Jared

22 year old male majoring in software engineering.

YEARLY TOP 25'S

2019 / 2018 / 2017 / 2016 / 2015 / 2014

COMPLETED DIRECTOR FILMOGRAPHIES

David O. Russell

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  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

    ★★★★★

    I wrote about this a bit in my prior reviews for Phantom and Clones but I really do believe Lucas' political insights are pretty brilliant; perhaps not as raw insights themselves but in how he weaves them into such a familiar and involving story. Lucas said in an interview some time ago that these films were influenced heavily by the Nixon era, i.e. the Vietnam war and the process by which democracies become dictatorships. How democracies are not overthrown, but…

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★★

    A fierce and passionate parable about hope; First Reformed is a response, at times a whimper and at others a shout, to Jesus’ infamous question in the garden just before his death - My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? A look at the difficulties of a *truly* religious life, one in which all actions, perceptions and reactions are analyzed, scrutinized and reconciled in relation to a foundational text that offers little empathy to those who stray from…

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  • A Serious Man

    A Serious Man

    ★★★★★

    Some all-time great ruminations on the absurdity of life from the Coens, here. A Serious Man has always struck me as being interested most in unknowable dualities, and the emotional toll of wondering why when there might not even be reason at all. There's a terror to living in a world where everything *might* mean something, but at the same time it all might be meaningless. Was Larry being tested and ultimately punished? Or is the universe arbitrary and he…

  • There Will Be Blood

    There Will Be Blood

    ★★★★★

    This feels like the rare case of a performance being genuinely essential to a film working at all; not merely enhancing or elevating the experience but being structurally integral from the first moment to the last. This is impossible to prove but the complexity and strength of Day-Lewis' work here cannot be oversold. It's a performance of a man constantly performing for others; pretending to be a father, a benevolent businessman, a man of faith and at times a human…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★★

    I've been seeing lots of "controversy" over the supposed value of La La Land vs something like Moonlight, usually insinuating that La La Land's comparative levity somehow renders it lesser. My quick two cents would that be that yes, Moonlight is a magnificent portrait of masculinity in 2017's world, with broad, valuable insights on how race, sexual preference (*orientation*) and class all influence and inform one's identity. Basically a vehicle and showcase for compassion and empathy in a world seemingly…

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★★

    In light of recent events, I'm reminded of Fermi's paradox. A cynical and unsettling notion which suggests the reason we've never been contacted by extraterrestrial intelligent life is that the no civilization has survived long enough to innovate to that level. Or, in simpler terms, that the fundamental nature of intelligent life is to ultimately destroy itself. As tech and sciences progress further and further, what matters is how we allocate that technology; what leaders we elect to control it…