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  • It

    It

    ★★

    Like a typical YA franchise installment, this is one of blockbusters that slips from memory and the conversation pretty quickly. The Stand by Me teen element is fine but the jump scare horror is thoroughly depleted by the time It drags its way to its climax. Slipping in a reference to A Nightmare on Elm Street wasn't the best idea; the material is basically an elephantine repurposing of that series' excellent third installment. That said I might have loved It…

  • mother!

    mother!

    ★★★

    If satire is what closes on Saturday night, then allegory is what dies on Monday morning. I preferred the earlier, Polanski meets BURNT OFFERINGS and THE MONEY PIT stretches best, which are bracingly funny and beautifully acted. Unlike BLACK SWAN, which had one foot uncomfortably in realism, this one can run amuck with grotesque fabulism, not in a direction I was necessarily thrilled with (one wild party would have been enough) but it's very much its own organic, messy thing. With Stephen McHattie at his McHattiest. Richard Brody provided the best criticsplaining I've read: www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/mother-darren-aronofskys-thrilling-horrifying-nearly-unbelievable-satire-of-fame

    (Viewed at the Village East Cinemas.)

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  • Saint Jack

    Saint Jack

    ★★★★★

    A cable favorite in my teens, finally available in a good quality DVD, anamorphically enhanced at last. (Why no Blu-ray?) Its frank, febrile atmosphere is one of those things that got me to Asia, though Singapore was a disappointingly authoritarian place by the time I got there. There's nothing disappointing about the film, though, Bogdanovich's return to movies after a string of flops, a Paul Theroux adaptation made with a dummy script to fool the authorities into thinking it was…

  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle

    The Friends of Eddie Coyle

    ★★★★★

    A neo-noir masterpiece. That said, if you own Criterion's DVD, there's little need to upgrade to Blu, as the image quality is only a modest HD improvement (it's a well-shot film but intentionally drab) and the extras (director commentary, stills gallery showing some deleted scenes, and booklets) are the same. A must-see in either format, however.