Handy has written 14 reviews for films rated ★★★★½ .

  • Pandora's Box

    Pandora's Box

    ★★★★½

    Ingmar Bergman once wrote that film is the first art form that allows us to see the human Soul in motion on the faces of the actors. And in the 1920s, we see that finally fully explored in films like Chaplin's "City Lights" where the blind girl's face realizes she's in love with Chaplin the Tramp while Chaplin the Tramp shows in his face his extreme embarrassment/fear/joy at being "seen" by her so clearly.

    Watching Louise Brooks' sassy vibrant flapper…

  • Ocean's Twelve

    Ocean's Twelve

    ★★★★½

    At Times, this is my favorite of the "Oceans" series.

    I don't care what critics say about this film: it's incredibly engaging, especially because we know the characters and can enjoy their quirks--the dry banter from Clooney and Pitt, the choice by Damon to be degraded throughout--supposedly because in all places in the Bourne Films he knows everything.

    I don't care about the idiosyncrasies of the plot--Julia playing Tess playing a "Julia" who's married to Bruce Willis: it's all fantasy…

  • Out of Sight

    Out of Sight

    ★★★★½

    George, Soderbergh, and Elmore James: Can't Miss.

    Lasting Image: Clooney smirking at the bank teller as he robs her.

    This was the point where Clooney found his sweet spot as an actor--the charming Cary Grant-type guy who's a crook we love to love. And in the hands of Soderbergh, with a character and dialogue rich Elmore James novel put into a multiple caper flick, it couldn't miss.

    And it doesn't. With a jazzy funky score throughout and the focus on…

  • American Psycho

    American Psycho

    ★★★★½

    Portrait of a NY Mega-Douchebag Literal Lady Killer

    Plot in a Sentence: A Young, wealthy NY Wall Street executive lives an extremely narcissistic and sociopathic lifestyle in which everything he does moves from acquisition of wealth and status items and expensive restaurants to the abuse and murder of one work peer and a number of women in cruel and demeaning fashion.

    Lasting Image: Bateman's morning routine and shower. I have to admit that though I hate everything about this character,…

  • Native Sun

    Native Sun

    ★★★★½

    AFRO-FUTURISM RULE #21: If You Have Stilt-Walking Coffin Bearers In You Country, You Must Incorporate Them In Your Film.

    This was a thoroughly enjoyable little folktale or fable, which are very valuable means of starting points for sci fi and fantasy to portray a possible future for Africans. Sure, Ray Bradbury may not have had friendly hookers to care for little boys, or troops of African dancing girls in the town he grew up in, but for my money, "the…

  • Tenet

    Tenet

    ★★★★½

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

    DRAMA IS FLIRTING:
    the controlled revealing of specific daring information to keep you hooked--a bare shoulder, a playful wink, an obscure gesture: just enough and in the proper order to keep you on the hook.

    It's Flirting.

    In most cases, the pursuit is the main pleasure and the ultimate conquest of the puzzle is lesser: the solution of an entire puzzle usually ends in merely seeing a larger version of the image on the front cover of the puzzle box.…

  • The Personal History of David Copperfield

    The Personal History of David Copperfield

    ★★★★½

    PORTRAIT OF COPPERFIELD AS A PYTHON:

    I came to this one out of a love of 19th century period films, but mostly because of writer/director Armando Iannucci, whose brilliant satires "In the Loop" and "Veep" show such clever wit and snark.

    This might be the perfect film to introduce little kids to Dickens--which is a good idea: it's clean and moral, and so loaded with pythonesque and Gilliam-esque wackadoodle antics, as well as Dickensian sentiment --that I could see even…

  • The Ipcress File

    The Ipcress File

    ★★★★½

    Long Time Ipcress Curious, First Time Viewer. Stylish little. Swinging Sixties Brit Spy flick, complete with bedroom eyes, black glasses, Michael Caine's Perma-bedroom eyes, and all the bureaucracy the Brits can pile onto a 27B/6 form.

    Harry Palmer gets the Food Gourmet Seduction Award.

    SPY MOVIE RULES:

    #1: Protag SPY: Must Be a Rakish, Rule-Breaking Girl Magnet. Must be a guy, and he can be a Spy or a Journalist. till Hitch, when he can be an ad exec.

    #2:…

  • Emitaï

    Emitaï

    ★★★★½

    I've Eaten Rice My Whole Life But Never Saw It Harvested. Till Now.

    Ousmane Sembene continues to show his genius for documentary portrayal of pre-colonial life in rural villages in Senegal: how quiet, how ridiculous the French, how hard the women work, how close to Earth they live.

    Ousmane's focus here is the absurdity of French rifles and French policies on villagers who've lived simply for millennia in these villages, the women with babies asleep wrapped in cloths against their…

  • The Wagoner

    The Wagoner

    ★★★★½

    This little short is like African Chekhov: capturing the subtleties of life in your home country as well as the subtleties both of the poor people of Dakar and their problems as well as those of the rich upper class: nothing says "class war" like a little wagon driver with squeaky wheels driving a rich man up to the rich part of town.

    And then losing his wagon to a corrupt policeman: this little wagon driver is like De Sica's…

  • Strangers on a Train

    Strangers on a Train

    ★★★★½

    CRISS CROSS, WE TALK THE SAME LANGUAGE!

    Hitch was clearly exploring new territory here--as evidenced by the bass fiddle he hulks onto a train in the first reel. And let's just get one thing clear: Bruno is permanently in the Penalty Box for Predation: he's proposing homocide on one scotch and plain water.

    But Hitch Is having a wonderful time exploring filming deaths like seductions by Bruno--who is oily and smooth and clearly ready to knock boots with Farley Grainger.

  • Two English Girls

    Two English Girls

    ★★★★½

    JULES ET JANE ET JANET: TRUFFAUT'S Devil's Triangle IN WALES

    Had Truffaut won an Oscar for this Oscar bait weepy, he'd've had to start by thanking the Academy and Harlequin Romance Company....

    There will always be a corner in art house film world for these pastoral little nostalgia films showing life before the Pill and how people decorated gorgeous big stone houses in Wales and France and ate soup with huge spoons. Merchant Ivory have made an entire industry of…