• Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    Without even needing my prompting, the kids decided to skip Chamber of Secrets and move right onto the best movie of the series. Really, the only one that feels like a movie in its own right rather than just a faithful translation. It's amazing how purposeful and ALIVE every shot and other creative choice is in this one. Diagon Alley and the various spaces of Hogwarts feel like real places where people eat and study and sleep rather than sets…

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    Adapting the Potter books was always a thankless task, and Alfonso Cuaron is the only one who managed to make his film (Prisoner of Azkaban) feel like a movie in its own right rather than a collection of narrative boxes being dutifully checked along the way. And it's not like these were obscure books where the audience, young and old, needed their hands held at the beginning, but one of the biggest literary sensations of the last 30 years.

    We…

  • Quick Change

    Quick Change

    When I praised this on Twitter a few months ago, someone argued that it's how a non-New Yorker (like Chicagoan Bill Murray, who co-directed) would look at New York. Watching it again, it's clearly that, but it's also so damn funny, particularly the bank robbery set piece that opens the film and then the one-two punch of young Tony Shalhoub as the unintelligible cabbie and the late, great Phillip Bosco as the unyielding bus driver.

  • Moonstruck

    Moonstruck

    ★★★★★

    We just watched Moonstruck, which I was sure I had seen when I was younger, but that I quickly realized I’d only ever seen clips of. That is a perfect movie. My gosh. Everyone is incredible. It’s the impossible balance of Nic Cage being ridiculous and human. Cher is radiant from the start and blinding when she gets the opera makeover. Olympia Dukakis’ “date” with John Mahoney feels like a magic trick, and I had no idea Danny Aiello could be THAT funny. Wow.

  • One Night in Miami...

    One Night in Miami...

    Is there anything Regina King can't do?

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★★★

    It is insane this movie exists. It is absolutely insane that anyone was capable of making this.