Favorite films

  • Comrades, Almost a Love Story
  • Green Snake
  • Matewan
  • Gimme Shelter

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  • Joint Security Area

    ★★★★

  • Jade

    ★★★

  • Match Point

    ★★★★

  • Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

    ½

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  • The Blade

    The Blade

    ★★★★½

    I mean, my god, where to even begin with this. Grows into a masterpiece around the second act, at least that's when it clicked for me. Now I understand why Tsui is sometimes called the John Ford of Hong Kong, this is such a perfect rendering of a community which exists under these grand traditions that supposedly enforce peace, while the foundations are so shaky that violence springs from everywhere. So much accomplished with the camera: the two marketplace setpieces…

  • Lenny Cooke

    Lenny Cooke

    ★★★★★

    "Get that money, baby."

    The Inside Llewyn Davis of sports documentaries. If not for their 2019 masterpiece, it'd be the Safdies' best film.

    I consider it a personal travesty that I hadn't seen this until now. Outstanding footage – many of these scenes might as well be coming from a fictional feature a-la He Got Game. A hopeless cycle of desires, distractions, mentorship, and shattered dreams. You can almost see the life-sized scales being tipped in a moment's notice, a personal…

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  • Joint Security Area

    Joint Security Area

    ★★★★

    Park is a master at riding the fine line between show-offy and precise, and really I'm a sucker for both so some of the cuts and camera tricks in this one made my jaw drop. And what a stage he sets for himself here, the investigative thriller at the outer shell and the beautiful companionship at the core, the internal/militaristic conflicts, and of course the dramatic crux of these parties being so close in proximity but with communication officially forbidden.…

  • Jade

    Jade

    ★★★

    Just the right amount of necessary plot detail at 90 minutes to accompany the hilariously lurid self-serious stupidity. Basically almost in self-satire mode (Joe Eszterhas stand up!!) when it comes to the sex sleaze, the DUN DUN DUN score and the irresponsible cop work; Caruso's extended car chase so heavy on property damage. Richard Crenna has a great few scenes as the high-ranking politician who only speaks in threats. "I do the fucking, I never get fucked." Also, the Loreena…

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  • The Northman

    The Northman

    ★★★★

    History, both factual and mythological, is riddled with crazy-ass dudes who thought they could balance devotion and power, and ended up monstrously killing everything in their path. Eggers takes this very straightforward material and puts his signature spin of spirituality / intensity on it, which helps to get on its wavelength of talking skulls and psychedelic family trees, but also brings quite a strong sense of drama; by the end I was very affected by the Skarsgard/Taylor-Joy dynamic. That last…

  • Sonatine

    Sonatine

    ★★★★½

    Without a doubt, the most singular crime film I've ever seen. Like, this exists completely in its own universe, a resigned piece of melancholia and dreadful violence. You could bring up the likeness to Michael Mann, but he wouldn't have included those riotous beach scenes. It's beyond comparison, breaking every rule of editing, staging, plotting, even acting. Kitano takes a simple narrative and deceptively ties his characters into a knot; passing time as the best of buddies, because you won't…