Movie Review: The Art of the Steal

my initial thoughts, which form the basis for this review, originally appeared here. As an exposition of theft and corruption, a civics lesson, and a demonstration of  how non-profits and governments and individuals and institutions conspire to take and govern art, The Art of the Steal is necessary and intriguing. It’s obviously angry over injustice, and thus … Continue reading

Music Video: Pitch Perfect’s “Since You Been Gone”

Start with the fact this is generally an average-to-well edited movie. During the big dance numbers, we get plenty of closeups and glimpses of each character, especially when a character is starting to sing. Still, the overall action is always well-established enough so when it pulls back to a wide/master shot, the viewer is not … Continue reading

Movie Review: The Fifth Estate

a version of this review first appeared here. Much has been said about the movie’s mishandling of actual events, and those reviews are fascinating to be sure. Most of us, however, forgive that to one extent or another if a ‘based on true events’ biopic is remotely interesting, well shot, anything. The Fifth Estate is … Continue reading

Movie Review: The Counselor

A version of this review originally appeared here. If each of the film’s conversations were climactic set pieces in another film, where the point was pontification, shock value, proclamatory delivery, really absolutely anything but chemistry, The Counselor could provide apexes for at least a dozen films. Instead, the film lines up several fantastic dramatic actors … Continue reading

Movie Review – Gravity

I knew going in the previews had shown nothing past the first third of the film, which is quite unusual in film marketing. I had read up on some of the technical things  Cuarón had done to create a sort of zero-gravity look. I’d heard the comparisons to 2001: A Space Odyssey. I understand why … Continue reading

Movie Review: Inch’Allah

On my list of movies to watch I mentioned several female filmmakers whose work I’m interested in. One is Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette. This review of her film starts a loose series on Women In and Making Film.  A shorter version of this review appeared on Letterboxd here. This film easily could have been a cliched tale about a … Continue reading

Cry Havoc, and Let Slip the Dogs of Blockbusters

The Affleck casting (which, full disclosure, I don’t hate at all, though I’d much rather he direct the thing) has been rattling around in my brain, and I’ve decided people should admit Daredevil is as good a movie as The Dark Knight or The Dark Knight Rises. To this end, I will argue Daredevil is underrated … Continue reading

Movie Review: Looper

A shorter version of this review first appeared on my Letterboxd. I cannot be expected to have no significant foreknowledge of any film involving Rian Johnson *and* Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Thus I’d read select reviews, seen the trailers, examined the posters and bylines, etc. I was excited, I had a grasp of the basic murder-for-hire-gets-confronted-by-time-traveling-older-self, yet … Continue reading

Why Grit Is Now A Substitute for Glorious

While I’d love it to flesh out what makes some dark movies great cinema and others not, and how a movie can have it both ways – Casino Royale, anyone? – the points this article makes are good. What I want to focus on is this: What bothers me more is the critical attitude that reads a film … Continue reading

Quick Hits

I’ve recently signed up for and begun using Letterboxd to keep track of my films. It’s a quick and easy way to track and write thoughts on movies I don’t have time or inclination to do a full write-up and picture hunt on. If you’re interested to see what I have to say, what I … Continue reading