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  • Contact

    Contact

    ★★★★

    "You're an interesting species. An interesting mix. You're capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other."

    Oh, this is just lovely, isn’t it? I adore science fiction that blends technology, adventure and/or mystery with heart, so it was inevitable that the quietly epic drama Contact would resonate with me.…

  • Buddies

    Buddies

    ★★★★★

    Buddies, which can be rented or bought to stream here from Vimeo and is available on Blu-ray/DVD via Vinegar Syndrome or Amazon, was the first narrative feature to discuss the HIV/AIDS crisis. Shot in nine days on a $27,000 budget raised by director Arthur J. Bressan Jr. (who was also the screenwriter, producer and editor), the New York-set film concentrates almost entirely on only two characters: Robert Willow (Geoff Edholm), a 32-year-old AIDS patient and political activist receiving treatment in…

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  • A Nose

    A Nose

    Often I have spoken of my love for Brother Theodore (examples here, here, here and here), so his prominence in the ten-minute short A Nose (available on YouTube) is ideal for a devotee like me. Filmmaker Mordicai Gerstein uses both animation and live action to adapt the Nikolai Gogol story of the same name, telling the surreal tale of a man who wakes up one day to find that his nose has vanished from his face. Does any of it…

  • Community Shelter Planning

    Community Shelter Planning

    I have no idea if this twenty-minute educational short (available on YouTube) concerned with the logistics of designing shelters in case of nuclear warfare was taken seriously by viewers in the 1960s, but I sure do enjoy listening to Arnold Moss (his solemn intonation of "holy cow" is wonderful) and watching Gene Hackman sort it out.

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  • Speed

    Speed

    ★★★★★

    Years will pass, civilizations may crumble, but Keanu and Sandra helping that city bus make the leap over the missing section of the LA freeway will continue to be one of the greatest scenes ever committed to celluloid.

    I'm really not kidding when I say I've seen this movie at least a dozen times.

    P.S. Single best character: Susan Barnes as the businesswoman who thinks she's too afraid to leave the bomb-laden elevator during the first action sequence, then after being rescued from certain death she shrieks "OH, MY SHOE!" Priorities. Always know your priorities.

  • Nighthawks

    Nighthawks

    ★★★★

    HAPPY 40TH ANNIVERSARY TO NIGHTHAWKS

    Everybody everywhere should celebrate April 10 as the fortieth anniversary of Nighthawks' theatrical premiere. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you: it’s a singularly entertaining slice of gritty late 70s/early 80s NYC, a thriller that gives Sylvester Stallone (in between the second and third Rocky installments) an unexpectedly profound chance to shine as a cop who, unlike so many cinematic portrayals of Vietnam veterans, is completely levelheaded and reluctant to kill. Billy Dee Williams is Stallone’s…