Favorite films

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  • Boogie Nights

    ★★★

  • Rushmore

    ★★★★

  • Marriage Story

    ★★★½

  • Knives Out

    ★★★½

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  • Boogie Nights

    Boogie Nights

    [Wrote this quickly about 18 months ago.]
     
    Fourth or fifth viewing. Longstanding issues persist.
     
    1. The Fall (vs. Rise) section alternates between After School Special moralism and, no pun intended, misery porn. There might as well be a Just Say No watermark over the scene when Amber introduces Dirk to coke at the NYE party. It would be A Bit Much to just crosscut between two violent assaults, but that it’s bookended by Amber losing custody of her…

  • Rushmore

    Rushmore

    ★★★★

    This movie used to only be funny, with maybe enough melancholy to give it some teeth. I watch it now and every moment that doesn’t make me laugh breaks my heart. I’m loath to praise a film for its niceness because Our Current Cultural Landscape exalts the most boring form of it imaginable, i.e. people being gooey to each other because any other mode of expression (sarcasm, cynicism, apathy, contempt) is ostensibly too much for such dull, sensitive souls to…

Popular reviews

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  • Superbad

    Superbad

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

    I think it’s easy to forget that much of this movie’s climax hinges on the independent decisions made by female characters, i.e. Jules’ sobriety and Becca getting shitfaced on her own, both of which spotlight the boys’ insecurity and the shortsightedness of “their plan.” Though Superbad’s premise—a Homeric odyssey for booze in part to loosen up objects of affection so they’d consider hooking up with dorks—is probably no longer kosher for good reasons, the way that it eventually wraps up…

  • Knives Out

    Knives Out

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

    Second viewing. Despite its raucous reception at TIFF, I wasn’t sure this was the slam-drunk crowdpleaser many assumed it would be once it made its way to theaters. (Even correcting for reach and access, that honor goes to Parasite, which film-agnostic normies have enthusiastically praised in my presence.) For one thing, the ways that Johnson engages with “the political climate” are bound to set many-a teeth on edge, especially when he employs the forced political phrases designed to appeal to…