RSS feed for John

Favorite films

Recent activity

All

Pinned reviews

More
  • What's Up, Doc?

    What's Up, Doc?

    ★★★★★

    You’re upside down, sir. 

    I know what you’re thinking. “This is one of this guy’s four favorite movies?  Really?”

    Perhaps it is from a disproportionately high  exposure to The Three Stooges or Looney Tunes when I was a kid. Or Gilligan’s Island, for that matter. I’m not sure exactly how it all manifested itself over time, and the runner-ups are far, far too numerous and hilarious to mention, but this movie is my single favorite comedy. 
    There has to be…

  • Defending Your Life

    Defending Your Life

    ★★★★★

    What happens when we die?  I often get rolled-back eyeballs from people when I comment that Albert Brooks’ version of the afterlife makes more sense to me personally than the garden-variety biblically-inspired versions. 

    I was trapped near the inner circle of thought. 

    But I *do* feel that way, arched eyebrows or not. There are so many universal human truths at the center of Defending Your Life that it unfolds like a universal coaching manual for humanity. 

    Fear is like a…

Recent reviews

More
  • Seabiscuit

    Seabiscuit

    ★★★★½

    Yes, that rating might be inflated a bit due to a personal affinity for movies with animals. I’ll also say the script certainly could have done with about 30% fewer “second-chance” platitudes by Jeff Bridges’ character, too. But the film, like the horse, is a winner. 
    Three seemingly unconnected storylines deftly journey along to a common point — the movie takes its time, but that means that the end result is that much sweeter — and the title character, who…

  • Last Flag Flying

    Last Flag Flying

    ★★★½

    Feeling very much like a film version of a stage play, Last Flag Flying consists mostly of dialogues between two or three characters, strung together in the service of a road-trip-ish plot. There are a few diversions, including one that seems kind of forced and unnecessary, but for the most part it holds together, and Linklater nails the ending, in no small part thanks to the performances of Cranston, Fishburne and Carrell.

Popular reviews

More
  • Avengers: Infinity War

    Avengers: Infinity War

    ★★★★½

    I’ll write a spoiler review later, but for now... this is a really fun film. Big ensemble events like this can be hard to pull off; there’s pressure to create an opportunity for each individual character to shine a bit. But Joe & Anthony Russo succeed both in making a film with lots of great standalone action and rewarding the die-hards with plenty of references to earlier Marvel outings. It’s kind of like listening to a greatest hits album from your…

  • The Florida Project

    The Florida Project

    ★★★★

    What happens when your slice of life is too small, and keeps shrinking? That’s one of the questions The Florida Project asks of its audience. While ostensibly about the small-scale adventures of adorable kids exploring the odd, surreal environment that is Kissimmee, Florida, the movie eventually reveals much darker tones. There’s a slow, uneasy, steady progression to the point where we understand the real stories behind these innocent kids and it is profoundly sad. 


    Actually, the real lesson of the…