Favorite films

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • The 400 Blows
  • East of Eden
  • Across the Universe

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  • Elvis

    ★★★½

  • L.A.: A Queer History

    ★★★★

  • Bo Burnham: The Inside Outtakes

    ★★★★½

  • Downton Abbey: A New Era

    ★★★½

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  • Elvis

    Elvis

    ★★★½

    This biopic is a typical, stylish, overwrought musical joint from Aussi auteur Baz Luhrmann about an American icon, Elvis Presley (an eerily realistic Austin Butler who got the pelvic gyrations exactly right), told through the narrative eyes of his con-man handler Colonel Parker (an amazingly brave, over-the-top, villainous performance by Tom Hanks in a fat suit). It is also somewhat racially non-historic...a view of mid-20th century U.S. through the eyes of an Australian film auteur with a vivid visual flair…

  • Bo Burnham: The Inside Outtakes

    Bo Burnham: The Inside Outtakes

    ★★★★½

    Arguably the greatest work of art to come out of the covid pandemic sequester was a Netflix special called "Inside", the solipsistic creation of a talented polymath (singer, songwriter, actor, comedian, artist, film maker, editor: a crazed combination of Tom Lehrer, Victor Borge, Frank Zappa and George Lucas) named Bo Burnham. Last weekend he dropped onto YouTube an hour-long collection of inside-outtakes edited from his year of crazed creativity alone in his room. And it is funny and fun and clever beyond words. When it comes to comedy I'm a hard sell; but I laughed my ass off and it felt good.

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  • El Topo

    El Topo

    ★★★★★

    The New York Times contacted me today for background about my review of El Topo that was published in the L.A. Free Press on April 23, 1971. They provided me with a scan of the article, and I'm reposting it here. Maybe 43 years later its verbiage is a little embarrassing; but I stand by what I wrote back then. How often do we get an opportunity to view what we thought about films through the prism of the far…

  • Joy

    Joy

    ★½

    David O. Russell's popularity and reputation for enlightened whimsy eludes me. I can't blame the actors in what has become his "stock company" for my dislike of this film. Rather it must be Russell's mechanistic, by-the-numbers script filled with neurotic characters acting nonsensically. I know I'm out of step with audiences here; so forget that I ever tried to review this film.