REVIEW: First Reformed [2018]

“A life without despair is a life without hope” We live in a time of extremism—where our reaction dial is turned up to eleven regardless of our true interest in a cause or its true importance. Somewhere along the line civil and constructive discourse was replaced by screaming fits of unjustified rage, nuanced topics debated […]

REVIEW: Goodland [2018]

“Eventually the sun sets” There’s nothing like some yokel conversation to introduce a film’s environment while also foreshadowing the ensuing plot. It’s easy to dismiss the aging gas station owner and his even older customer’s back and forth about a wolf seen a few miles away because neither is listening to the other. The former […]

REVIEW: Jaws [1975]

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” Actor Richard Dreyfus called Jaws a “nexus point” during his question and answer period before a recent screening of the cinematic classic and I can’t think of a better descriptor. His words were relevant as far as his career, but also the medium as a whole. Here was a […]

REVIEW: The Last Witness [2018]

“I thought this was supposed to be about us” Soviet secret police began a series of mass executions circa 1940 of Polish citizens they knew would reject foreign occupation upon WWII’s completion. Some of the resulting graves were discovered in the Katyn Forest three years later with more found elsewhere totaling 22,000 bodies. Because of […]

REVIEW: Scarlet Street [1945]

“So you won’t forget me” There’s a great horror concept within Fritz Lang‘s Scarlet Street. Unfortunately it’s pushed aside for a film noir that never quite gains traction. The problem as I see it stems from the fact that screenwriter Dudley Nichols tries to frame aging pushover Christopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson) as a sympathetic […]

REVIEW: Curvature [2018]

“Trust yourself and nobody else” It’s been a week of grief and mourning for Helen (Lyndsy Fonseca) after finding her husband Wells (Noah Bean) dead by suicide at their secluded cabin. She’s dealing with his absence like anyone would by closing off spaces they shared together in hopes of avoiding too many easy triggers for […]

REVIEW: Revenge [2018]

“Elizabeth and the kids ok?” The front half of Coralie Fargeat‘s debut feature Revenge provides audiences the sort of sensory overload that hits like a sledgehammer. You might not think this will be the case considering things start off with a serenely static shot of desert expanse while a helicopter approaches from the center of […]

REVIEW: You Were Never Really Here [2018]

“I must do better, sir” An unparalleled exercise in economy, Lynne Ramsay‘s You Were Never Really Here cements her status as a cinematic master. This brutalist thriller runs a deliberate yet swift 89-minutes, its central character a man of few words with violence bubbling just beneath a too large heart for the hostile world that’s […]

REVIEW: Sweet Smell of Success [1957]

“No. You’re dead, son. Get yourself buried.” The hook is simple: Steve Dallas (Martin Milner) and Susan Hunsecker (Susan Harrison) are in love, but big brother J.J. (Burt Lancaster) doesn’t approve. He hasn’t supported her with penthouses and fur coats to watch a young guitarist whisk her away, but he can’t be caught stopping them […]

REVIEW: Incubo sulla città contaminata [Nightmare City] [1980]

“That sounds like science fiction” There’s a scene between Dean Miller (Hugo Stiglitz) and his wife Anna (Laura Trotter) about two-thirds of the way through Umberto Lenzi‘s Incubo sulla città contaminate [Nightmare City] where they speak about the perils of technology. After an hour of murder, death, and exposed breasts, suddenly the screenwriters decide to […]

REVIEW: An Ordinary Man [2018]

“I am myth” Despite being someone known for family friendly fare (Casper and A Series of Unfortunate Events), Brad Silberling was always the guy behind the under-rated Moonlight Mile to me. Beyond its sentimentality and contrivances, it cemented his name as one to follow. Besides 10 Items or Less, however, he career mostly shifted from […]