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  • Green Room

    Green Room

    Lean and sharp, like a razor.

    BUT upon revisiting, I wince a little at idea that Saulnier is making these precise studies of American macho violence, and not just capably managing taut, violent thrillers. Still very entertaining, but any sense of it being about something struck me as a little thin on a rewatch. The gore and viscera is meant not as some exposure to the real wages of violence (and violent ideologies) but as a way of attenuating the thrills,…

  • Tommy Boy

    Tommy Boy

    About once every three years I watch this and wonder aloud “why do all Lorne Michaels comedies look like this?” for 90 minutes.

Popular reviews

  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    Charlie Kaufman is often criticized, a little thoughtlessly, for being "narcissistic." And, not thoughtfully at all, as being "self-loathing." Never mind that these evaluations, which often come in tandem, are self-contradicting, i.e. that one cannot really express excessive self-admiration while also hating oneself. What's more common in his screenplays and films is a form of reverse-narcissism, in which excessive self-loathing is configured as a form of radical candour: look how bracing I am in my evaluation of my warts, and…

  • Escape from New York

    Escape from New York

    To me, no movie embodies the idea of "genre" like Escape from New York. And not even a particular genre, combining as it does sci-fi, action, horror, and elements of the western, without being especially clever or "postmodern" about its singular mishmash. It feels like it's beholden to conventions, and hitting all the beats, of a genre it's inventing as it unfolds.

    No movie of its era is so lean and muscular: a straight-line of action, excitement, oddball humour, and…