jess kroll

live and write and nothing else matters.


view:  full / summary


Posted by jesskroll on September 4, 2013 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (96)

Quick update as to what's happened recently:

I've become a movie review and columnist for Pop Mythology.

Finished two drafts of a spec screenplay that's been in my mind for a few years. Hopefully have if finalized soon.

Putting together a second/last collection of poetry that should be available as a free download soon.

And lastly, my first novel,

Read Full Post »

Cloud Atlas

Posted by jesskroll on April 21, 2013 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Cloud Atlas, 2012

4 / 5

At first Cloud Atlas feels like a lumbering, disjointed choir, but gradually the lines weave together (at times in insultingly obvious ways) into a grand, ambitious, flawed spectacle. While the ties are seen within thirty minutes, watching where the narratives lead and which are used in concert makes for a surprisingly enjoyable experience, the low stakes retirement house escape ...

Read Full Post »

Killing Them Softly

Posted by jesskroll on April 21, 2013 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Killing Them Softly, 2012

2.5 / 5

Killing Them Softly wears its allegory as openly as its characters wear leather jackets, at times wrapping itself in it so tightly that there’s no room for anything else. As a metaphor it works nicely, juxtaposing the promises of a better future with a grim reality that has endured through decades of presidents.Unfortunately the wrapping falls apart at ...

Read Full Post »

Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

Posted by jesskroll on April 15, 2013 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, 2011

4 / 5

As much of a celebration as it is of A Tribe Called Quest’s time as one of hip-hop’s first truly great groups, it’s hard not to notice the tinge of loss in the way each member speaks of past glories. The friendship between Q-Tip and Phife Dawg, from beginning to end to (seeming) reconciliation, is do...

Read Full Post »


Posted by jesskroll on April 7, 2013 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Lincoln, 2012

3 / 5

True to its name the film Lincoln is admirable and considerate but distant. Focusing on the political maneuvering around the 13th Amendment makes for an interesting subject, and perhaps would have fit into a more focused movie, but the early scenes of shifting votes and legislative headcounts removed from the title character cause the first half of Lincoln drag to the point that it ...

Read Full Post »

Zero Dark Thirty

Posted by jesskroll on March 30, 2013 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Zero Dark Thirty, 2012

3 / 5

While it is questionable whether the torture depicted in Zero Dark Thirty lead to any progress in the real search for Osama bin Laden, fact is this dramatization would have gone nowhere without it. The aforementioned manhunt lasted 8 years, and the film feels almost that long. Despite its various bombing sequences, which although spectacularly staged typically oc...

Read Full Post »

The Impossible

Posted by jesskroll on February 3, 2013 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)

The Impossible, 2012

4 / 5

The Impossible is a painful film to watch. The characters, story and dialog are so poor the film would be better without any of them (and the score is so overblown that it should also be completely removed). Furthermore, the lack of actual Thai characters, or the fact that the only victims we see are tourists whose vacations have been ruined and not the tens of...

Read Full Post »

Seven Psychopaths

Posted by jesskroll on January 20, 2013 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Seven Psychopaths, 2012

2 / 5

On page Seven Psychopaths seems loaded with interesting ideas. On screen its nothing but a pointlessly meta mess of grizzly violence and self-indulgence. The film’s focus spreads so thin among its many characters that not one develops. They’re hollow husks waiting for the slaughter. When the bodies fall, nobody cares. The story develops like the unwanted offspri...

Read Full Post »

Silver Linings Playbook

Posted by jesskroll on January 18, 2013 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Silver Linings Playbook, 2012

4.5 / 5

Too often the romantic comedy formula is fetishized into cloying, unwatchable dreck where pretty, successful people with severe, undiagnosed psychological disorders endure fabricated obstacles before an unearned happy ending. Silver Linings Playbook is an exquisitely rare film – a watchable romantic comedy where its leads’ psychoses are defined (inc...

Read Full Post »

The Hobbit

Posted by jesskroll on January 1, 2013 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (0)

The Hobbit, 2012

4 / 5

A greater technical achievement than its predecessors (or successors really), but nowhere near matching their depth of story. The visuals are often so detailed and sharp that they take on a distinctly unreal quality, which may be the point, like the best looking video game ever made. The rock giant battle is easily one of the most spectacular scenes in computer effects history, a...

Read Full Post »