Movie Reviews
Monday , December 9 2019

Author Archives: Steven

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Expressing an appreciation (or lack thereof) for all sorts of films for over 25 years.

He Said: Top 10 Films of 2018

10. Avengers: Infinity War.  I think that it bears mentioning that if you’re still inclined to judge these omnibus entries in the MCU universe primarily as standalone films (e.g., in need of “character development”), then the Avengers series is just not for you. That said, on re-watch, I would rank Avengers: Infinity War as the best MCU film to date, and ... Read More »

Revenge (2018): Coralie Fargeat’s Day of the Woman

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  8 We Americans, inextricably wedded to our Puritanical roots, have always had a difficult relationship with sex in the media, including popular film.  (See, e.g., Annabelle Timsit, “The vast gap between how the US and Europe think about teens and sex,” qz.com (7/26/2018).)   We talk a ... Read More »

He Said: Top 10 Films of 2017

10. Columbus.  As with the Indiana town for which it is named, architecture features prominently in academic-turned-filmmaker Kogonada’s debut feature.  And the best that I can say, upon viewing this film, is that there also seems to be a certain geometric connection between the influences at play: (i) it makes total sense, narratively speaking, that Kogonada previously made a video essay about ... Read More »

My Favorite Film of 2017: A Ghost Story

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  5 A trailer (allegedly) portraying an Oscar-winning actor covered in a white bed-sheet with eyeholes cut out; raves from the quirk-worshipping Sundance Film Festival set; a low budget; a glacial pace: this is not a recipe for my favorite film of the year.  Nor would I ... Read More »

He Said: Top 10 Films of 2016

10. 10 Cloverfield Lane.  In the U.S., most of the hard-earned cash being dropped at the cineplexes is devoted to franchise films (that is, 16 of the 2016 top 25 were prequels or sequels to, or remakes or adaptations of, established franchises).  Call it a Pavlovian response to a marketing-induced supply.  Call it the reality of modern demand.  But in a year ... Read More »

My Favorite Film of 2016: La La Land

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  5    In perusing the year-end lists and reviews, I noticed a trend whereby professional and non-professional cinephiles alike seem to register a measured – if not, suspicious – appreciation for writer/director Damien Chazelle’s awards-bound musical, La La Land.  Chazelle certainly offers up plenty of familiar ... Read More »

My Favorite Film of 2015: Ex Machina

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?): 9    I resisted designating Ex Machina as my favorite film of the year, seeing as how I had picked its kinder gentler sister (Her) for the top spot only two years ago, but resistance is futile … “When God created the first man alone, God said ‘It is not ... Read More »

He Said: Top 10 Films of 2015

10. Slow West.  “Once upon a time, 1870 to be exact, a 16 year-old kid traveled from the cold shoulder of Scotland to the baking heart of America to find his love …”  In his feature film debut, writer/director John Maclean offers us a post-deconstruction reconstruction of the Western as haunted folk ballad.  To be sure, we’ve seen and heard all ... Read More »

The Hateful Eight (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3    The booklet that came with a ticket to the 70mm “roadshow” of The Hateful Eight dubs it “The 8th Film by Quentin Tarantino.”  I would dub it “The 5th Film of Bloody Revenge by Quentin Tarantino” – yet another entry in a series that has ... Read More »

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