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  • A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born

    ★★★★

    A STAR IS BORN lives or dies on the chemistry between its two leads, no matter how tumultuous their relationship may be. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga both deliver on that front and deserve all the acclaim that is coming their way. But what elevates this above its 1976 predecessor (I have not seen the 1937 or 1954 versions) is the supporting cast. Each of these roles, whether it's Sam Elliot as Cooper's brother or Andrew Dyce Clay as Gaga's…

  • Bad Times at the El Royale

    Bad Times at the El Royale

    ★★★★

    BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE is an overlong and indulgent riff on the early films of Tarantino (it's basically THE HATEFUL EIGHT filtered through PULP FICTION's nonlinear storytelling) and all the knock-offs that followed in the late 90's... and I kind of loved it? Or at least, I loved spending time *in* it. The film has its problems -- most notably in the way like it feels its careening towards some kind of conclusion, only to end it all…

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  • Bone Tomahawk

    Bone Tomahawk

    ★★★

    It seems that over the past few decades, we've lost the B-movie. Most genre films that would've fit the bill have now become $100 million blockbusters, while the rest of them have been downgraded to z-level schlock on the DVD shelf, leading to a common misuse of the phrase. So it's refreshing to see a film like BONE TOMAHAWK that fits the technical definition of a B-movie, embracing and making the most of its low budget.

    The best B-movies live…

  • The Others

    The Others

    ★★★★★

    THE OTHERS is timeless. Looking at scenes out of context, I'd be hard pressed to pinpoint exactly what year it was released. It could be 2001 as well as it could be 1971 or even 1941. The period setting, shrouded in a seemingly eternal fog, helps in this regard. But the filmmaking is really what sells this effect, with writer/director (and composer!) Alejandro Amenábar employing elaborate camera moves and old fashioned dissolves to move us around the house, eschewing any techniques that might be found in a modern horror film, with even his score feeling like it was plucked from a different time.