This category contains 38 posts

A Trilogy of Pre-Code Hollywood

So, over the last year my movie-watching habits have changed a bit, school got hard and heavy (as it always does), I canceled my Netflix DVD service, I discovered the joys of the streaming service FilmStruck, and I found out you can rent movies from the library.  That last one has ended up being the … Continue reading

“Nosferatu the Vampyre” (1979, dir. Werner Herzog)

Horror films are a difficult thing to peg down. They often are so sloppily put together and so cheap that they tend to be nothing more than C and B movies. On top of that, Werner Herzog movies are difficult to nail down. His films are unlike anything that any other filmmaker creates. The combination of … Continue reading

The Films of Christopher Nolan: “Insomnia” (2002)

Last year, with the announcement of Dunkirk (2016), we began a journey into the films of Christopher Nolan. So far we have covered Doodlebug (1997) and Following (1998), and Memento (2000). These two films delve into the mind and the unreliable narrator. People are flawed and cannot be trusted and Nolan wants us to know this. Before we dive into this review of Insomnia … Continue reading

“Silence” (2016, dir. Martin Scorsese)

Martin Scorsese has turned his camera toward the subject of faith in the past. The results have often been met with much negative press. His film The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) was denounced by the Catholic church, inspired boycotts by non-Catholic Christian groups, and caused protests in general. These reactions seems strange because, in large part, Scorsese is simply a … Continue reading

Favorite 2016 Movies

I didn’t get to see as many new movies in 2016 as I would have liked (there’s one movie I went to see but didn’t get to — I’ll save that story for here in a minute), but of the movies that I did see, five came forward in my mind as my favorites. There are … Continue reading

“Silence” (1971, dir. Masahiro Shinoda)

Movies focusing on Christianity (no matter what branch) are always going to be divisive. That’s just how it is. On one side you will find movies like Fireproof (2008, dir. Alex Kendrick), War Room (2015, dir. Alex Kendrick), and God’s Not Dead (2014, dir. Harold Cronk), which seem tailor-made for the choir, and on the other hand you will find … Continue reading

“Chimes at Midnight” (1965, dir. Orson Welles)

As I’ve written before, the career of Orson Welles was a difficult one at best. His filmmaking is a series of production starting and then funding falling through. He would weasel and scheme his way into making the films that he wanted to make, meanwhile promising to make the films his producers wanted to make. This back … Continue reading

“The Birth of a Nation” (1915, dir. D.W. Griffith)

Let me start by saying that this is a difficult film to tackle. On the one hand you try to view it as an important piece of filmmaking history, meanwhile, on the other hand, you feel so appalled by what you see that your gut reaction is simply to turn away and stop watching. The Birth of … Continue reading

The Films of Christopher Nolan: “Memento” (2000)

Now comes one of the major revelations of the past twenty years. If Following was Nolan’s rough but fun first try and a feature, then Memento is the bang-up second film that cements him as a serious filmmaker and voice for his generation. Memento is a baffling film. It is set mostly in hotels, seedy bars and alleyways, … Continue reading

Hope in “The Shawshank Redemption”

There’s something inside that they can’t get to, that they can’t touch. It’s yours. Hope. -Andy Dufrense Let me tell you something my friend, hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. -Red Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. -Andy Dufrense I … Continue reading

“Duel in the Sun” (1946, dir. King Vidor)

David O. Selznick, possibly the most famous producer of motion pictures of all time, had his hands in many of the most beloved Hollywood films. He worked with the likes of John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Carol Reed, Howard Hawks, and many others. He is especially famous for producing what might have been the biggest success story … Continue reading

“Bondathon, pt. 2: Daniel Craig” (2006-2015)

When I last wrote about the “Bondathon,” I admitted a deeply held cinematic shame: that I had never seen a single Bond movie before. Well, admittedly, it’s time a reveal my new cinematic shame: I’m just not a huge fan of the franchise. Beyond From Russia With Love (1963, dir. Terence Young) and Goldfinger (1964, dir. Guy Hamilton), … Continue reading

“Picnic at Hanging Rock” (1975, dir. Peter Weir)

Picnic at Hanging Rock looks and feels like a nightmare. The visuals, diffused and dreamy, hint that we are watching something not quite real, and yet the film’s earthen appearance solidly bedrocks it in some sort of reality similar to our own. Its narrative asks many questions of its viewers but supplies no answers, meanwhile giving a … Continue reading

“Macbeth” (2015, dir. Justin Kurzel)

I’ll admit to having not seen many Shakespearean film adaptations, but two films which I have seen number among my favorites. Those two films are Akira Kurosawa’s Ran and Throne of Blood, which are not only magnificent renditions of their respective plays (“King Lear” and “Macbeth”) but are just superlative examples of filmmaking. Justin Kurzel’s 2016 adaptation … Continue reading

“Lady Snowblood” (1973, dir. Toshiya Fujita)

The Lady Snowblood series are said to have been a great influence on Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill series. Influence might be a bit weak of a word, as Kill Bill: Vol. 1 almost exclusively took all of its ideas from Toshiya Fujita’s film. Homage is one thing, but wow, Quentin, pump the breaks a bit. Lady Snowblood is an woman … Continue reading

“No Country for Old Men” (2007, dir. The Coen Brothers)

As of late I’ve been trying to fill in blind spots in my film-viewing which (for instance, the James Bond series), and the films of the Coen Brothers are one of those blind-spots. I was only introduced to their films a few months ago when my uncle showed me Miller’s Crossing (which I really need to see again) and The Hudsucker … Continue reading

“Bondathon, pt. 1: Sean Connery” (1962-1971)

Before last week I had never seen a single James Bond movie before. Not a one. I knew the cliches of the series (one-liners, Bond sleeping with everything that wears a skirt, goofy spy plots) and even had some iconic moments in my mind (the woman who died of being painted gold, for instance), but … Continue reading

“Ponyo” (2008, dir. Hayao Miyazaki)

If there is one film among filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s body of work that is truly odd, it is without doubt Ponyo. That is not to say, mind you, that any of his films are particularly normal, but that in his body of work Ponyo is the one that stands out as strangest. His fascination with flying is nowhere present, … Continue reading

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