Favorite films

  • North by Northwest
  • Being John Malkovich
  • The Time to Live and the Time to Die
  • His Girl Friday

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All
  • Pleasure

    ★★★

  • Happening

    ★★★★

  • Last Tango in Paris

    ★★★★½

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★

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  • Pleasure

    Pleasure

    ★★★

    This is a great look at the less sleazy-in-business-practices but more extreme-in-content modern-day porn industry while starring many contemporary porn actors. However, the first hour is an unfocused, meandering look at how Swedish Bella Cherry tries to break into the business in Los Angeles. The second half is better as conflict is finally introduced and Bella grapples with the degradations set upon her and how those change her. Sofia Kappel and Chris Cock are great. Far less so is the very annoying soundtrack of church chants.

  • Last Tango in Paris

    Last Tango in Paris

    ★★★★½

    Third viewing. There are moments in which Bertolucci’s direction and Storaro’s visuals are so very beautiful, but there are also moments when Bertolucci and Brando confuse histrionics with profundity. That said, Brando gives one of his most powerful and vulnerable performances here, and even though he overacts at times, its influence on directors and other actors has been vast. Despite the trauma she experienced on the film and after, Maria Schneider, giving a very different performance, is a great counterpoint to Brando. Alternately playful, curious, distraught, and angry, she is the life in the movie that his character’s rot tries to drag down.

Popular reviews

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  • Lady Bird

    Lady Bird

    ★★★

    I'm not sure why "Lady Bird" is getting so much acclaim from critics except that Greta Gerwig is an indie film darling. It's got all the clichés of the coming of age film except they're presented with quirkiness clearly derived from Noah Baumbach and Whit Stillman; only the film is trying too hard to look like it's not trying too hard. We get mother-daughter dysfunction, boyfriend problems, the yearning to get out of a bland city, the protagonist leaving the…

  • Black Panther

    Black Panther

    ★★★

    Black Panther is notable for being by far the biggest budgeted black superhero film ($200 million) up to this point in time and the first in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, its 18th film. It is thematically interesting, looking at the tug between moral duties to one's own country when it clashes with moral obligations to the rest of the world. The issues are topical, weighing isolationism against helping other countries, and the movie expectedly comes out on the anti-Trumpian side.…