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  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind


    In the doc that precedes the 40th anniversary release, director Denis Villeneuve suggests the movie is a personal one for Spielberg beyond his obvious fascination with the material. He says the movie is about movie-making too, which struck me as a little trite - and cliche - in the moment. I mean, how many directors and their films has this been / could it be said about?

    And yet, watching this time, I was struck by Roy Neary's journey from…

  • Before Sunrise

    Before Sunrise


    If somebody had told 19 year-old me that one day I’d watch this intimate masterpiece with my 14 year-old daughter... after having a conversation with Ethan Hawke where, just like an Ethan Hawke character in a Richard Linklater movie, he oh-so-insightfully schooled me on the importance of giving said daughter permission to make mistakes, to break hearts and have her heart broken... well, I might’ve said that sounded like something from a Richard Linklater movie. 

    There is some kind of magic in this world.

Recent reviews

  • Once Upon a Time in America

    Once Upon a Time in America


    De Niro has never been so dull on screen.

    Yeah, I said it.

    No, really, I said it on Filmspotting #792 during our 8 From '84 discussion.

    I appreciate Leone's attempt at a more philosophical reflection on violence and American corruption and greed, his desire to demythologize the gangster lifestyle. But these characters are worse than just unrepentant and irredeemable - they're uninteresting.

    Young Patsy not being able to resist devouring the pastry with that Morricone score though... alone almost justifies at least another half star.

  • Tenet



    The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything.

    TENET is what happens when Nolan forgets Borden's Law.

    Sure, in the moment, there’s a certain thrill to the controlled chaos of Nolan's choreography; watching characters - sometimes intimately, sometimes on an epic scale - move forward while others move backward. And after, trying to wrap your head around its application of algorithms and quantum physics and grandfather paradoxes. But the best Nolan films provoke in ways that leave you thinking about yourself and your own tenuous hold on reality, not just the movie's time/mind-bending mechanics.

    Discussed on Filmspotting #791.

Popular reviews

  • Sing Street

    Sing Street


    Everyone is going to get so sick of me talking about this movie.

  • Before Sunset

    Before Sunset


    Forget finally confronting "Upstream Color," or the eventual Sacred Cow conversation about "2001"... Having completed my "Before Sunrise/Sunset" homework, I can't imagine anything more daunting than seeing and discussing "Midnight." I find I'm utterly incapable of talking about these films in a rational, analytical way. Remember Ebert's joyous opening to his "Almost Famous" review?

    Oh, what a lovely film. I was almost hugging myself while I watched it.

    That's me with "Sunrise/Sunset", except instead of an impulse to hug myself,…