Film Critic at Slant Magazine.
Pickup on South Street, Sam Fuller’s brutal yet sensual masterpiece, begins on a speeding subway train, full of colliding bodies stuffed inside like canned sardines. No one speaks, but everyone glances; some at the floor or out the window, others at unsuspecting passengers, yet all attempting in one way or another to not betray what’s truly on their mind. Every initial glance is revealed to be misdirected until our anti-hero, Skip McCoy, bursts onto the scene to meet the sultry…
The post-war hangover to follow Donen/Kelly's night out On the Town. Where their earlier collaboration was on the cusp of the 50s, and thus still mired in the earlier decade's lingering celebration of soldiers and the WWII victory, It's Always Fair Weather is firmly entrenched in the 50s expansion of consumerism and soul-sucking "suit" jobs designed to move every man, woman and child toward the elusive pursuit of the virtually unattainable American Dream. Whether through the brilliant passage-of-time montage that…
"Before Bob Roberts and long before Veep, Robert Altman’s Tanner ‘88 was the definitive satire of modern Washington politicking and the soul-sickening, ever-lengthening presidential campaign seasons. Yet Altman’s 11-episode, 6-hour series, co-created and co-written by Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau, plays its cards closer to the vest than either Tim Robbins’ film or Armando Iannucci’s TV show. Shedding nearly all signs of cartoonish buffoonery and taking a more definitively arch tone, Tanner ‘88 presents the fictional campaign of Jack Tanner (Michael…
From my review:
"Speaking of comical, there are a number of funny scenes in the film, most of them poking fun at the eponymous general-turned-emperor’s insecurities and domineering behavior. “You think you’re so great because you have boats!” Napoleon screams at one point to an English general who refused his peace offering. No less funny is the moment when he condescendingly chides his wife, Josephine (Vanessa Kirby), by saying in all seriousness, “I’m not subject to petty insecurities.” But while…
"The other day I had a dream that capitalists created terrorism in order to force the state to better protect the business community. Funny, isn't it?"
"Germany for the Germans. Everyone else will be sent home."
It's impossible not to relate Fassbinder's dense and challenging portrait of capital and leftist activists to today's political climate. The Third Generation, virtually unavailable for over 25 years, presents a confounding, chaotic world view where capitalism, anarchy and terrorism constantly overlap and the political…
A pair of broken champagne glasses, two discarded cigarettes. Love is fleeting and dreams can last as long as a boat ride from Hong Kong to San Francisco, but like life, all will come to a bitter end. A powerfully bittersweet, unsentimental romantic comedy with a serious bite. Powell and Francis are smooth as silk as passion slides ever-so-elegantly towards its demise, while Frank McHugh's drunken hijinks and Warren Hymer and Aline McMahon's atypical romance keep things light and bubbly. It got me choked up a few times, but at 68 minutes, it chugs along at quite the pace with none-too-long between laughs.