Steve Erickson has written 139 reviews for films rated ★★★ .

  • Home of the Brave

    Home of the Brave

    ★★★

    Odd "weekend afternoon lying in bed in an altered state" viewing, but not exactly in the way I expected. Her STOP MAKING SENSE, but far more '80s. Great double bill with Kate Bush's THE TOUR OF LIFE, programmers!

  • A Self-Induced Hallucination

    A Self-Induced Hallucination

    ★★★

    Slenderman is morally superior to Dr. Drew and Chris Hansen.

  • Accumulator 1

    Accumulator 1

    ★★★

    Jan Sverak's direction triumphs over the simplistic "TV is bad" message and elements of leering sex farce. The concept, in which TV programs suck the life out of people and leave them with doubles in a hazy world of sets on the other side of the TV, is a bit confusing, but played out imaginatively. The colors of yellow and blue are deployed symbolically throughout, with blue representing the malign power of TV and yellow a more natural balancing force.…

  • Godzilla vs. Kong

    Godzilla vs. Kong

    ★★★

    On my first attempt at watching GODZILLA VS. KONG, I got bored quickly and shut it off after half an hour. But the facts that I began at 1 AM likely contributed to it. Another factor is that the story is loaded with exposition, following small groups of people in subplots around the world, but nothing except spectacle hits home. Kyle Chandler, Demian Bichir - excellent actors with no real characters to play. But half an hour of Kong and…

  • Moffie

    Moffie

    ★★★

    Overly familiar in some ways and evasive about the effects of apartheid on Black people, MOFFIE shows that war is hell in ways it learned from FULL METAL JACKET. It is also not exactly news that homophobia often goes hand in hand with repressed gayness and obvious homoeroticism. But Oliver Hermanus' direction brings out the ache in his images of the South African landscape, while the film makes intriguing use of water symbolism. MOFFIE shows a coming-of-age which is endured more than simply lived, in a world where political repression leads to emotional and sexual lockdown.

    Full review here: www.gaycitynews.com/moffie-spotlights-repressed-sexuality-during-wartime-apartheid-south-africa/.

  • Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art

    Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art

    ★★★

    In style, this is a totally generic talking-heads documentary even by Netflix standards. But it tells an intricate story well, with resonance beyond the immediate details. Jackson Pollock's work is widely hated and seen as an example of the emptiness of 20th-century art because viewers think they could dump a few paint cans on a canvas and make something that looks identical. MADE YOU LOOK goes into the process of pinning down the identifying traits of an artist and their…

  • The Letter Room

    The Letter Room

    ★★★

    If this wins an Oscar, will the other Oscar put on a fake mustache for its acceptance speech?

  • Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal

    Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal

    ★★★

    Why this film exists: "In America, we love the wealthy and we hate the wealthy."

  • Starman

    Starman

    ★★★

    One of the oddest films from the period when John Carpenter was a great director. He seems to be trying to compete with Spielberg here, taking ideas from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS & E.T. into a more adult setting. (Can you picture Spielberg, even now, making a movie where a woman gets impregnated by an alien?) The early scenes, in which Jeff Bridges learns how to become human by watching TV and picks up a gun, are a bit mannered. They also suggest…

  • A Shape of Things to Come

    A Shape of Things to Come

    ★★★

    A pleasant hangout movie that hints at darker under-currents it doesn't really deliver on (apart from the unnecessary lingering shots of a dying animal.) Its subject, a 60-year-old man who calls himself Sundog, is presented as a mellow hippie who lives off-the-grid in the Sonoran desert so he can enjoy various natural drugs (especially DMT, acquired from the venom glands of squealing toads) and avoid the 9-to-5 grind. But he also epitomizes a very American hyper-individualism; he claims to want…

  • Jacob's Ladder

    Jacob's Ladder

    ★★★

    A friend asked me to go see this when we were in college, and I turned him down out of disbelief that the auteur behind FLASHDANCE & FATAL ATTRACTION could make a good film. 31 years later, I finally caught up with it, knowing the twist. Actually, one could guess it from the subway signs in the second scene in New York, among many, many other clues. Lyne's style strove to put a nightmarish spin on the "cinema du look" aesthetic,…

  • Super Fly

    Super Fly

    ★★★

    Curtis Mayfield's soundtrack is one of my favorite albums. I heard it long before I saw this film. Perhaps that made actually watching it seem like an anticlimax. While I can understand why it was controversial in 1972 - no one seems to suffer any real negative consequences for shoveling coke up their nose - it actually seems pretty bland now, a bridge between 1930s Warner Bros. gangster films and '90s gangsta rap. (Mayfield's "Pusherman" is an obvious influence over…