Brian Formo

Brian Formo

Patron

Favorite films

  • Mother Joan of the Angels
  • Looking for Langston
  • A Legend, or Was It?
  • The Cremator

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  • A History of Violence

    ★★★★½

  • Magnificent Obsession

    ★★★

  • Written on the Wind

    ★★★★½

  • All That Heaven Allows

    ★★★★★

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  • Deep Cover

    Deep Cover

    ★★★★½

    “Money doesn't know where it comes from, but I do. If I keep it, I'm a criminal. If I give it to the government, I'm a fool. If I try and do some good with it, maybe it just makes things worse.”

    Deep Cover starts and ends with blood money. Crumpled and ugly, handed over. Director Bill Duke and Laurence Fishburne, who plays an undercover cop, charge head first into a Deep State drug conspiracy. "Follow the money" is not…

  • Morvern Callar

    Morvern Callar

    ★★★★★

    Morvern Callar has one of the bleakest cold opens of any film. We see the titular woman (played by Samantha Morton), as she wakes up with her boyfriend dead from suicide on the floor and a computer screen that says "READ ME." The note instructs her to "be brave" and to send his novel to various publishers he's listed. That's the plot portion of the opening, before we even get there we lay with Morvern on the floor, her fingers…

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  • Happening

    Happening

    ★★★★

    Very effective, particularly the division in the female friendships and the secrets they each keep. So much tension from pauses and attempting to not make a sound or to say the wrong thing. Nice touches with the firemen pursuit as well. As for the sadly once-again topical nature Holy rags. Holy rage.

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley

    The Talented Mr. Ripley

    ★★★★

    Peeping Tom. I’ve not watched this in ages and can see some shards of reflection back.

    I’ve always enjoyed this for the tension, getups, and absolutely stacked cast. I realize now that what I like most about it is it’s basically Edith Wharton with murder. Social class dissections, new American money, an imposter amongst it, and desire to be seen by someone in it is all consuming. Both Tom and Dickie seem borderline or at least prone to mania, Tom…

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  • Last Night in Soho

    Last Night in Soho

    Last Night in Soho is an atrociously plotted attempt at reclaiming the giallo as a "good for her" meme. Anchoring two time periods, there's a horribly scripted romantic subplot at a fashion design university (in modern day London) and a woefully underused Anya Taylor-Joy, as a woman who desires to be a nightclub singer (in 1960s London). The haunted-flat portal connection between the two stories is a just-go-with-it approach that would be easier to swallow if it leaned more into…

  • X

    X

    ★★

    X looks great. It has the 70s look and feel down pat. And Brittany Snow is aces.

    Its thematic premise — that porno and horror films are kind of similar in that the audience just wants to "get to the good stuff" and "the good stuff" in both are a vice: the kills, the position or nude star that you like, story or intro be damned! — is academically intriguing. Ti West's film within-a-film about the making of a porno…