A Collection of Recent Reviews

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have largely retired from the film reviewing game. While it once served as my central writing focus, and, in fact, probably turned me into the writer I am today, I no longer find it to be my primary interest. Instead, I now plunk away mostly in the realm of my own fiction, dreaming and drooling about fantastical worlds that I long to visit.

Now, I’m under no illusions that the world is likely a better place free from my less-than-critical eye and maladroit analyses. However, on occasion I still foolishly dabble in film criticism if something interesting comes up through my freelance position with FilmMonthly. And that is exactly what I will be presenting here today: links to my recent bumbling attempts to analyze, critique and judge three diverse features. Enjoy!

Second Act

Buried somewhere within Second Act’s head-scratching script is the desire to be more than it is. For a few moments, the film seems to be heading toward a topical examination of meritocracy. At a time of historic inequality, not to mention a national college enrollment scandal, the story of one woman rebounding after losing a promotion due to not having a degree feels like a worthwhile contribution to our cultural dialogue. Read the rest at FilmMonthly.com.

The Poison Rose

Over his long career, John Travolta’s filmography has been marked by incredible highs and horrifying lows. For every Pulp Fiction, Saturday Night Fever, Blow Out, Grease and Face/Off, there has been a Battlefield Earth, Killing Season or Gotti. The crime thriller The Poison Rose, which was released on May 24, falls somewhere in the middle of this dramatic continuum. Read the rest at FilmMonthly.com.

The Bostonians

The films of producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory are seen in many corners as being synonymous with a specific type of film. Lavish sets, period setting and the oppressive nature of society are typical tropes one finds throughout their filmography, which hit its stride in a series of major successes throughout the 1980s and 90s with A Room with a View (1985), Maurice (1987), Howard’s End (1992) and The Remains of the Day (1993). Read the rest at FilmMonthly.com.

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