REVIEW: Battle of the Sexes [2017]

“Libbers not lobbers” Between the title and trailer, I assumed Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris‘ Battle of the Sexes would focus strictly on the circus surrounding the event itself. It’s not like there isn’t enough content to make that happen between the political, social, and athletic motivations behind the media frenzy. But screenwriter Simon Beaufoy […]

REVIEW: Lost Highway [1997]

“I like to remember things my own way” POSSIBLE SPOILERS Every cinephile has a moment when “the movies” became more than entertainment. Mine was David Lynch‘s Lost Highway. It was my first foray into the auteur’s catalog—a viewing that occurred three or four years after its initial release courtesy of a rented VHS cassette tape. […]

REVIEW: American Ultra [2015]

“We fired the ugly one” When there are only seven basic plots—as the saying goes—to implicitly choose from as a screenwriter, genre-bending homage becomes the sole path towards creativity. So while Max Landis‘ script for American Ultra is The Bourne Identity meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith through a Pineapple Express filter, it’s a damn good […]

REVIEW: The Equalizer [2014]

“Change your world” It may be because I knew beforehand that Antoine Fuqua‘s The Equalizer was based on an old 80s TV show (from Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim), but it felt very episodic in a way that made it utterly boring. There’s that time Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) helps his coworker lose weight. That […]

REVIEW: Independence Day [1996]

“We will not go quietly into the night” The man who proved we could only take so many disaster films and yet still made more, Roland Emmerich shouldn’t be denied the astronomical success of the one that jump-started the genre’s big budget revival in the first place. After giving us the rather smart science fiction […]

REVIEW: Singles [1992]

“What took you so long?” Finally I have caught up with all of Cameron Crowe’s films. Like his directorial debut, Say Anything …, Singles brings us great music, a cast of unknowns we all know now, and a story with heart and laughs. Maybe it just goes to where I am in my life at […]

REVIEW: The Trial [1962]

“To be in chains is sometimes safer than to be free” What do you get when you combine two masters at their craft like Franz Kafka and Orson Welles? Why, The Trial, of course—a heady, surrealistic commentary on society and justice. Much like the novel Atlas Shrugged, laws here are made not to be followed, […]

REVIEW: You Kill Me [2007]

“I may have to brake his toes” From the screenwriters of the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe comes the R-rated black comedy You Kill Me. It’s an odd pairing, but at least you can say these guys have range. To helm this film, about a hitman whose drinking problem has […]

REVIEW: Carnival of Souls [1962]

“I don’t belong in the world” **SPOILERS** This little gem from 1962 has been on my to see list for years. I’ve eyed the Criterion Collection version, almost buying it a couple of times, until finally looking away until I knew for sure it was worth purchasing. I can safely say that Carnival of Souls […]