Recent Reviews

 

Midsommar

The first image looks for a moment like a mood-setter throwaway, but director Ari Aster holds his camera on it. You look closer to see how peculiar it is, then realize, if the director is letting us gaze on this […]

 
 

Yesterday

The fast cutting is everywhere in Danny Boyle’s musical comedy Yesterday. But instead of being frenzied or disorienting, it is quite exemplary for […]

 
 

Dumbo (1941)

The 1941 Dumbo was the fourth Walt Disney film and a rush job for the studio, it is lean in the storytelling department running at a nimble 64-minutes […]

 
 

Toy Story 4

Toy Story 4 opens in a rainstorm where one of the toys is in danger of getting swept down the drainpipe, and what the message is imparting to its little ones […]

 
 

The Dead Don’t Die

Sleepy and mentally squishing to the point you walk out dumb and dumber after it’s over. If there’s one thing I learned in the course of two hours it’s that I cannot trust […]

 
 

Interstellar (Revisited)

“Interstellar” in 2014 was a momentous occasion before walking into the theater based on anticipation alone. You’d have to be blind not to see that while it was happening (in the second half in particular) it had spectacle and a vision […]

 
 

Domino

Seriously confused thriller that rushes past the important details when they do happen, but Domino has redeemable moments if you are a Brian DePalma completist like I am. On the upper end, it takes place in Copenhagen, Brussels and Spain, it has some sly DePalma cinematography […]

 
 

Rocketman

It’s practically a given by now: rock star biopics where the emphasis is on the many lows and pitfalls, to the point where the hero has lost his humanity before he gets it back in a jiffy. Elton John was never one of my favorite musicians, but I learned to like a lot about him […]

 
 

Booksmart

It started with Howard Hawks’ 1940 cream of the crop newspaper comedy “His Girl Friday,” or perhaps even earlier with Ernst Lubistch’s 1932 grifter comedy “Trouble in Paradise,” the motor mouth, rapid-fire dialogue exchanges where boy and girl shoot wit back and forth with each other with such natural aplomb that it’s high art. Eighty […]

 
 

Arctic

He catches fish and then cuts it up to eat like sushi rather than creating the luxury of fire to cook it. Mads Mikkelsen is the latest to get his own one-man survivalist tale that allows an actor to act with more sweat and tears than with the aid of dialogue. Arctic is not going […]

 
 

Climax

There will be more “important movies” or “sensibly humanist movies” to come out in 2019, but none will take us vicariously into the extreme depths of depravity like Gaspar Noe’s Climax […]

 
 

The Hustle

In the women in roles of men remake “The Hustle,” the chicanery is too loud, too conspicuous, too in the moment slapdash, too blustery […]