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Sunday , May 26 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 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 »

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

In one late scene in Mockingjay-Part 1, while confined to an underground bunker, Jennifer Lawrence’s now familiar action hero, Katniss, eyes a target and cocks her bow to test out a new arrow, but she is abruptly stopped by this franchise’s representation of Q (Jeffrey Wright), who warns “let’s not shoot those in here.”  That pretty much sums up this feature-length ... Read More »

The Battle of the Invasions of the Body Snatchers!

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  6 In the 60 years since Collier’s magazine first published Jack Finney’s serial, The Body Snatchers, there have been four film adaptations, as the pod people narrative seems to have a “Shakespearean mobility from one period to the next” (Mike Davis, author of The Monster at ... Read More »

Interstellar (2014)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?): 2 As the modern god (or devil) of middlebrow cinema, writer/director Christopher Nolan’s primary strength (or weakness) is his penchant for abbreviating the narrative beats.  And this aspect is indispensable (or overdone) in his latest film, Interstellar, where time is relative and characters need to traverse galaxies ... Read More »

Gone Girl (2014)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?): 4    After any unnecessary remake, an above-average biopic, and an adaptation of a half-baked short story, it’s damn good to see director David Fincher back on his game – or I should say, The Game (1997), because that’s Gone Girl‘s closest touchstone to any of ... Read More »

The Seven Deadly Sins in Cinema: Blue (1993)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  7 A husband who works 60 hours a week to provide a nice house for his wife and private school for his children might be the last person to whom we would apply the traditional label of “sloth.”  But at this point in the history of the traditional ... Read More »

The Seven Deadly Sins in Cinema: Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  7 Self-esteem is a good thing.  And in the parlance of MBA types, people want to follow those who exude referent authority.  But there can an awfully fine line between the benevolent dictator who is capable of empathetic exchange and the pompous ass who believes his/her own press, and ... Read More »

The Seven Deadly Sins in Cinema: Election (1999)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  7 We sit on our couches in front of the TV, in our cubicles at work, or in the back of our spin classes where nobody can see us – watching that person.  We may want to be like that person, or we may just want the good stuff ... Read More »

The Drop (2014)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3    Sometimes we cannot save ourselves.  We are not worthy of confession, communion, or redemption.  And perhaps the best we can muster from the core of our remaining humanity is to save an abused puppy left in a garbage can for dead. Well, that seems ... Read More »

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