Favorite films

  • The Red Shoes
  • Casablanca
  • The Godfather
  • His Girl Friday

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  • Into the Woods

    ★★★½

  • Primary Colors

    ★★★★

  • Predator

    ★★★★

  • Disclosure

    ★★½

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  • Casablanca

    Casablanca

    ★★★★★

    Tonight he’ll be at Rick’s. Eventually everyone goes to Rick’s.

    Casablanca (1942) is one of the best movies of all time. It came out in the midst of World War II and yet doesn’t come close to the cheap tricks or laborious lectures of propaganda . Still, the context is there and an agenda. It won Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay Oscars. Some of dialogue is known by everyone. There are plenty of movies that won awards and had quotable…

  • The Red Shoes

    The Red Shoes

    ★★★★★

    It is much more disheartening to have to steal than to be stolen from.

    I typically shy away from the term “masterpiece”. Perhaps that is because I conflate it with perfection rather than the mere work of a master. That perfection should be obvious to everyone and be separate from nostalgia and historical context–unless context is a conscious ingredient–and thus applies to very few films. In film, being a collaborative medium with so many people at work that go unseen…

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  • Into the Woods

    Into the Woods

    ★★★½

    The material is genius and the performers are excellent. Sadly, this was apparently shot on video and even a blu-ray can do little to break through that limitation. That said, I doubt there was all that much left on the field (apart from subtler lighting).

  • Primary Colors

    Primary Colors

    ★★★★

    With the start of American Crime Story season three and a taste for electoral politics after The Front Runner, it seemed like a good moment to take another look at Primary Colors. I love it, but it's interesting what this movie isn't. It isn't a campaign procedural, though it exists in a campaign. It's a movie about politics, not policy, but about civic values. Those values are put to the test, one after the other, a stress test of civic…

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  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    ★★★

    While it ultimately succumbs to its (at this point rather tired) Marvelousness, the bulk of the film is rather pleasant, channeling and building on martial arts films. It's still relentlessly queasy in its "camera" movement, but I'd say there was more grace in the choreography at times, which was a nice respite. Oh and there was a genuine belly laugh in this movie.

    They still don't know how to film a battle sequence. Just like the final showdown in Black…

  • The Green Knight

    The Green Knight

    ★★

    Given that I didn't know exactly what I was in for, it is churlish of me to say I was very disappointed, but I was very disappointed. I saw good reviews, classical story, beautiful images, and thought "Finally, after over a year and a half, I'm finally going to see something awesome." Instead, Lowery made something decidedly weird. Admirably, there's no hand-holding through its nebulous plot and indecipherable motivations, but there was no relief from that nebulous indecipherablity. I saw…