Favorite films

  • Argo
  • Fargo
  • Embargo
  • Key Largo

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  • The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11

    ★★★½

  • The Northman

    ★★★

  • My Son Hunter

  • The Avengers

    ★★★★

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  • Jasper Mall

    Jasper Mall

    ★★★★

    It's Frederick Wiseman's Russian Ark, guided by a Kiwi Joe Exotic.

    This movie is an elegy for End Stage Capitalism. It's the last gasp of a pre-COVID society that failed us on every level, from 2019 Alabama to 2021 Texas. I hope that if this is the end of shopping malls -- an institution I love more than any rational person should -- it is the precursor to a more equitable and just society.

    It may have been tempting for…

  • Swallow

    Swallow

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Swallow isn't quite Get Out as told by Ari Aster, but that's the elevator pitch. As much as I admired Never Rarely Sometimes Always, it doesn't pack half the punch as Swallow does, while touching on the same themes of feminist agency, being trapped by societal pressures, and a need to escape.

    Hunter and Richie are giving off Jennifer Lawrence and Handsome Eli Manning vibes. They live in a palatial Catskills abode whose 1950-60s pastiche vibes would make Tim Burton…

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  • The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11

    The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11

    ★★★½

    You have to remember how fucked up the days, weeks and months after 9/11 were. The paranoia was off the dam charts. We suspected everyone of everything. But it wasn't right.

    The FBI -- one of the few government organizations for which I actually have great respect -- royally screwed this one. Bruce Ivins was probably the guy.

    I can't say I blame the FBI in this case. Only because there was so much noise in 2001 and not much…

  • The Northman

    The Northman

    ★★★

    This is the kind of movie I feel like I should like. And yet, despite watching it twice, I'm left pretty cold by it.

    The movie isn't really "saying" anything: it's enjoyable as a brutal revenge story, and there is a nifty twist about halfway through. But other than being a fable about a kid who grows up into an animalistic killer, there isn't much else to latch on to.

    Part of my fatigue with The Northman is it's front-loaded…

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  • Comedian

    Comedian

    ★★★★

    It's one thing to be funny. It's another thing to entirely to be a Comedian. Such is the thesis of this portrait of two stand-up comics.

    One of the comics is Jerry Seinfeld, one of the greatest, and inarguably most heralded comic of the last three decades. The other is Orny Adams, a young, brash upstart. The contrast between the two drives the film.

    While Orny is a nobody, he boldly demands respect, gets upset by hecklers, blames crowds for…

  • Malena

    Malena

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    It wouldn't be too hard to fall for a woman like Malena, played by the stunningly, impossibly gorgeous Monica Bellucci (who, in 2000, may very well have been the most beautiful woman on earth). But I wish there was more to her as a character. As it stands, she represents lust in the eyes of the men of a small Italian town, as well as the jealousies of its women. She is also an ideal in the mind of Renato,…