RSS feed for Ben

Favorite films

Recent activity

All

Pinned reviews

More
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    ★★★★½

    2004

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind represents an elusive oddity within cinema- the science fiction romance. Written by the ever thoughtful Charlie Kaufman– decidedly one of our generation’s strongest and most imaginary screenwriters- Spotless Mind is a melancholy and often humorous ode to the inevitable heartaches associated with breakup. The film operates as a kind of pre-Black Mirror cautionary tale (though admittedly more tender than sadistic), gradually revealing a world where an experimental brain operation can permanently erase a…

  • High Flying Bird

    High Flying Bird

    ★★★½

    2019

    If nothing else, Netflix has proven itself a perfect platform for releasing films like High Flying Bird. Steven Soderbergh‘s latest, a breezy sports drama shot entirely on an iPhone, represents and unveils the hidden beauty in Netflix’s system as a film uncompromisingly cinematic yet wholly unsuited for the inevitable failure of a traditional theater release. Unlike Netflix’s previous major film this year, Dan Gilroy‘s insufferably boring Velvet Buzzsaw (which coincidentally also premiered in Park City less than a month…

Recent reviews

More
  • 25th Hour

    25th Hour

    ★★★★½

    2002

    One of the more underappreciated roles of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s career is found in Spike Lee’s 25th Hour, a chilly portrait of post-9/11 New York City in which the actor plays high school English teacher Jacob Elinsky. 25th Hour follows Montgomery Brogan (Edward Norton) across his last day of freedom before being sent to jail for felony drug dealing, as he spends his final hours getting drunk at bars with Jacob and another childhood friend (Barry Pepper).

    During all…

  • Synecdoche, New York

    Synecdoche, New York

    ★★★★½

    2008

    It’s perhaps a bittersweet coincidence of film history that a mere six years before his tragic passing, Philip Seymour Hoffman starred in Charlie Kaufman’s poignantly surreal meditation on death, Synecdoche, New York. As self-absorbed and impossibly hypochondriac theater director Caden Cotard, Hoffman delivers one of the finest performances of his career, bringing a striking degree of empathetic relatability to his character that few other actors of our generation can quite match. Synecdoche, New York begins with Caden in his…

Popular reviews

More
  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★★★½

    2017

    So frustratingly close to becoming a modern masterpiece, held back literally by a handful of clumsy scenes of exposition.

    Roger Deakins is a treasure. The first shot of Ryan Gosling's silhouette against the harsh orange of poisoned Las Vegas air is *perfect*. Its jaw-dropping beauty caught me off guard even on a second watch.

  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★★½

    There's a moment in Taxi Driver when Travis Bickle is balancing his TV set with his foot. There's a light tension in the air as it oscillates back and forth between the force of his foot and gravity. Ultimately it falls over, and its assured destruction is perhaps the film's most obvious parallel to Travis's own downward spiral. Teetering on the edge in his own mental illness and isolation, Travis is very much that TV set.