Favorite films

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Tree of Life
  • Alien
  • Columbus

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  • Pearl

    ★★★★

  • The Beach Bum

    ★★★★★

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

    ★★★★★

  • Elvis

    ★★★½

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  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

    ★★★★★

    I wrote about this a bit in my prior reviews for Phantom and Clones but I really do believe Lucas' political insights are pretty brilliant; perhaps not as raw insights themselves but in how he weaves them into such a familiar and involving story. Lucas said in an interview some time ago that these films were influenced heavily by the Nixon era, i.e. the Vietnam war and the process by which democracies become dictatorships. How democracies are not overthrown, but…

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★★

    A fierce and passionate parable about hope; First Reformed is a response, at times a whimper and at others a shout, to Jesus’ infamous question in the garden just before his death - My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? A look at the difficulties of a *truly* religious life, one in which all actions, perceptions and reactions are analyzed, scrutinized and reconciled in relation to a foundational text that offers little empathy to those who stray from…

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  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★★★

    The core competency Villeneuve exhibits here has to be his maneuvering in-and-around the construction of these immense worlds to glimpse the bits of humanity and emotion that underpin them. A mother's desperation to both nurture and restrain her son. The burden of power against a family who, more than anything, desire to resist what is expected for them. Myth corroding normalcy; prophecy forbidding agency. Entire mythologies are supplanted by small visual cues; mentats are implied by an off-putting, machine-like vertical…

  • Point Break

    Point Break

    ★★★★★

    One thousand percent an over-the-top movie about a cop infiltrating a group of adrenaline-junkie surfing criminals, but also...wait for it..."so much more!" Point Break is a fascinating film, precisely because it's greatness is couched in such an absurd story. Immediately the reputation this has of being filled with homo-eroticism feels like a mischaracterization. It's an erotic movie *about* men, absolutely. Loads of sexual metaphors and imagery. The intimacy between the two leading men, specifically Reeves and Swayze here, is misread,…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★★

    I've been seeing lots of "controversy" over the supposed value of La La Land vs something like Moonlight, usually insinuating that La La Land's comparative levity somehow renders it lesser. My quick two cents would that be that yes, Moonlight is a magnificent portrait of masculinity in 2017's world, with broad, valuable insights on how race, sexual preference (*orientation*) and class all influence and inform one's identity. Basically a vehicle and showcase for compassion and empathy in a world seemingly…

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★★

    In light of recent events, I'm reminded of Fermi's paradox. A cynical and unsettling notion which suggests the reason we've never been contacted by extraterrestrial intelligent life is that the no civilization has survived long enough to innovate to that level. Or, in simpler terms, that the fundamental nature of intelligent life is to ultimately destroy itself. As tech and sciences progress further and further, what matters is how we allocate that technology; what leaders we elect to control it…