Film Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

John Requa and Glenn Ficarra's Crazy, Stupid, Love arrived at a highly specific point in time. The 2011 film premiered right as its star, Steve Carell, began to transition to more dramatic film roles. Additionally, his co-star, Ryan Gosling, was reaching his first career apex. Gosling starred in three films in 2011 (The Ides of…Read more Film Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

Film Review: Emma (1996)

Upon reading Jane Austen's 1815 novel Emma, 19th century novelist Susan Ferrier commented, "I have been reading Emma, which is excellent; there is no story whatever [...]." In a way, this sums up so much about the Austen's text. There is barely any semblance of a story; the book consists of a collection of village…Read more Film Review: Emma (1996)

Film Review: First Reformed (2018)

Tranquil masculinity is not part of Paul Schrader's cinematic worldview. For over 40 years, anguished, alienated, fatalistic men have dominated his scripts and been front and center in films that bear his name. Quite often, this has worked out well, producing studies of masculinity, criminality, sexuality, mental illness, faith and violence that are quite shattering…Read more Film Review: First Reformed (2018)

Film Review: Hellraiser (1987)

Back when video stores were still in vogue, I have distinct memories of passing the 1980's movie Hellraiser. This was due particularly to its distinctive cover, which features its most memorable character, Pinhead. Even at a young age, I remember being transfixed by the image. The pallid skin, evil snarl and, of course, abundance of…Read more Film Review: Hellraiser (1987)

Film Review: You Were Never Really Here (2017)

Considering the Trumpian age in which we live, it's difficult to make the case that we need another film that revolves around the wild exploits of an angry, violent, middle-aged white man. Yet that is just what Lynne Ramsay's incredibly cynical film, You Were Never Really Here, serves up, trading in the brutal, reactionary fantasies…Read more Film Review: You Were Never Really Here (2017)

On Mudbound, Darkest Hour and the Problem with the “Great Man Theory”

I love reading popular history. What all this reading has done, aside from reminding me that my feeble mind and body would never have survived in any other era, is solidify that consuming history matters. And that’s not because I prescribe to the tired notion that if people simply remember history they will no longer…Read more On Mudbound, Darkest Hour and the Problem with the “Great Man Theory”