Movie Reviews
Sunday , August 20 2017

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 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 »

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3    To be sure, The Force Awakens is not just a movie; it is the beginning of the third chapter in the ultimate film franchise, and it is being released in an era where franchising is king.  As such, the long-awaited return of Star Wars inevitably presents some rather ... Read More »

Spotlight (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3    “’Spotlight’ is both damning and inspiring, depressing and heartening.  Though it’s set over a decade ago, it’s the ‘All the President’s Men’ for our time.  And boy, do we need it now.”  – Kenneth Turan (NPR Morning Edition, 11/9/2015) This concluding comparison from Kenneth ... Read More »

Counterpoint: Mommy (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3    In Mommy, a widow named “Die” (Anne Dorval) retrieves her 16 year-old son, Steve (Anton-Olivier Pilon), who has just been ejected from a juvenile center, and informally enlists the help of her neighbor, Kyla (Suzanne Clement), to cope with his volatile behavior.  As the ... Read More »

The Lonely Hearts Killers

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  5 In 1947, a single mother from northern Florida, Martha Beck, placed a “lonely hearts” ad with nationwide circulation, through which she met Raymond Hernandez from New York City, an ex-con/con man who preyed upon war widows and single women of means, relying upon the fact that they ... Read More »

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