RSS feed for Ryan
  • Hail, Caesar!

    Hail, Caesar! 2016

    ★★★★ Watched 05 Feb, 2016

    "The golden age of Hollywood was all about artifice. It was about selling audience on perfect faces and honey-dripping fantasy. Sure, great deals of dark narrative and moral ambiguity came out of the era as well, but the hardest sell was put behind pure escapism…most of which was deeply absurd. Whether it was singing cowboys or romantic centurions, the product movie producers sold us was so far from reality it might as well have all been produced by Walt Disney.…

  • 45 Years

    45 Years 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Jan, 2016

    "The unfortunate side effect of the way we live our lives is that who we become is just as much in the hands of others as it is in our own. Our spouses, our fellows, our families, our employers. These and more will shape “who we are” over the course of our time on earth. Who these people see us as - what they see us as - is completely out of our control, and that is a truly terrifying thought...."

    Full review @

  • The Revenant

    The Revenant 2015

    ★★★★½ Watched 08 Jan, 2016

    "...Creation doesn’t care about what we think, how much we need, or how grateful we are. It doesn’t believe in justice or balance. The world doesn’t surround us to act as provider – we are here at its mercy.

    The laws of man might allow for vengeance and repercussion, but the laws of nature are far less accommodating. In the eyes of creation, we are all equally insignificant."

    Full review @

  • The Big Short

    The Big Short 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 16 Dec, 2015

    "...America didn’t weather the storm; they only sought shelter as it reached America’s shores. It may have eased somewhat, but it hasn’t let-up, and if lessons underlined in THE BIG SHORT aren’t learned soon, that storm is going to wash out everything America has built."

    Full review @

  • The Hateful Eight

    The Hateful Eight 2015

    ★★½ Watched 21 Dec, 2015

    "...for ninety to ninety-five percent of this movie, we are inside a stagecoach or a cottage. Besides being able to see the fingerprints on John Ruth’s spectacles, there is no moment where one might think to oneself “Golly, I wish Hollywood made more films in 70mm…”.

    There might have been a way to make everything old new again where large format film is concerned, but it isn’t watching nine people sit in a cottage and mutter to each-other."

    Full review @

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015

    Watched 18 Dec, 2015

    "...that’s the crazy thing that nobody expected – the unforeseen side effect about turning a singular vision into a broad collaboration. It handed the reins over to people who both study the sacred text of what they are interpreting and worship at its altar. These devotees have not only found elegant ways of draping the story on to the shoulders of a new generation of characters, but have likewise brought something back to the Star Wars saga that has been sorely missing:


    Full review @

  • The Danish Girl

    The Danish Girl 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Dec, 2015

    "A great artist has it within them to see the world from many perspectives. They bring their own unique voice, of course – but to be truly great, they need to be able to understand more than just their own id. They need to empathize with the rebel and the establishment; the wealthy and the downtrodden; the female and the male. Obviously, it is most difficult to empathize or give voice to that which one is not…but what if these understandings and expressions are in some of us somewhere? What might happen when they get let out?..."

    Full review @

  • Carol

    Carol 2015

    ★★★★★ Watched 04 Dec, 2015

    "...for those in the middle of it all, these seemingly ordinary occurrences are fleeting glimpses of something special. They are intense and true feelings we will spend the rest of our lives trying to recapture or relive.

    CAROL is a testament to just such a moment, warmly inviting us to remain in it for more than just a fleeting glimpse..."

    Full review @

  • Spotlight

    Spotlight 2015

    ★★★★★ Watched 17 Nov, 2015

    "There was a crisis of faith that unveiled itself in this century. It prompted some of us to question our community leaders, and others to question their very belief in God. That it happened at all is criminal. That it happened in the name of God is heinous. That it was covered-up by people both inside and outside the institution is vile. In the face of this, a few men and women did their job, and stood up for what’s right.

    They comforted those who mourned, they brought satisfaction to those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness..."

    Full review @

  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 2015

    ★★ Watched 20 Nov, 2015

    "Here’s the ugly truth about the HUNGER GAMES franchise that nobody wants to admit: it’s ending was always problematic. From the moment that third book was first published, its narrative felt rushed and without weight – the final blows dealt as is they were trying to deliver the knockout punch before the final bell. As the property became more and more beloved, the film’s producers began to see these books as a holy trilogy. They aren’t. They’re not even close.…

  • Creed

    Creed 2015

    ★★★★★ Watched 26 Nov, 2015

    "CREED is about trying to outrun a ghost and measure up to a legacy. So many of us have a piece of our past that looms large over our shoulder. It could be for better, it could be for worse. It could be anything from a feeling of inadequacy to a moment of truth we cannot seem to shake. For those affected by these legacies and haunted by these ghosts, dealing with them day-to-day can be a fight within itself.…

  • Brooklyn

    Brooklyn 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 14 Sep, 2015

    "Movies like BROOKLYN remind us how much that is still the way. It reminds us that people just as hard-working and homesick as Ellis are serving us coffee, cleaning our hotels, and driving our taxis. They are uprooting everything they know and going halfway around the world in the search for opportunities they don’t have. Sometimes they bring their entire family and pile six into an apartment built for two…sometimes they come with nothing. Each one of them comes with their own stories – their own Tonys or their own Roses.

    We’re usually just far too preoccupied to listen to them..."