Handy has written 19 reviews for films rated ★★★½ .

  • The Color of Money

    The Color of Money

    ★★★½

    Though this film has Scorsese, Paul Newman, and a very young Tom Cruise, to me, it's most memorable for what it lacks: the young irresistible Paul Newman, the slightly older experienced Tom Cruise who knew more than just mugging for the camera in that pompadour, and the sense or noir doom that the original "the Hustler" had and which Scorsese would return to many times again, especially in "Goodfellas" and "the Departed".

    What it adds in spades is Mary Elizabeth…

  • M

    M

    ★★★½

    There are two lessons from this film:

    The first is that Fritz Lang has the visual and aural craft to make a brilliant and logical film, and that Hitchcock learned much of his craft from filmmakers like Lang. We see Lang in his films for decades afterward, whenever we see one of his films accumulate details to build suspense and drama--like in the opening of Rear Window, as one example--we see Hitch learned how to make a film that participates…

  • I Snuck Off the Slave Ship

    I Snuck Off the Slave Ship

    ★★★½

    Solid setup, solid delivery. I'll keep my eyes out for her work.

  • Zombies

    Zombies

    ★★★½

    I can really see where posed tableaux like Beyonce's are coming from and are ending up in pieces like this.

    The creative exploration of how masks, faces, costumes, and poses can be handled.

    As spectacle, it's quite amazing and striking, and his end titles are world class.

    And in some ways, we get more specific examples of how Africans from Kinshasa, perhaps the most African of African cities, are imagining themselves and their future.

  • The Becoming Box

    The Becoming Box

    ★★★½

    AFRO-FUTURIST RULE #17: Any moment of recent history that suppresses black people can also be a used in a sci fi story to comment on it and the need to escape it with a portal.

    I enjoyed both of your short films and would definitely watch either as features. You have a gift for visuals, using distinctive and interesting local specific culture, creating interesting black characters I wanna follow on their potential journeys back to Africa or their future, and you write very economically to get exposition across elegantly.

  • Get on Up

    Get on Up

    ★★★½

    Great performance by Chadwich Boseman.

    Superior live performances.

    Better than average biopic.

  • Blow the Man Down

    Blow the Man Down

    ★★★½

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

    IT'S LIKE "GOODFELLAS". FOR WOMEN! WITH SEA SHANTIES!


    "The reason we need to see more films with older women is that women don't lose their power as they grow older".

    --Margo Martindale

    Plot in a Sentence: "Blow the Man Down" is a dark comedy about two sisters in a port town in Maine who kill a creep in self defense, cover it up, and gradually learn that their mother and the other women in town have been running a brothel…

  • The Painter and the Thief

    The Painter and the Thief

    ★★★½

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

    THE PAINTER SAVES HER THIEF: BUT SHE STILL CAN'T PAY HER RENT?

    Plot in a sentence: This Norwegian doc by Benjamin Ree explores the implausible circumstance and deep friendship of a brilliant Super-Realist painter, Barbora, with the thief and junkie who stole her masterpieces from a gallery; by insisting on painting portraits of him, she inspires him to do his prison time, kick his drug habit, and start a new life. And she gets one painting back.


    LASTING IMAGE: Barbora's…

  • The Assistant

    The Assistant

    ★★★½

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

    PORTRAIT OF THE PRODUCTION ASSISTANT AS A YOUNG WOMAN IN AN ENTRY LEVEL FILM JOB IN THE #METOO ERA:

    Plot in a Sentence: A young woman assistant in a NY film company office loses confidence in small, but key ways in an office of predominantly men as shown in one dull, frustrating day in her job.

    Lasting image: Julia Garner as the Assistant sitting at her desk, concerned about what's going on in her boss' office and very aware of…

  • Oliver Twist

    Oliver Twist

    ★★★½

    CONSIDER YOURSELF A POSTWAR MELODRAMA WITH INCREDIBLE SETTINGS AND CINEMATOGRAPHY, OR "I PLAYED FAGIN FOR YOU, MR. LEAN, SO I CAN PLAY AN ARAB TOO."

    PIAS: Poor orphaned boy Oliver is treated slightly better than a dog in 1830s England by ruthless characters for purposes of comedy, satire, and sentiment; but what's this? He's actually the illegitimate grandson of a rich man: SAVED!

    Roses: Settings and lighting. Lean and his crew are working everything they can out of that camera…

  • Nicholas Nickleby

    Nicholas Nickleby

    ★★★½

    NICE BOY! EVIL UNCLE! ALL ENDS WELL:


    Plot in a Sentence: "Nicholas Nickleby" written and directed by Douglas McGrath and adapted from Dickens' 900-page novel, is the sentimental melodrama of a young boy, Nicholas, whose upper-class lifestyle tumbles when his father dies, leaving himself, his mother and sister destitute in 1830s London: appeals to a greedy uncle prove futile and humiliating and lead him through a kaleidoscope of adventures of various colorful characters of lower-class London, eventually finding a tidy…

  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

    ★★★½

    The Spy Who Put Me to Sleep.

    That actually was my intent, to be honest: wide awake at 3:00 AM, I was short of sleep, so after some warm almond milk, I cuddled up and only caught a few of the 10,000 closeup shots of Dick Burton's face looking concerned in long takes.

    My respect for Le Carre' as a spy writer is confirmed: he knows that world, how it works, and how those forces have changed in the last 50 years--hence his books keep getting remade into movies and TV.

    I may actually watch it again. But doubtful.