Favorite films

  • Blazing Saddles
  • Y Tu Mamá También
  • The Children Are Watching Us
  • Waiting for Guffman

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  • Silver Bears

    ★★

  • Noises Off...

    ★★★

  • The Hound of the Baskervilles

    ★★½

  • Evergreen

    ★★★★

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  • All In: The Fight for Democracy

    All In: The Fight for Democracy

    Juneteenth is a day for celebration, reflection and resolve.

    It is a significant day in our history. According to the Smithsonian, "Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. As a result, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later. Freedom finally came on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army…

  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

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

    I had an unusual reaction to this movie. Annoyance.

    The filmmakers show enormous technical and creative skill. This is a well-crafted movie, with command of tone and story from the first frame to the last. No shot is wasted.

    But about that story... What is its message? In particular, how is this film describing or commenting on mental illness? Horror films often use mental illness as a thematic or character point. It’s a trope. In fact, it is so routine…

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  • Silver Bears

    Silver Bears

    ★★

    Half an hour in I didn't know if this movie was supposed to be a comedy, a drama or a crime thriller.

    Answer: None of the above.

    The movie commits to none of these and simply rambles along with no particular destination before it. It's as toneless and uninvolving as it can be. It manages to flatten the appeal of a cast that includes Michael Caine, Louis Jourdan, Cybill Shepherd and Martin Balsam. And Jay Leno? Even the presence of…

  • Noises Off...

    Noises Off...

    ★★★

    An amusing and enjoyable look at the high-wire act of putting on a live performance. A theater company's struggles to keep a show running may not sound too exciting, but there is plenty of business to keep us interested. The ace cast helps.

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  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

    A film about the desire of two women--pretty rare for a big studio project in the fifties. Can you even remember any of the men in it? Maybe old fart Charles Coburn, but that will happen with any guy who wears a monocle. The movie is about what club singers Lorelei and Dorothy want. Dorothy (Jane Russell), surrounded by a group of nameless male athletes in bathing suits, surveys them with frank appreciation. “You have to be in bed at…

  • Ball of Fire

    Ball of Fire

    Ball of Fire is an opposites-attract romantic comedy from the Golden Age of Hollywood, a meeting of Howard Hawks and Billy Wilder, meaning that I feel almost obligated to like it. It’s the sort of movie, though, that rests entirely on going with a ridiculous premise–and not just going with it but really giving way to it, fully entering the screwball fantasy world in which this movie takes place. Eight men living together in a peaceable asexual community? Well, why…