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Saturday , January 18 2020

Author Archives: Steven

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

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 in a rag with a 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 ... Read More »

A Non-Believer’s Musings on Stations of the Cross (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3    To be sure, at this moment in history, the obvious choice for examining religious fundamentalism would be Islam (see, e.g., Timbuktu (2015)) – that is, notwithstanding the efforts of regressive liberals in the West to insulate that particular faith from critique, the undeniable fact ... Read More »

The Martian (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3    “It’s bigger than one person.” “No it’s not.” Broadly speaking, The Martian may just be the best Disney movie of the last year.  By “Disney movie,” I don’t mean a film actually produced by Disney Studios (The Martian is brought to us courtesy of ... Read More »

Goodnight Mommy (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3    One of my disappointments with last year’s sleeper frightfest, The Babadook, was that the filmmakers flirted with, but ultimately abandoned, a fundamental emotional disassociation between a mother and her young son.  The notion that the maternal bond might actually break, when exposed to enough ... Read More »

A Non-Feminist’s Musings on The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?): 3 Truth be told, we non-feminists find most self-proclaimed feminist cinephiles to be alienating –  perhaps deliberately so, considering the tendency to use terms like “institutional” in such a manner and to such a degree that one would get the impression that we live in a world where ... Read More »

A Nightmare on 8 Mile Road: It Follows (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  8   * * * “[N]ightmares exist outside of logic, and there’s little fun to be had in explanations; they’re antithetical to the poetry of fear.” – Stephen King, “Why Hollywood can’t do horror,” ew.com (7/7/2008) * * * Writer/director David Robert Mitchell’s sophomore feature announces its ... Read More »

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