Favorite films

  • The Bad News Bears
  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
  • Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
  • Taxi Driver

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  • Fargo

    ★★★★★

  • One-Eyed Jacks

    ★★★★½

  • The Sugarland Express

    ★★★★★

  • Freebie and the Bean

    ★★★★½

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  • Fargo

    Fargo

    ★★★★★

    Tone has to be the hardest thing to describe about a film. Coen Bros are described as ironic, darkly comedic, cynical, quirky. But none of those terms seem quite right, especially for their more grounded films like this. Maybe I'd go for "bemused observational."

    The observational half of that descriptor is probably the easiest to pin down. In FARGO, the Coens place us in a privileged position just outside of the action in a sort of near-objectivity. The camera is…

  • One-Eyed Jacks

    One-Eyed Jacks

    ★★★★½

    Marlon Brando's only directorial effort in a weird way begat both PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID -- Sam Peckinpah was an early writer on JACKS, working on a variant of the Billy/Garrett story -- and UNFORGIVEN. It might be the most painterly western ever made.

    The story risks being a muddle at times: Brando's Kid and Karl Malden's Dad are outlaw companions until the latter's betrayal. Kid escapes a Sonora prison 5 years later & tracks down Dad, who is now…

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  • Le Samouraï

    Le Samouraï

    ★★★★½

    What strange sorcery is this film. Logically speaking, there should be a couple of movies like this each year: simple story, genre overtones, minimalist style, one major role, a few locations, all focused on behavior, procedures, & tone. So simple, and yet...

  • Billy Jack

    Billy Jack

    ★★★★½

    BILLY JACK (1971). The pure products of America go crazy, karate-chop rich boy sex criminals to death, defend wild mustangs & hippie Montessori schools on the rez, get bitten by rattlesnakes on purpose, and end up making a primal outsider art cinematic sorta masterpiece.