Favorite films

  • Shanghai Express
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
  • Faces Places

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  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    ★★½

  • Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge

    ★★

  • Snowden

    ★★½

  • 93 Days

    ★★½

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  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    1964's RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER is a bit better than 1979's CHRISTMAS IN JULY, in terms of dumb Rankin-Bass dustiness, but just barely. Instead of piling on oddities like Old Winterbolt and Lady Boreal in some bizarre July thing (and using Mickey Rooney, Ethel Merman, Red Buttons, etc.), we can relax, relatively, in December for just 50 mins or so and in Burl Ives performing the title song and in some stuff with Hermey the elf-dentist and Yukon Cornelius the…

  • Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge

    Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge

    I was a little hard on the original with my 1.5, I guess, but it was just uncomfortably close to the unforgivably wretched HOCUS POCUS, I think. This first sequel improves on it in a small way. It reminds me first of all of the LEPRECHAUN franchise: baldly terrible thin cracks that nevertheless modestly charm. Thinner than TEEN WITCH it all is, much worse than KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE, but for floppy, TV-level kiddie stuff it's not bad.

    The wisecracking younger…

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  • Fanny and Alexander

    Fanny and Alexander

    Maybe it's because I watched the 3-hour version and not the 5-hour one, but it surprises me that Fanny hardly appears in the film at all... and Alexander is central, but not dominant in the least. Odd that something titled with two characters' names would hardly feature those characters at all. Regardless, this is a great piece of art, hefty and extensive but never overwhelming.

    It surveys a privileged Swedish family, the Ekdahls, as they work through the unhappiness following…

  • All About Steve

    All About Steve

    ★★★★½

    Profoundly misunderstood and underrated! My God, I cannot believe some of the negative reviews this received. The relentless and psychotic quirk that it wears is brainy and hit-or-miss, but the humor is legitimate and fun and (mostly) quite flexible in hitting all the nooks and crannies of its syrupy, Thoreauvian screenplay.

    If more mid-budget pop movies were this insanely smart and bold -- and if Sandra Bullock continued being a creepy obsessive (delivering weird, no-holds-barred hilarity within a colorful, wacked-out story) rather than the normal, bland leading-lady roles she seems to prize -- then the world might not be such a stupid and tasteless place.