Favorite films

  • The Searchers
  • Ride the High Country
  • Farewell, My Lovely
  • The Tall T

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  • Scandal: The Trial of Mary Astor

    ★★★★½

  • The Quiet Man

    ★★★★★

  • Native Son

    ★★½

  • Cyrano

    ★★★

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  • Twogether

    Twogether

    Twogether (1992) Pretentious, artsy-fartsy mess, overlong, overwrought, self-important and pretty broadly acted except for Brenda Bakke and Jeremy Piven. Wretched. I’ve got fourth billing.

  • Dune

    Dune

    It took many years, but I finally found a science-fiction movie I hated worse than Star Wars. This pseudo-mythic melange of Islamic-Gaelic-Hebrew-Christian nomenclature and ponderous Sir Gawainish “dialog” has virtually no intelligible story beyond the barest framework of presumably good guys in conflict with assortments of monosyllabic bad guys. No effort is evident in making the characters identifiable humans one could connect with emotionally (although Jason Momoa, through force of personality, comes close). It’s all sci-fi fanboy wanking, with all…

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  • The Tragedy of Macbeth

    The Tragedy of Macbeth

    ★★★

    If you can’t speak the verse, why the hell are you attempting Shakespeare? A gorgeous visual experiment that leaves the passion of Shakespeare’s most dynamic of tragedies lying cold on the colorless marble of Glamis castle. Kathryn Hunter as the three witches and Stephen Root as the porter are volcanoes of life, but everything else is as barren as the sets. Denzel Washington’s face conveys remarkable depth of thought, but his delivery of some of the most intense lines in…

  • The Winslow Boy

    The Winslow Boy

    ★★½

    Seeing this almost back to back with the 1948 version left me astonished at how flat David Mamet was able to make this story. It is a story about repressed passion, but Mamet manages to delete rather than dilute the passion. He’s left us with a fascinating situation which never catches fire. Jeremy Northam is quite good in the old Robert Donat part. But Nigel Hawthorne comes off as mildly displeased as the father who risks everything to prove his…