(a bow-legged curmudgeon with a heart of gold who loves movies)
A truly remarkable feat of filmmaking that is still so funny and charming after almost 100 years, there is a reason Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. has been called the perfect 45 minute film. With incredibly natural and modern performances from not only Buster himself but the entire supporting cast, the film feels decades ahead of its time. There are proto-Loony Toons bits/gags and comedic moments that hold up and are still genuinely funny, and Buster's unwavering commitment to the bit…
Wes Anderson's newest film Asteroid City is a funny and heartfelt exploration of grief, loss, and the director's own unique and complex relationship with audience expectation.
The main story is set in a colorful and kitschy desert town in 1955 where an award ceremony for precocious youngsters is interrupted by a series of fantastical and otherworldly circumstances.
Wes Anderson plays with multiple visual styles and genres in Asteroid City, frequently alternating between black and white and vivid color(shot with natural…
Sebastián Silva's horny and hilarious bad trip Rotting in the Sun is a wonderfully explicit and extremely dark meta comedy starring J.T. Firstman and Sebastián Silva as heightened versions of themselves on vacation in Mexico. Silva and Firstman are terrific together and Catalina Saavedra is absolutely brilliant as Silva's quiet and determined maid Vero(the true main character of the film). Its a frequently shocking and unexpectedly profound story about depression, celebrity obsession, and personal responsibility that's filled with tastefully graphic sex and drug use, pitch-black humor, and some truly excellent and Oscar-worthy performances.
William Friedkin's To Live and Die in L.A. is a stylish and sun-drenched neo-noir thriller starring William Petersen as a sociopathic Secret Service agent obsessed with catching a professional counterfeiter and murderer played by Willem DaFoe. Peterson is terrifically unhinged as the reckless and ultra-obsessed agent and young Willem DaFoe is perfectly restrained as the elusive and stone-cold counterfeiter. Its a fun and violent ride filled with unexpected twists and turns and features an incredible soundtrack by legendary 80s band Wang Chung that I will be purchasing on vinyl as soon as I finish writing this review.
Michael Mann's phenomenal first feature Thief is a gritty, neon-soaked heist classic starring the great James Caan as Frank, a tough as nails ex-con diamond thief who is very good at being a criminal and pretty terrible at almost everything else. Its filled with terrific action and satisfying heist sequences and builds to an intense and explosive climax that is super cathartic and so badass. Tangerine Dream provides the perfectly moody synth score and Willie Nelson gives a brief but surprisingly beautiful performance as Frank's sick prison buddy and mentor Okla.
William Friedkin's The French Connection is a filthy, fast-paced and ultra gritty neo-noir crime thriller starring Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider as two hardboiled NYPD narcotics detectives on the case of an elusive heroin-smuggling French kingpin. Friedkin's New York is a dirty and violent place filled with burning trash and broken people and provides a perfect backdrop for this intense and nihilistic 70s classic. It has great performances, amazing practical effects, and some truly thrilling and badass high-speed car chases that hold up so well they gave me actual goosebumps.