Favorite films

  • Vertigo
  • Manhattan
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

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  • The Black Phone

    ★★½

  • Swallowed

    ★★★½

  • Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon

    ★★★

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★½

Recent reviews

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  • The Black Phone

    The Black Phone

    ★★½

    Flows well enough that it’s watchable, but it’s also questionable on so many levels. The dual-layered supernatural elements struck me as plainly bad writing and the efforts to frame this story as a boy’s discovery of his manhood made me more queasy than any of the horror elements. Still, there’s satisfaction to be had in some of the MacGyver-esque elements once the film becomes an escape room game and I’m always game for a James Ransone performance.

  • Swallowed

    Swallowed

    ★★★½

    Surprise feature-length spin-off to Smith’s excellent short Bugcrush, with two men having a nightmarish drug mule experience. It is only glancingly a horror film, but it expertly builds tension as the stakes continue to escalate. A memorable villainous turn from Mark Patton, to boot.

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  • Vertigo

    Vertigo

    ★★★★★

    Hitchcock’s masterwork, better than any other, reminds us of two truisms of cinema: to look is to remember and to remember is to impose. The hypnotic spirals that haunt every facet of the visual design and even the trademark dolly zoom effect take us deeper into the image, to the point that it threatens to swallow us, much as the past threatens to engulf Scottie. Of course these geometrical chasms are metaphorically vaginal, making Vertigo the great masterpiece about sexual…

  • Infinite Football

    Infinite Football

    ★★★★

    A gentle reminder that Romanian New Wave filmmakers have given us several of the best comedies of recent years, Porumboiu’s sly documentary Infinite Foodball is a subtly profound and deeply ironic look at one sad sack’s attempts to funnel his life’s disappointments (a shin injury, a dull job, repeated failures to secure a work visa, etc…) into changes in the rules of soccer. An existential meditation in the guise of an episode of Nathan for You, this unique film sees…