REVIEW: Being Charlie [2016]

beingcharlie01

“Most end up chasing it to the grave” After a string of hits in the 80s and 90s, director Rob Reiner has struggled to achieve the same success. Some of his projects post-2000 have made money and some have provided laughs, but none found staying power. It’s not all his fault. The best film during […]

REVIEW: Der Himmel über Berlin [Wings of Desire] [1987]

wingsofdesire01

“Why am I me, and why not you?” What does it mean to be human? This is the question the Angel Damiel (Bruno Ganz) wonders from his eternal perch on high surveying, subtly steering, and always listening. He sees humanity’s joy and laughter, jealous of their ability to live, feel, and touch. Even amongst the […]

REVIEW: Les rencontres d’après minuit [You and the Night] [2013]

youandthenight01

“Always follow the clues in dreams” Everyone wants to describe Yann Gonzalez‘s films as kinky escapades of campy, colorful eroticism rather than mention what lies beneath that excitingly daring sheen: a profound sense of sadness. It’s a powerful longing for acceptance and love, a desire for more than our minds believe possible. The orgy constructed […]

REVIEW: Knight of Cups [2016]

knightofcups01

“You’re still the love of my life. Should I tell you that?” The evolution of Terrence Malick is a fascinating one. From regular narrative structure to voiceover-driven epics to visual poems, his style has been stripped down to beautiful imagery and pithily obtuse dialogue sending us on journeys as much about ourselves as they are […]

REVIEW: The Age of Adaline [2015]

ageofadaline01

“Tell me something I can hold onto forever and never let go” A high concept fantasy property such as The Age of Adaline could easily fall into trouble if it decided to put its focus on the mystery rather than the characters. J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz script deals with a woman who at […]

REVIEW: Hello, My Name Is Doris [2016]

hellomynameisdoris01

“I’m possible” Welcome to the world Doris Miller (Sally Field). It’s been too long—forty years to be exact—since you were free to roam unencumbered by self-imposed responsibilities and familial guilt no one was willing to spend the time to help alleviate. Yes, Doris has been fridged from social interaction for four decades as she quietly […]

REVIEW: The Crying Game [1992]

cryinggame01

“He believes in the future” It’s amazing how different a film can feel when you put close to two decades behind your first viewing. When I watched Neil Jordan‘s The Crying Game as a teenager I did so to see what all the fuss was about. I already knew the “secret” and found it difficult […]

REVIEW: The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover [1989]

cookthiefwifelover01

“The naughty bits and the dirty bits are so close together” The above quote pretty much sums up Peter Greenaway‘s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. High society and criminal filth: seemingly disparate sectors of civilization that wouldn’t truly wish to consort together yet constantly overlap through history to almost merge into […]

REVIEW: They Came Together [2014]

theycametogether01

“I admire your spirit” It’s one thing to satirize the romantic comedy genre and a whole other to literally break it down into its myriad tropes to build a story around them without transforming their generic designations into fully formed characters. But that’s exactly what David Wain (co-writer/director) and Michael Showalter (co-writer) did with They […]

REVIEW: The Unbelievable Truth [1990]

unbelievabletruth01

“Are you a priest or something?” The satire in Hal Hartley‘s debut The Unbelievable Truth is so over-the-top that you almost have to read it as a straight comedy. He’s constantly repeating dialogue through straight-faced actors, breaking up scenes with unnecessary title cards delineating arbitrary time lapses, and makes his characters so over-wrought that we […]

REVIEW: Touched With Fire [2016]

touchedwithfire01

“Meet me on the other side” Depicting mental illness in film is hard for two reasons. One is the fact that actors are playacting. This may not be the case across the board—performances could be inferred from personal experience—but I’d say a majority comes from a place of research and mimicry. The second reason deals […]