RSS feed for inessentials

Favorite films

Recent activity


Recent reviews

  • Catch Me If You Can

    Catch Me If You Can


    The script is dead weight, which Spielberg manages to overcome only once Frank Jr. leaves home. The opening 20 minutes is so clunky in its attempt to answer a question we have no reason to ask yet (why does Frank Jr. do this?). The scene with Frank Sr. later (“Tell me to stop.”) does this work more subtly, movingly, and efficiently than a dozen earlier scenes.

    DiCaprio gives one of his best performances, discovering his charm and letting the instability…

  • (500) Days of Summer

    (500) Days of Summer


    It suffers from being too tightly tied to a single character’s perspective, where that character is a mildly irritating, sad-sack, white boy who thinks his mainstream tastes in music make him interesting. JGL’s performance is charming enough to (mostly) ignore this, but the film is so committed to his banal delusions that ZD’s Summer is never given life beyond the bits constructed for Brian and the audience. 5KDOS’s attempted whimsy is far too controlled and planned to feel authentic. (What…

Popular reviews

  • Certified Copy

    Certified Copy


    Second viewing confirms this is among the handful of films I'd consider my all-time favorites. Everything I want in a film is here. (Well, I could use a chase scene with a car explosion, I guess.)

    What's the movie about? It's about an hour and forty-five minutes.

    An hour and forty-five minutes of dizzying, glorious, beautiful starts and stops, ideas and emotions, reality and fiction, truth and lies, beauty and deceit. AK demands our attention, but doesn't mind if we…

  • The Social Network

    The Social Network


    Aaron Sorkin demands that at each moment you recognize exactly how intelligent he is. Every turn of phrase, overlapped sentence, and twist in the argument screams to be heard as written by Aaron Sorkin. The obvious problem with wanting people to know just how intelligent you are is that people will find out just how intelligent you are. One surmises that everything Sorkin has contemplated in relation to technology, online/offline, class, social hierarchies, elitism is right there in the script,…