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Favorite films

  • Rio Bravo
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • The New World
  • The Handmaiden

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  • Priscilla

    ★★★

  • Resident Evil

    ★★½

  • Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

    ★★

  • Blade Runner 2049

    ★★★★

Recent reviews

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  • Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

    Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

    ★★

    Cannot survive a number of downgrades from the prior films in the series. 35MM film to digital. Practical sets and locations for computerized ones. Most catastrophic of all, Spielberg to Mangold. You sense that in the pacing most. The runtime is an absolutely excruciating two hours and thirty-five (I mentally checked out at probably 55 mins, max). The longest Indy by half an hour.

    It’s not all Mangold’s fault. There’s only so much one can do when you build an…

  • The Holdovers

    The Holdovers

    ★★★

    There’s a genuine sweetness to The Holdovers that makes it go down easy. Real skill and craft at every level. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s a well-designed, perfectly round one. The car only wobbles a bit at the end when Giamatti has his big heroic moment. Which doesn’t feel all the way earned. Luckily, Payne steadies things with that last scene between Paul and Angus. Giamatti (excellent as always) and Sessa summon a deep well of emotion. You…

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  • Cha Cha Real Smooth

    Cha Cha Real Smooth

    ½

    This dude has more in common with Tommy Wiseau than he thinks. Unless this is actually a satire, truly terrible. A thinly disguised admission that Cooper Raiff wants to have sex with his mom and hates his step dad for getting to. As if the writing and acting weren’t bad enough, the film is negligently directed also. Constantly cutting from one uninspired composition to another. There’s almost too many things to dislike. Cha Cha Real Smooth is wish fulfillment fan…

  • The Fabelmans

    The Fabelmans

    ★★★★½

    A fascinating film that demonstrates cinema’s capacity to manipulate. Though movies also get at truth through this manipulation. Artifice doesn’t mean everything is fake.

    The Fabelmans shows the tools filmmakers use to interpolate reality and create fiction. The artificiality of movies is right there when young Sammy makes his war picture – we see his extras running behind the camera to reposition further into the shot, creating the illusion of more bodies than there are. Simple tricks to elicit a…