Favorite films

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  • West Side Story
  • Sugar
  • Take Shelter

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  • West Side Story

    ★★★★★

  • Time and Tide

    ★★½

  • Fearless

    ★★★★

  • The Foreigner

    ★★

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  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★★★★

    2021 Ranked

    I’m lukewarm on the Robert Wise/Jerome Robbins film, but to say that Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner’s take on West Side Story blew me away is an understatement. Spielberg had been wanting to make a musical for a very long time, and it shows in every single frame of this. By making alterations from the 1961 film, the 2021 adaptation of West Side Story both stands on its own and largely improves on the original, resulting in yet…

  • Captain Marvel

    Captain Marvel

    ★★★★★

    2019 Ranked
    MCU Ranked

    Watched with commentary by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck. While not as great as their HALF NELSON commentary, this one was still very good and gave some fair insight into making the film, especially in regards to how much thought they put into the visualization, their aesthetic choices and how they fit the story, and it’s so refreshing to see directors on an MCU joint who clearly care about this kind of stuff when so many directors…

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  • Time and Tide

    Time and Tide

    ★★½

    Banger opening sequence that had me optimistic this would be an enthralling mix of great set-pieces and vibes, but I unfortunately had lots of difficultly getting engrossed in what followed.

  • Fearless

    Fearless

    ★★★★

    [Director's Cut]

    An imperfect yet beautifully crafted martial arts redemption story epic from Ronny Yu, with typically impressive fight choreography by Yuen Woo-ping. Doesn’t wholly escape the constraints that come with most biopics, but it does so more than enough to stand out. It certainly helps that Jet Li is one of our greatest action stars and martial artists, and this is one of his best showcases at that.

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  • In the Heights

    In the Heights

    ★½

    Remember when musicals used to be made by directors who knew how to shoot and stage them?

    Looks and feels far too artificial for it to work, as it is so easy to tell what was shot on location and what was shot on soundstage. It doesn’t help that the narrative and characters are already incredibly shallow in execution and the emotional beats are manufactured and unearned, but it doesn’t work as a musical either, given both the inept blocking/staging…

  • Malcolm & Marie

    Malcolm & Marie

    Sam Levinson directly to jail.

    It’s painfully obvious from the getgo that Levinson got ridiculously offended by one negative review for Assassination Nation (a film that, despite its many flaws, I found to be a relatively enjoyable work of genre schlock), so much that he made a student film with dialogue that feels like it were written by an Aaron Sorkin-wannabe and made John David Washingnton’s character a stand-in for himself, and that alone creates the problem of thinking he is…