Favorite films

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Recent reviews

  • Prime Cut

    Prime Cut


    Add this to my list of favorite 1970 films. It's a Chicago gang story (some great Chicago scenes in the first few minutes) but set mostly in Kansas cattle slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants. Some of the footage of the slaughterhouse is brutally amazing and other scenes (such as the young girls in animal pens available for "rental") might not make it past the cutting room today. One of the best bits of filming is a crazy wheatfield chase where a…

  • Elle



    This French film directed by Paul Verhoeven stars the magnificent actor Isabelle Huppert, who often plays women in dicey situations (as in Ma Mere and The Piano Teacher). Her performance here is fine as the highly sexualized and manipulative business executive. To me this was a troubling film at times with some violent scenes of sexual assault.

Popular reviews

  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

    Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)


    I first saw Birdman at the Chicago International Film Festival and then a month or so later at the same theater. I'm still thinking about this very creative piece of filmmaking. Is it the film of the year? Maybe. It's an hypnotic film, partly because of the amazing cinematography. I loved all the long tracking shots following actors down the backstage corridors of old theaters, mainly the St. James Theatre on 44th Street. Actually, it was probably the backstage theater…

  • The General

    The General


    I think The General (78 minutes) is the best of Keaton's films. The film (adapted from a book titled The Great Locomotive Chase by William Pittenger) is set in the South during the Civil War and Keaton is Johnnie Gray, a railroad engineer in love with Annabelle Lee. He wants to enlist, but is rejected, and ends up being a daring hero as the engineer of the Confederate train (titled General) that helps prevent the Northern Army’s supply trains from…