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…Read more A Collection of Recent Reviews

Film Review: I, Daniel Blake (2016)

About six or seven years ago, I developed a minor obsession with the work of Ken Loach, the iconoclastic English director of acclaimed films like Kes, Looks and Smiles, Raining Stones, My Name is Joe, Sweet Sixteen and The Wind that Shakes the Barley. Back then, I watched a number of these in quick succession.…Read more Film Review: I, Daniel Blake (2016)

Film Review: In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

Like so much of my semi-recent foray into horror, John Carpenter's last good film, 1994's In the Mouth of Madness, came to my attention due to its Lovecraftian connotations. As the final installment of Carpenter's "Apocalypse Trilogy" (which also includes The Prince of Darkness and the classic science fiction film, The Thing), MadnessĀ is another direct…Read more Film Review: In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

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)