Favorite films

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  • RoboCop
  • Until the End of the World
  • August in the Water

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  • The Long Goodbye

    ★★★★½

  • The Village

    ★★★½

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley

    ★★★★★

  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

    ★★★½

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  • Gran Torino

    Gran Torino

    ★★★½

    This was one of the last films I watched with my stepfather before he died of cancer and it ended up being kind of a perfect cinematic denouement for us. He was older than my mom, closer in age to Eastwood himself, and funny enough, grew up in the Polish enclave of Hamtramck, the city nested right next to Highland Park, where Gran Torino takes place. Even more, Eastwood's character in the film, Walt Kowalski, is Polish, just like my…

  • Night Moves

    Night Moves

    ★★★★½

    "Who's winning?"
    "Nobody. One side's just losing slower than the other."

    Night Moves personifies the pessimistic 1970s vibe of the very best neo noir features in its tone, characters, and narrative, while swapping the towering vistas and darkened streets of the city for a humid, almost suffocating southern atmosphere on the fringes of the Gulf coast. It's got a setup almost exactly like its genre compatriot from the prior year, Chinatown, with our downtrodden detective taking a job that will…

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  • The Long Goodbye

    The Long Goodbye

    ★★★★½

    I've finally worked my way back to the languid, laid back, labyrinthine neo noir that's stood like a mountain, casting a long shadow over so many of the films I adore: The Long Goodbye. Robert Altman's reincarnation of Philip Marlowe helped set the tone, along with Polanski's Chinatown and arguably Arthur Penn's Night Moves, for a new generation of noir. These movies took the pitch black fatalism of the genre's 1940s heyday and cranked up the knotty moral quandaries and…

  • The Village

    The Village

    ★★★½

    Revisiting The Village sixteen years after it released, I felt utterly baffled to remember how much venom and the movie was met with back in 2004. This may not be Shyamalan's best film, but it's his most assured, beautifully composed, confidently rendered work by a stretch.

    Every moment of it feels like a filmmaker at the top of his game doing exactly what he wants, knowing full well he isn't crafting a crowd-pleaser but something altogether more quiet and poignant.…

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  • Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza

    ★★★★★

    Licorice Pizza felt so low-key, so chill, such a perfect hangout experience that I was beginning to think it might be a bit too slight to stand up with my favorite Paul Thomas Anderson movies. I'm most hooked on the hard stuff, the grandiose emotional catharsis of Magnolia or the hypnotizing psychological deep dive of The Master, though I'll admit I like everything he's made and love most of it to one extent or another.

    But after he gave us…

  • The Green Knight

    The Green Knight

    ★★★★½

    I'm going to admit this right up front: I did not know what to think of The Green Knight when it ended. I felt enthralled and beguiled, totally sucked in for the duration of the film, yet when the credits rolled I simply had no clue how, in my heart, I really felt about the experience.

    It's a testament to the magic on screen that I was compelled to watch it all over again just a couple days later, alone…