RSS feed for Steven
  • Monrovia, Indiana

    Monrovia, Indiana

    ★★★

    The place where I come from
    Is a small town
    They think so small
    They use small words
    But not me
    I’m smarter than that
    I worked it out
    I’ve been stretching my mouth
    To let those big words come right out

  • Widows

    Widows

    ★★★★

    Best genre movie of the year

  • They'll Love Me When I'm Dead

    They'll Love Me When I'm Dead

    ★★★½

    Consider it a testament to all but three minutes of Morgan Neville and Netflix’s illuminating documentary that: (1) I now have no desire to see Orson Welles’ unfinished The Other Side of the Wind; and (2) ironically enough (notwithstanding those three minutes), I find Netflix and company’s “completion” and release of Welles’ Sisyphean efforts to be even more distasteful.

  • The Kindergarten Teacher

    The Kindergarten Teacher

    ★★★½

    Sometimes it’s a fine detail in the writing that really contextualizes a film.  In The Kindergarten Teacher, our would be protagonist walks in on a professor and teacher’s assistant pondering over a poem generated by a computer algorithm: as it turns out, in objective terms, there is nothing inherently valuable or unique, as a product of human creation, about an amalgamation of words that people will appreciate as “poetry.”  And as such, Sara Colangelo’s narrative becomes less about an antihero’s…

  • Burning

    Burning

    ★★★

    What’s a metaphor?

  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    ★★★

    I’ve been eagerly awaiting Marielle Heller’s follow up to Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015), especially when I read that Melissa McCarthy would be portraying the writer turned forger of literary letters, Lee Israel.  On the screen, McCarthy’s Israel is an authentically watchable and frustrating character - as difficult to love as to hate, even setting aside her indulgences in what might be one of the most victimless of crimes.  And Heller and company never really allow the humor to…

  • Wildlife

    Wildlife

    ★★★

    Carey Mulligan is playing the villain here, right?

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    ★★½

    *shakes head*

    If the stone cold classic that is A Night at the Opera could stand to lose a track, it is most certainly “Sweet Lady” and most certainly not “I’m in Love with My Car.”

  • Private Life

    Private Life

    ★★★

    It’s all so subtle for this kind of film—the performances, the cinematography, and the editing—and I appreciated it for the indictment of my generation that it is; but less than an hour in to this 2+ hour piece, I couldn’t help but feel antsy, like the first episode of this Netflix original was going to end and I could pick it up tomorrow.

  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★½

    If you have seen the trailer, then it would be no spoiler to point out that this remake of the 1977 cult classic is the kind of film that has a big finale.  But in this film’s big finale, I found myself trying to keep track of the personnel (as in, “ok wait, if that is so-and-so, then who or what is THAT?  I thought there where three of those, not four!”) instead of being taken in by the spectacle.…

  • Border

    Border

    ★★½

    I had high expectations, but this really did nothing for me - emotionally, allegorically, or otherwise.

  • Beautiful Boy

    Beautiful Boy

    ★★½

    To some, this biopic may very well feel like a dramatic breath of fresh air within the field of this year’s Oscar bait.  But for me, awareness raising is probably the least interesting and least engaging form of narrative cinema.  And this film seems to have no purpose beyond making the belabored case that addiction is a disease and not a choice.