Favorite films

  • Annie Hall
  • Rushmore
  • The Apartment
  • Taxi Driver

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  • The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    ★★½

  • Cutter's Way

    ★★★½

  • Spider-Man

    ★★★½

  • Scream

    ★★★

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  • The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    ★★½

    It would have been almost impossible for anyone to balance this mixture of self-referential silliness and violent stakes. I don't fault the movie for not getting it exactly right--and I applaud Cage for commitment to the bit-- but I was tired by the end.


    A good example of a screenplay nailing the “need” of a character while fumbling the “want.”

  • Cutter's Way

    Cutter's Way

    ★★★½

    This is not, to use an era-appropriate reference, a movie you can watch while doing a crossword. When talking about the wealthy, Cutter's stray line "I used to be one" reframes the whole character. For two or three scenes, I wasn't sure which character was Mo's husband. And Lisa Eichhorn's pitiful performance as Mo is kind of the key to the "this is all we've got" desperation of the rest of the characters.

    However, the same zagging from convention hurts…

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  • Gone Girl

    Gone Girl

    ★★★★

    In a particularly tense scene of Gone Girl, Affleck's character is sipping on Singani 63, a Bolivian brandy obscure enough that I can't get it from the Dorignac's liquor aisles. The character owns a bar--so I guess he's up on his clear brandy made with specific grapes from the mountains of South America--but he's probably drinking it because Singani 63 is Steven Soderbergh's side hustle. And Gone Girl, in its obsession with process, its narrative left-turns, its respect/contempt for the…

  • Public Speaking

    Public Speaking

    "Isn't this person hilarious and interesting?"

    "I don't know, Mr. Scorsese. She's okay, I guess. Are you saying that she's the last of a dying breed of something I'm glad is dying?"

    "I'm saying she's hilarious and interesting."

    "Did you ever ask her why she dresses so weird?"