Michael

Independent writer/director, originally from West Philadelphia, PA.

Favorite films

  • Blue Velvet
  • Love Letter
  • Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Recent activity

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  • Omelette

  • A Summer Solstice Story

  • The Devils

    ★★★★

  • The Grifters

    ★½

Recent reviews

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  • The Devils

    The Devils

    ★★★★

    Pretty arresting in composition and general vision of the disturbed decorum of repression. Never really delved into Russell before (aside from Crimes of Passion which may have been too much and too vulgar for me at the time) but with an entirely complicit and worthy adversary to react to, he's propulsive and rightfully angered about the haughty veil around religion's cruelty. A takedown in incredible settings of the most supposed sanctimony, and a dark comedy about how performance, even in…

  • The Grifters

    The Grifters

    ★½

    "I've wanted to learn grifting after I saw 1990’s The Grifters featuring John Cusack, Anjelica Huston, and almost no grifting." - Abed Nadir

    Really squanders a decently fun setup full of Mamet-ian con details that we gather after the fact and a general world of potential avenues of grifting explorations by abandoning it for an internal plot that's supposedly character-based. Except its unauthentic and empty narrative quickly reveals the actors were doing a lot more heavy lifting than expected. The…

Popular reviews

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    The introduction sets the thesis relatively, if a little thinly, well: an old-school Hollywood intro bleeds into the sounds of a modern LA traffic jam which then flightly goes into a musical and dance number where the various members of the traffic jam sing and express themselves in movement to suggest they are more than their trappings. It is the fantasy element of film giving way to the real doldrums of life, then finding solace in fantasy, which is the…

  • The Spectacular Now

    The Spectacular Now

    Combining and, in fact, magnifying the lame charting of addiction and relationship woes of Ponsoldt's previous film Smashed and the "always teetering on the edge of narcissistic angry white male privilege" symptoms of the writers' previous film 500 Days of Summer, The Spectacular Now arrives at one of the most embarrassingly thin and inept character pieces in recent history, a coming-of-age in which no one grows up and it could be argued in fact became more infantile as it buys…