman does, and it's well made but feels like it lingers too much on some aspects of the story while leaving out some of the more important/interesting bits, such as Sonny's hostility towards dissent and Holmes' clearly fake-as-all-hell baritone affect. Worth watching if you have HBO.