Favorite films

  • The Thing
  • Heat
  • Rio Bravo
  • Tokyo Drifter

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  • Night of the Juggler

    ★★★★

  • The Black Phone

    ★★★★

  • The Big Chill

    ★★★★

  • Broadcast News

    ★★★★½

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  • The Dead Zone

    The Dead Zone

    ★★★★

    The Dead Zone looks like a Cronenberg-directed film, but it does not feel like one per se. It feels like a carefully adapted Stephen King story, which it is to its credit, in ways many others fail to accomplish. It’s unsurprising that this is generally overshadowed by some other fantastic entries in Cronenberg’s outrageously deep filmography (something I’ve always believed of John Carpenter’s Christine), especially given that this was bookended by Videodrome and The Fly. It could be written off…

  • Vigilante

    Vigilante

    ★★★★

    Thinking of Vigilante simply as Lustig’s Death Wish is simultaneously complimentary and reductive. You cannot deny the similar nihilistic themes of urban decay, failed sociopolitical systems and the good-man-turned-vengeful-murderer through-line. This could be recency bias, but I think Vigilante might be better. The one-two punch of Robert Forster and Fred Williamson brings more to the table. Frankly, I think there is more substance to the craft of Vigilante that elevates it from familiar, cheap exploitation to pure cinema. And amidst that, it delivers such entertaining vigilante justice and violent action. After all, this is the guy that brought you Maniac, he gets it.

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  • Night of the Juggler

    Night of the Juggler

    ★★★★

    Someone get this thing on Blu-ray! 

    So gritty and tangibly dangerous in a way only sleazy New York films of the era can feel. Brolin is a lion. The world, the script, and the characters are certifiably insane. Despite how unflinchingly rough and honest it is in its racism and anger, there is a genuine comment worth listening to on gentrification in the city. And somehow it maintains a sort of sense of humour in the first two thirds, mostly thanks to an excellent performance from Castellano.

  • The Black Phone

    The Black Phone

    ★★★★

    A great watch, lots of Joe Hill YA energy and boundary-crossing courtesy of Derrickson and Cargill. The child performances are fantastic. Ethan Hawke is suitably creepy, even if (understandably, creatively) underused.

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  • Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    ★★★★★

    TIFF 2021

    A profoundly moving film about grief, regret, and a Saab 900 Turbo, exploring the understanding of one’s self before it is possible to thoroughly engage with another. 

    I’ll be honest here. It’s late. I’m drained. I feel like I’ll ramble while processing the film. Please forgive the word salad that may follow. 

    This Ryusuke Hamaguchi visualization of the Haruki Murakami short story that sees its characters tackle Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya is tied together by the curious choice…

  • The Conjuring

    The Conjuring

    ★★★★

    Alright, horror-leaning cinephiles. You can get all barred up over Aster and Eggers as modern masters of horror. But James Wan has been delivering horror movies the way you think you remember them being for a while now. The Conjuring is popcorn studio horror at its finest, and sometimes (read: most times) that’s all I’m looking for. Wan is the George Washington and Abraham Lincoln of my 21st century horror Mt. Rushmore.