Movie Reviews
Saturday , December 15 2018

Author Archives: Steven

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

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  4   The young Man encounters the Girl on a sidewalk in the middle of the night and invites her up to his apartment.  The Girl’s shirt bears Jane Seeberg’s Breathless stripes, but it is partially covered by a chador – at once a symbol of gender ... Read More »

Revisiting The Thin Blue Line (1988) and Its Missing Pieces

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  7 I loved university life – an intellectually welcome space where one could study the bounds of knowledge and experience.  Eventually, however, I was expected to go forth into the “real world” and be productive.  I went right to work in a cubicle as a “professional,” ... Read More »

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3   Human beings are hunters and gatherers – walking, talking contradictions whose ambitions trump even their biological imperatives.  Yet, with all of our success as a species, at this point in our history, so many hunters and gathers are resigned to cramped spaces – apartments, cubicles, ... Read More »

Citizenfour (2014)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3   Does the damage from a loss of privacy in conducting our daily activities extend beyond those who have “something to hide”?  Absolutely.  It should go without saying that we change our behavior – consciously and unconsciously – when we know we are being watched, no ... Read More »

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her (2014)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3 Out of all of the “prestige” projects that inundated movie goers in 2014, actress/co-producer Jessica Chastain’s “labor of love,” The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, is a hell of a lot more ambitious than Jennifer Aniston’s Cake or Reese Witherspoon’s Wild.  Following in the footsteps of ... Read More »

Goodbye to Language 3D (2014)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  4   Every once in a while throughout the history of popular art, it seems like a minimalist movement comes along that enables a few individuals of marginal talent (and a particular brand of salesmanship) to hop on the bandwagon and capture the attention of the czars ... Read More »

A Most Violent Year (2014)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?): 4 Writer/director J.C. Chandor burst onto the scene with Margin Call (2011), which dramatized a 24-hour period in 2008 when the major players at a New York brokerage firm realized (or could no longer ignore) that they had built their house of cards on snake oil.  ... Read More »

American Sniper (2014): Pandering to a Chickenhawk Nation

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  7    On April 7, 1775, English writer Samuel Johnson reportedly uttered the words, “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”  Put in the proper historical context, Johnson probably meant the other guy’s brand of patriotism.  And of course, Johnson was posthumously diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome – a ... Read More »

He Said: Top 10 Films of 2014

10. Blue Ruin.  This deftly-constructed deconstruction of the Hatfields and McCoys narrative seemingly came out of nowhere.  Jeremy Saulnier had previously written and directed one feature film – the obscure horror/comedy Murder Party (2007) – in which former classmate and stay-at-home dad, Macon Blair, had a supporting role.  And yet, with Blue Ruin, Saulnier’s eye is as subtle and evocative ... Read More »

My Favorite Film of 2014: Whiplash

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  8 The screen is black.  There is the sound of a single wooden drumstick striking a snare.   Then again.  Then again, faster.  And faster.  A train is leaving the station … “One night in 1937, a teenage musician called Charlie Parker joined a queue of ... Read More »

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