Film Reviews

_____________________________________________________________________

January 3, 2019 

The Smart Set

“Bull Durham”- All-Star Flirtation

Maturity, Sexuality, Intellection, and Kevin Costner’s emotive cheekbones
.___________________________________________________________________________

August 10, 2018

The Arts Fuse

“Sorry To Bother You” — Engaging Anti-Capitalist Satire

Sorry to Bother You is a doozy — vividly shot, morally vigorous, and consistently funny.
._____________________________________________________________________

June 22, 2018

The Arts Fuse

Scorsese’s “Age of Innocence” — Re-released

The privilege Edith Wharton’s characters swim in has not disappeared. If anything, it’s expanded farther into the social stratosphere.
._____________________________________________________________________

February 19, 2018

The Arts Fuse

Film Review: “The Shape of Water” — A Dissenting View

Del Toro creates a visually intriguing world, but the story’s premise is too farfetched to work.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

December 20, 2017

The Arts Fuse

Film Review: “Chasing Trane” — Telling the Story of a Jazz Legend

This documentary about John Coltrane serves up skillful, sensitive storytelling and an appropriate sense of reverence.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

August 8, 2017

The Arts Fuse

Film Review: “I Called Him Morgan” — A Superb Jazz Documentary

I Called Him Morgan has been lauded as one of the best films of the year, and rightfully so.

—————————————————————————————————————

June  13, 2017

The Arts Fuse

Tickling Giants- Satire As It Should Be

If you want to see what courageous political satire really looks like, see Tickling Giants, Sara Taksler’s engaging new documentary about Bassem Youssef.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

March 28, 2017

The Arts Fuse

“Canoa: A Shameful Memory” — A Masterpiece of Mexican Political Cinema

Canoa is a historical drama about the horror of history, made all the more frightening because it is based on a true story.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

January 30, 2017

The Arts Fuse

“The Executioner” — Death Be Not Pedestrian

In this 1963 masterpiece, Luis García Berlanga entertainingly but ruthlessly lampoons the cruelties and absurdities of Spanish life under dictatorship.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

April 23, 2016

The Arts Fuse

Jazz Trumpeters Miles Davis and Chet Baker — Dueling Biopics

The real advantage Born to Be Blue has over Miles Ahead is that it uses the music as a way to get into its title character’s soul.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

August 13, 2015

The Arts Fuse

“The End of the Tour” — David Foster Wallace Done Right

In true David Foster Wallace style, the ironic, meta-fictional qualities of The End of the Tour don’t remain a hall of mirrors but turn into a bridge that conveys its subject’s honest, painful humanity.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

April 30, 2015

The Arts Fuse

“Slow West” : The Western Epic Redux — and Reduced

Slow West bursts with visual interest, but doesn’t seem to be able to settle on what story it wants to tell.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

January 25, 2015

The Arts Fuse

“Inherent Vice” — Like an Acid Trip, Secondhand

Inherent Vice is a giddy, trippy potpourri that tries to make a virtue of never quite settling on what kind of story it wants to tell.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

January 15, 2015

The Arts Fuse

“Foxcatcher” — Sports and the Pathology of the 1%

Of all the cinematic indictments of the 1% that have flooded the multiplex in the wake of the financial crisis, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher stands as one of the most understated.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

December 20, 2014

Love Money Clothes

Chris Rock Gives Us His Top Five

The great comedian makes his directorial debut

_________________________________________________________________________________________

November 25, 2014

The Arts Fuse

Roman Polanski’s “Macbeth” – A Paranoiac Fever Dream

Among the most haunting aspects of Roman Polanski’s 1971 film version of Macbeth is his visceral depiction of the tragedy’s violence.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

September 17, 2014

Love Money Clothes

The Barman Cometh (A Review Of ‘The Drop’)

A sullen square-off between two gruff, stoic leading men.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

July 28, 2014

The Arts Fuse

“A Hard Day’s Night” — Still Fun After Five Decades

A Hard Day’s Night stands as a landmark in rock history because it exemplifies the joyously innocent starting point of the Beatles — today it delivers an irresistible sonic joy that comes from listening to songs that still rock after fifty years.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

July 11, 2014

Love Money Clothes

A Vampire Film that Lacks Bite

Jarmusch’s film makes some interesting choices, but doesn’t fully deliver.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

June 1, 2014

The Arts Fuse

A Volume That Explains Why Movie Moments Are Memorable

At times, David Thomson’s movie criticism resembles the approach of old-school British critics (the Walter Pater or John Ruskin variety) who didn’t mind occasionally cutting loose from being erudite to wax lyrical.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

May 10, 2014

Love Money Clothes

Free Your Mind and Your Grill Will Follow: A Review of Jon Favreau’s ‘Chef’

 A cheerfully superficial tale of dishing up life in the food truck.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

March 23, 2014

The Arts Fuse

“Tales of Intransigence” — A Ribald Road Movie at the Boston Turkish Film Festival

Centered on the acting talents of the late Tuncel Kurtiz, the film is a ribald, engaging, and briskly-paced concoction of improvisation and folklore with a cast consisting of actual residents of the Anatolian mountain towns that double as backdrop and narrative foil.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

March 21, 2014

Love Money Clothes

The Concierge Also Rises: A Review of Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Ultra- quirky Wes Anderson has an opulent ball in Gilded Age Europe.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

February 20, 2014

The Arts Fuse

“The Monuments Men” — Saving Great Art from the Nazis

If George Clooney can rev up our righteous indignation decrying the barbarities of Joe McCarthy, why on earth couldn’t he become eloquent when it comes to talking about fighting to keep Hitler’s mitts off Michelangelo?

_________________________________________________________________________________________

August 3, 2011

The Millions

Ecstatic Truth: Werner Herzog’s The Cave of Forgotten Dreams

You don’t have to question Herzog’s honesty in watching his films, though you might start to question his sanity.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

July 8, 2011

The Millions

Eye of the Beholder: Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life

Critical reaction to Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life has been decidedly garrulous.  A vast majority of reviewers have invoked some kind of “higher” culture to signify the elusive mood or feeling it evokes.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

July 31, 2008

Flak Magazine

9 Ways of Looking at the Joker

Let us count the character’s wicked ways.