• The Power of the Dog

    The Power of the Dog

    ★★★½

    "They were real men in those days"

    Though it was published back in 2020 I only recently became aware of the book “Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Fair and Fractured a Nation.” In it, author Kristin Kobes Du Mez points out that while many were surprised at the ease with which Evangelicals got behind Trump in 2016, it would have been viewed as inevitable to anyone who had been paying attention to the last 75 years…

  • Rushmore

    Rushmore

    ★★★★★

    “We got him Dirk…we got him”

    Thanksgiving is for watching masterpieces with the family. Easily one of the greatest films ever made, with one of the best screenplays ever written. A tale of friendship, love, betrayal, and forgiveness that would make Tommy Shakespeare himself jealous. Oh yeah…and it’s funny.

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★★

    I was so thrilled with my movie theater experience of watching Dune that I thought that there could be no way an at-home viewing could live up that...and I was right. It still looked good, and I was able to appreciate the artistry that went into creating this (which is why I won't drop my rating), but this was definitely a 3 star viewing experience. The story itself is so exposition heavy that I wondered if knowing what was coming…

  • The Harder They Fall

    The Harder They Fall

    ★★½

    I wish Jeymes Samuel had taken more pages from the book of Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon instead of learning all of the wrong lessons from the The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. The Harder They Fall could have been an effective and stylish revenge story if it had a High Noon style run time and had been more direct. Instead, it dangles a revenge quest in front of the audience, then abruptly turns into a different film, instantly throwing…

  • Halloween

    Halloween

    ★★½

    I wish someone had told me Leslie Nielson was in this movie (or to be more accurate, is in a movie that’s in this movie), I might have gotten to it sooner. I am glad I finally got a chance to check it out though, and not just because I recognized the tune my neighbor played loudly during the trick or treat hours which made me feel cool, even if Halloween didn’t quite live up to the expectations I had…

  • The Paper Brigade

    The Paper Brigade

    ★★★★

    This film was such a reliable source of entertainment back in the day, shame on me for forgetting about it

  • The Beta Test

    The Beta Test

    ★★★½

    “It’s an open sore on my insides, it might kill me. How was your flight?”

    I’ve seen the word “satire” thrown about liberally when describing The Beta Test, though I’m not sure that’s an accurate descriptor. Nothing is being satirized because the people, behaviors, and attitudes directors Jim Cummings and PJ McCabe find abhorrent aren’t exaggerated or played with in any way; they’re spelled out very plainly for the directors to point their fingers at and say “see, isn’t that…

  • Diamonds Are Forever

    Diamonds Are Forever

    ★★★

    “I think Larry got him. Atta boy Larry”

    I didn’t expect this to be the Sean Connery Bond film to make me a fan, but here we are. Thunderball and You Only Live Twice felt like they were on autopilot, but Diamonds are Forever re-energizes the franchise by not just doing what On Her Majesty’s Secret Service did, aka just be a good movie, but by being both good and a little bit strange.

    Bruce Glover and Putter Smith set…

  • All That Heaven Allows

    All That Heaven Allows

    ★★★★½

    “Nothing is important except us…will you remember that?”

    People everywhere suck, and there are always forces conspiring against our happiness…yet maybe we can still find love in this world. How grand.

    All that Heaven Allows opens like a classic Hollywood film from the 1940s (Welles’ The Stranger comes to mind), but with color…and oh boy, that color. I literally wrote down as a note, “What is happening in this movie”? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything that looked like…

  • The Piano

    The Piano

    ★★★

    To me The Piano is reminiscent of 2016's Lady Macbeth in that it would have been incredibly easy for both to paint their lead actresses in a very flattering light, making it all too easy for us to sympathize with the way they are treated like property, shipped to another country or locked inside at the whims of men. But now it's clear that William Oldroyd took a page from Jane Campion's book because neither director took the easy road;…

  • Queenpins

    Queenpins

    ★★★★

    “My white whale…oh, there she blows”

    For the first half of Queenpins I was very satisfied with the idea that this was a nice, pleasant mid-tier comedy, though maybe nothing to write home about. It wasn’t until a scene in the second half where I realized I was laughing harder than I have all year* that I realized this was a true gem, a hilarious comedy with real emotions that works as an insight into the American economy and legal…

  • Lilo & Stitch

    Lilo & Stitch

    ★★★★½

    "Nobody gets left behind"

    I have half a mind to sue directors Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders for emotional turmoil based on false advertising. I turned this on for my 2 year old expecting a goofy oddball comedy, NOT a tear-jerker drama about coping with grief while learning to love our family, blood relation or otherwise, flaws and all. I was crying every 15 minutes during this thing!! Unbelievable.

    Thank goodness it was also laugh out loud funny, the animation…