Favorite films

  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Once Upon a Time in the West
  • The Wild Bunch
  • Miller's Crossing

Recent activity

  • V: The Final Battle

  • V

  • 64,000,000 Years Ago

  • The Commuter

Pinned reviews

  • Magnolia


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

    (Note: this is more of a personal essay than a review, but for me, with this particular film, that’s probably unavoidable.)

    According to my 1999 journal, my entire reaction to Magnolia—my 376th theatrical screening of the year—was: “Great fucking film. Three fucking hours. Not actually sure why it’s called Magnolia.”

    I didn’t know it at the time, but the film had its hooks in me. Just over two weeks later, as 1999 rolled over into 2000 and the digital plague…

  • Atomic Blonde

    Atomic Blonde

    We see as through a CRT, darkly, the fragility and absurd dignity of the naked human form, with transiently-conscious meatsacks numbing pain with alternating ice and fire as they shamble toward arbitrary goals. Briefly, magically ambulatory, then suddenly, permanently still.

    Time-capsule plotting, endlessly and needlessly Byzantine. Betrayal leading to revelation leading fractally to a new cycle as we try to ignore that there is nothing inside the final matryoshka doll, and never was. There is no satisfying end to the…

Recent reviews

  • V: The Final Battle

    V: The Final Battle

    Look, filmmaking and TV are collaborative media, and auteur theory is more or less bullshit as anything but shorthand, but it’s hard not to raise a worried eyebrow when the direct follow-up to V, a phenomenon which aired only a year previously, has a credit block like this:

    Teleplay by
    Brian Taggert and Peggy Goldman

    Story by
    Lillian Weezer & Peggy Goldman & Faustus Buck & Diane Frolov and Harry & Renee Longstreet

    Created by
    Kenneth Johnson

    Directed by
    Richard T. Heffron

    When the…

  • V


    The original miniseries was An Event and (in modern terms) memetic even if, like me, you were five years old and didn't actually see it air at the time. It plays the tropes straight but isn't afraid to seek the humor in a first-contact scenario mediated through global video culture: of course the local high school marching band would greet The Visitors with the main theme from Star Wars.

    The creeping-fascism allegory is as subtle as a pamphlet wrapped around…

Popular reviews

  • The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

    The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

    Billy Mitchell, 2004:

    “The worst thing that could happen would be to give somebody the credibility of a score that doesn’t deserve it. But even far worse than that would be to deny somebody the credibility when they deserved it.”

    Steve Wiebe, 2004:

    “It’s just, I mean, I know to win is like, so important. But to blatantly do things that are against the rules, and know in your heart that you didn’t do it correctly, and get credit for…

  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Spider-Man: Homecoming

    A soulless superhero franchise film and an inept high school comedy try to make it work for the sake of the kids; the forced smiles and underlying tension permeate every moment.

    As a super-hero movie, Homecoming is exactly the glop you’d expect from two movie studios executing two competing business plans. I knew that this movie would ultimately devolve into a blur of CGI—they all do—so I could hardly be surprised or disappointed by that. My hopes and fears were…