RSS feed for MaxwellZ

Favorite films

Recent activity

All

Recent reviews

More
  • Hard Eight

    Hard Eight

    It’s a strangely comforting realization that our greatest living filmmaker – the king of cinema kings, heir to Kubrick and Welles! – made a pretty awful first movie. I was expecting an average movie, but I was unprepared for how truly bad Hard Eight is. There are barely hints of the visceral, rambling Altman-meets-Scorsese mise-en-scène that would characterize his next two films, let alone clues that he would become the most ambitious and distinctive filmmaker of his generation. The camera…

  • Starman

    Starman

    Carpenter in a minor, more mainstream key, nevertheless suffusing a Spielbergian screenplay with something more melancholic. Carpenter is less adept, however, at balancing the A narrative with the more prosaic B plot involving Charles Martin Smith's alien geek. And as emotionally satisfying as Allen's pivot scene is, the romance would've been richer if she'd stopped trying to run away from him much sooner.

    Starman never quite hammers home the ideas it hints at - the Bridges alien's newfound longing, and…

Popular reviews

More
  • Children of Men

    Children of Men

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    "As the sound of the playgrounds faded, the despair set in. Very odd what happens in a world without children's voices. I was there at the end."
    "Now you're gonna be there at the beginning."

    Children of Men is undoubtedly a great film. Not because of the sci-fi world created, which is among the most haunting and complex post-apocalyptic murals painted. Not because of the premise, which finds earth infertile and uncaring. Not even because of the film's technical mastery,…

  • American Beauty

    American Beauty

    It begins with the voice over of a dead man. If you recall, Billy Wilder’s black comic masterpiece Sunset Blvd. also begins with narration courtesy of a corpse. Like William Holden and Gloria Swanson in American Beauty‘s cinematic ancestor, the film finds the flailing suburban bore Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) dangerously mismatched with the manic energy of his ambitious but quickly aging wife Carolyn (Annette Bening). As we’ve been told, their marriage will lead to murder, but we realize that…