Brian Formo

Brian Formo

Patron

Favorite films

  • Mother Joan of the Angels
  • Looking for Langston
  • A Legend, or Was It?
  • The Cremator

Recent activity

All
  • Lust for Life

    ★★★½

  • A Most Violent Year

    ★★★½

  • Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler

    ★★★½

  • The Goodbye Girl

    ★★½

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  • Deep Cover

    Deep Cover

    ★★★★½

    “Money doesn't know where it comes from, but I do. If I keep it, I'm a criminal. If I give it to the government, I'm a fool. If I try and do some good with it, maybe it just makes things worse.”

    Deep Cover starts and ends with blood money. Crumpled and ugly, handed over. Director Bill Duke and Laurence Fishburne, who plays an undercover cop, charge head first into a Deep State drug conspiracy. "Follow the money" is not…

  • Morvern Callar

    Morvern Callar

    ★★★★★

    Morvern Callar has one of the bleakest cold opens of any film. We see the titular woman (played by Samantha Morton), as she wakes up with her boyfriend dead from suicide on the floor and a computer screen that says "READ ME." The note instructs her to "be brave" and to send his novel to various publishers he's listed. That's the plot portion of the opening, before we even get there we lay with Morvern on the floor, her fingers…

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  • Lust for Life

    Lust for Life

    ★★★½

    A lush paint-by-numbers biopic of Vincent Van Gogh with a spitting image lookalike turn from Kirk Douglas. Things liven up whenever Paul Gauguin (Anthony Quinn) is around. Vincente Minnelli knows that the cutting-of-the-ear moment is the money shot and he stages a fantastic sequence of murderous thoughts in an alleyway that cut red streetlights from his paintings (wanderings home from taverns) to the light in his bedroom as the camera stays in his bedroom mirror with a scream of anguish…

  • A Most Violent Year

    A Most Violent Year

    ★★★½

    In J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year, Abel (Oscar Isaac) a fuel-oil businessman trying to expand his empire, tells a potential investor that he strives to follow "the path that is most right" in a situation. "The Path That Is Most Right" isn't a very sexy title, and Do the Right Thing was taken, so A Most Violent Year it is! But Abel is purposely non-violent.

    That's not to say he's an innocent; his oil transport business has been cooking…

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  • Last Night in Soho

    Last Night in Soho

    Last Night in Soho is an atrociously plotted attempt at reclaiming the giallo as a "good for her" meme. Anchoring two time periods, there's a horribly scripted romantic subplot at a fashion design university (in modern day London) and a woefully underused Anya Taylor-Joy, as a woman who desires to be a nightclub singer (in 1960s London). The haunted-flat portal connection between the two stories is a just-go-with-it approach that would be easier to swallow if it leaned more into…

  • X

    X

    ★★

    X looks great. It has the 70s look and feel down pat. And Brittany Snow is aces.

    Its thematic premise — that porno and horror films are kind of similar in that the audience just wants to "get to the good stuff" and "the good stuff" in both are a vice: the kills, the position or nude star that you like, story or intro be damned! — is academically intriguing. Ti West's film within-a-film about the making of a porno…