Favorite films

  • Malcolm X
  • The Piano Teacher
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Matrix

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  • GoodFellas

    ★★★★★

  • The Departed

    ★★★★½

  • Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

  • Coco

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  • The Black Phone

    The Black Phone

    ★★★★

    The best part of The Black Phone, even better than the story and horror elements, is the awareness that every victim, real and fictional, is a person with a life, family, and emotions. This sensitivity is lost on many horror movies, which sometimes treat their victims like the creations of an evil god. Derrickson and company definitely avoid that pitfall, properly demonstrating the importance of horror movie characters beyond just being fodder for the villains. As such, getting great performances out of mostly child actors was a necessity here, and that was the second most successful element of the film.

  • Mad God

    Mad God

    ★★★★½

    I’ve hardly ever seen such a demented vision come to life. Thoroughly engrossing nasty horror from beginning to end.

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  • GoodFellas

    GoodFellas

    ★★★★★

    Goodfellas is the best of its kind because it is both effortlessly watchable and brilliantly character-based filmmaking. The entertainment value is as visceral as how psychopathically disturbing it can be, all elevated by the input from the real-life story of Henry Hill. From every angle you look at it, from an intellectual to a base entertainment perspective and everything in between, Goodfellas is just plainly extraordinary.

  • The Departed

    The Departed

    ★★★★½

    This adaptation gets the Scorsese magic touch which improves on the source material in a way that feels both entirely its own and a signature part of Scorsese’s catalog.

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  • Paranormal Activity

    Paranormal Activity

    ★★★★

    I am completely shocked. I was convinced that I had seen this movie already, but obviously it must have been #2 or #3 or something. Whatever the other one, it was just “jump-scare!” over and over for the whole movie, but the source of the Paranormal Activity franchise is based in suspense which just ramps up constantly to the end with literally no overtly cinematic qualities and never seems like anything other than a home video. No effects, no budget, just a camera either handheld or sitting in one location.

    Watched on iPhone in the middle of the night, the way Oren no doubt intended.

  • Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

    Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

    Watching this again instead of Elvis (for now) thanks Jack White for your gift to humanity