Favorite films

  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
  • American Beauty
  • Mauvais Sang
  • The Seventh Seal

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  • Railroaded!

    ★★★

  • King of the Children

    ★★★★

  • One on Top of the Other

    ★★★½

  • The Pajama Game

    ★★★

Recent reviews

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  • Railroaded!

    Railroaded!

    ★★★

    A formulaic gangster movie of the sort churned out by Poverty Row studio PRC but elevated by the direction of Anthony Mann (who spent time there and at Republic before moving on to "A" studios). Also, a strong performance by John Ireland as a nasty amoral villain with a penchant for smacking and coldly killing women.

    The story's not original - innocent man framed for a murder - although it apparently was (loosely) inspired by the same real-life case that…

  • King of the Children

    King of the Children

    ★★★★

    2022 Asian Cinema Challenge

    Week 20 - Chinese Cinema: The Fifth Generation

    Chen Kaige's third feature film and set during the Cultural Revolution, this combines the story of a "sent down youth" (young people forced to work as laborers in the countryside) with the familiar story of a young teacher inspiring and changing the lives of his students. Chen shines a critical window on the rigid ideological methods of the Communist Party and also the hard lives and poverty of…

Popular reviews

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  • The Power of the Dog

    The Power of the Dog

    ★★★½

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

    I know I'm going to be an outlier here. In many ways I was awed by Jane Campion's masterful unpacking of masculinity, gender, homosexuality, repressed desire and psychosexual conflicts - both within and between her characters - in 1920s Montana that still evokes the Old West. This didn't surprise me because she's such an accomplished filmmaker. The cinematography blew me away, as well as the score. But something about her portrayal of a man tortured and in many ways damaged…

  • The Card Counter

    The Card Counter

    ★★½

    Disappointing new feature by Paul Schrader. A slow - make that really slow - burn that's set in casinos but not really a gambling film, and a revenge/redemption thriller that's not that tense or suspenseful. To me, it was primarily a character study of a damaged man but how he's presented is hard to understand (Schrader wrote the script too). I had really wanted more for this but more was not forthcoming.

    The best thing about it is Oscar Isaac,…