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  • Maverick



    The best thing that can be said for Richard Donner’s Maverick is that television becomes cinema in a visual sense. Vilmos Zsigmond’s ‘scope frames feel effortless in their playful incorporation of scale into an otherwise suffocated production that features Donner’s typically nondescript direction and Randy Newman’s unimaginative score, which has that horrendous orchestral swell that plagues many period pieces from the era. Sure, one could claim to get lost in the cast’s amiable performances as evidence enough of the film’s…

  • The Body Snatcher

    The Body Snatcher


    Robert Wise’s The Body Snatcher thrives on dramatizing how individual responsibility functions within a larger chain of command. Though the film is set in late-19th-century Edinburgh, the dilemmas faced by medical student Donald Fettes (Russell Wade) are in lockstep with the global catastrophe of World War II, as Fettes struggles to determine whether or not he should obey the unorthodox commands of his mentor, Dr. “Toddy” MacFarlane (Henry Daniell). MacFarlane employs the graverobber John Gray (Boris Karloff) to deliver corpses…

Popular reviews

  • La La Land

    La La Land

    Please allow the candor of my passions a forum without preemptive judgment.

    The “post-racial mystique”, as Catherine Squires calls it, need not be found in cases where racial recognition unexpectedly springs to the surface. On the contrary, the very concept of being “post-racial” means that race does not factor into discussions regarding politics or the polity, because the urgency of those conversations have been lessened or even permanently quelled. Accordingly, depictions of history, especially those guided by nostalgia and longing…

  • Uncut Gems

    Uncut Gems


    “Colon cancer just paid for my house in the Hamptons.”

    That the Safdies perceive the fundamental exploitation of capitalism as the fulcrum for their sui generis screwball tragedy is evident in how each character fits into an overlapping food chain of ambition and means. If Good Time found in Connie Nikas a small-time schemer and sociopath incapable of thinking past a score involving his immediate surroundings, Uncut Gems interlocks a multitude of globetrotting enterprises (mining, medicine, merchants, and the NBA)…