Movie Reviews
Monday , March 25 2019

Category Archives: Other Stuff

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She Said: Top 10 Films of 2018

10. A Fantastic Woman. This fantastic film about a transgender woman navigating the aftermath of her boyfriend’s death impressed me by resisting melodrama and club-you-over-the-head agenda messaging, instead trusting the power of its story. Transgender actress, Daniela Vega, delivers an understated but powerful lead performance. 9. Thoroughbreds. Evil plans are put in motion when an unlikely friendship, between a psychopath ... Read More »

He Said: Top 10 Films of 2018

10. Halloween (2018).  John Carpenter and Debra Hill’s low-budget horror masterpiece, Halloween, which launched both a subgenre (the slasher) and a sub-subgenre (the calendar-based slasher) into commercial viability, also managed to spawn every permutation of franchise exploitation imaginable – a series of sequels (Halloween II (1981), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael ... 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 »

She Said: Top 10 Films of 2017

10. Brigsby Bear.  Written by and starring Kyle Mooney, of Saturday Night Live, Brigsby Bear is the most unusual film I saw this year.  It opens in the home of James, who is too old to have the bedroom shown outfitted with costumed-bear merchandise.  After a scene involving gas masks suggests the setting is a post-apocalyptic dystopia, Occam’s razor comes ... Read More »

She Said: Top 11 Films of 2016

I’m turning it up to eleven** this year. 11. Hello, My Name is Doris. Just after the death of her mother, sixty-ish Doris (Sally Field, who’s managed to maintain all the quirky energy of Gidget) falls for a co-worker thirty years her junior, but of a similar emotional maturity as she’s spent her life caring for her mother in lieu of having ... 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 »

She Said: Top 10 Films of 2015

10. Trainwreck.  I can’t resist a good raunchy comedy, and this is the best of the year.  Amy Schumer strikes the perfect balance of emotionally troubled yet vulnerable, and Bill Hader is a surprisingly sexy leading man.  Schumer’s entire career is built on the shtick that she’s a train wreck, but I’m pretty sure she knows what she’s doing.  (I ... 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 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 »

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 »

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