Favorite films

  • Fargo
  • Halloween
  • The Godfather: Part II
  • Zodiac

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  • The Conjuring 2

    ★★

  • Annabelle

    ★★★

  • The Conjuring

    ★★★

  • Thir13en Ghosts

    ★★½

Recent reviews

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  • The Fate of the Furious

    The Fate of the Furious

    ★★★

    Buried in this not-that-great entry in the franchise is a mission statement that gets at a lot of what I love about this series, even its clunker entries. Cipher, the just-okay villain, is hassling Dom about his not taking a guy's car after beating that guy in a race. Dom says, "Of course I could’ve taken his car. But it’s about something bigger. This way, I *changed* him."

    Eight movies in and for all the "familia" jokes about the series,…

  • Furious 7

    Furious 7

    ★★★½

    The last time I watched this, I remember feeling so put off by the final fight that I think it tainted the rest of the movie. There's great stuff here -- the "drop the cars out the back of a plane" stunt is still just about as exciting as the series can get and it leads directly into the fight against the armored super-bus-tank thing. Wonderful.

    The farewell to Paul Walker at the end is so heart-on-its-sleeve, it's legitimately devastating…

Popular reviews

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  • The Thing

    The Thing

    ★★★★★

    Things I noticed this time:

    - As a fraction of the film as a whole, a huge chunk of the running time is spent on the guys in the helicopter trying to kill a dog running toward Our Gang. There's something primal in the visual language of pursuit that makes you empathize with the thing being chased, especially when it's outgunned. It also helps that the actor dog doesn't know to be scared, so it's loping through the snow with…

  • In the Mouth of Madness

    In the Mouth of Madness

    ★★★★½

    One of my favorite ways to see Carpenter’s politics play out is in the “the world is covertly ending” mode. In Halloween, Laurie Strode has no contact with the house across the street where everything is going very, very badly right up until the very end of the movie. In The Thing, any one of the men next to you might not be a man at all even as he listens to your plans. In They Live, the truth of…