Favorite films

  • On Dangerous Ground
  • The Pawnbroker
  • The Hill
  • The Thin Red Line

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  • The Limey

    ★★★★½

  • Clean and Sober

    ★★★★½

  • Tape

    ★★★★

  • Looker

    ★★★½

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  • The Thin Red Line

    The Thin Red Line

    ★★★★★

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

    "The Thin Red Line" is a poetic and philosophically rich film about the consequences of war in both the physical and the intangible realms. Using nature as a guiding force, Terrence Malick immerses the viewer in a spiritual journey through the minds and souls of men fighting on Guadalcanal during WWII. Each man has a persona, a part to play within the greater scheme of the war. Beneath their hardened exteriors are deep and complex feelings about the extraordinary circumstances…

  • Ivan's Childhood

    Ivan's Childhood

    ★★★★★

    The ironic thing about the title "Ivan's Childhood" is that Ivan doesn't have one to speak of. A precocious 12 year old, the trauma from the war has forced him to grow up. He is controlling and constantly on edge. Not a boy, but a soldier; more adult than most of the adults he interacts with. Speaking of Ivan, director Andrei Tarkovsky said, "He immediately struck me as a character that had been destroyed, shifted off its axis by the…

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  • Brick

    Brick

    ★★★

    In "Brick," Rian Johnson blends the noir genre with a high school-centric drama. While I can appreciate the fact that the concept was ambitious, it didn't entirely work for me. The main reason being the dialogue. It was too fast-paced, confusing, and full of slang and names that didn't have any meaning until much later in the film (admittedly, this was probably intentional). Half-way through, I turned on the subtitles, which actually helped immensely. For clarity's sake, I would have…

  • Hard Eight

    Hard Eight

    ★★★★

    It's fascinating to me that so many directors have chosen noir as a genre to reinterpret and rethink for their directorial debuts. Joel and Ethan Coen ("Blood Simple"), Quentin Tarantino ("Reservoir Dogs"), Christopher Nolan ("Following"), Rian Johnson ("Brick") are just some of the directors off the top of my head who chose to do their own take on film noir for their first feature-length films. Not only has the genre been highly influential to filmmakers in general, but it also…

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  • The Beast Must Die

    The Beast Must Die

    ★★★★½

    "La bestia debe morir" is a taut, smartly crafted Argentinian noir that packs an emotional punch. Based on the novel by Nicholas Blake, the script is not only complex in its plot structure, but also in its exploration of a man's journey through grief after losing his son. Director Román Viñoly Barreto uses striking black and white photography to tell a story that is compelling and moving. l was able to watch this on Noir Alley by TCM, but the film is being released onto Blu-ray by Flicker Alley next month. This rare, long-lost film is definitely worthy of being rediscovered and appreciated!

  • A Matter of Life and Death

    A Matter of Life and Death

    ★★★★½

    One aspect that makes Powell and Pressburger films so enjoyable for me is that they are multi-layered. You think the film is about one thing and then you realize it's actually about something else. In "A Matter of Life of Death," we have a love story between a British pilot and an American WAC. We have a commentary on life and death and the afterlife. We have commentary on PTSD and the physical and mental effects of war. Further still,…