Favorite films

  • High School
  • We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest
  • Homeroom
  • At Berkeley

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  • Dune

    ★★★

  • The Last Duel

    ★★★½

  • Phantasm

    ★★★★

  • Def by Temptation

    ★★★★★

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  • Def by Temptation

    Def by Temptation

    ★★★★★

    Def by Temptation is the hands-down surprise masterpiece of this year’s October horror watches. It’s astounding that James Bond III never helmed another film, considering the impeccable instincts as both a writer and director he shows here, pulling off a nearly impossible mix of tones and narrative twists with panache*. What other horror movies are this funny, suspenseful, sexy, and grounded in a rich and honest emotional vibrancy? It really is the freshest and most exciting horror movie I’ve seen in years.…

  • Dreams

    Dreams

    ★★★★½

    February 13 is the anniversary of the first movie my girlfriend and I watched together—Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams. This was three years ago now, and we weren’t really dating at the time, but since then, our life together has blossomed and grown, and I really can’t express how wonderful it’s been. I think some small part of our current happiness goes back to this movie, which we’ve both laughed about: Dreams, with its unconventional structure and themes of death, is a bold…

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  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★

    Desert power.

    As the rush of the spectacle wears off, I’m disappointed to realize that, while it makes a valiant effort to be worthy of all the space and time it takes up, Dune is empty of anything that truly matters. It’s a movie about family, but also a movie without a heart; a movie about religion, but one without spirituality; a movie about dreams, but one without introspection; a movie about politics, but one without an opinion. (It’s also a movie…

  • The Last Duel

    The Last Duel

    ★★★½

    This is a 2-star script in a 5-star font with a handful of 8-star performances* in it. Thank God the titular duel held up.

    *Alex Lawther, Ben Affleck, Jodie Comer—in that order.

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