This category contains 17 posts


Very minor spoilers ahead. Nothing major, however, and I feel this is a mostly safe review of the film. If you want to know as little as possible, however, it may be best to wait and read this after you see the movie. There are a number of things you can say about every single Star Wars … Continue reading

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

The Cinematic Monolith: “Napoleon” (1927, dir. Abel Gance)

In the hallowed halls of cinematic history there stand a few monolithic films, in the shadow of which all following films stand. 1927’s great, ever elusive Napoleon by director Abel Gance might be chiefest among them all. Not only is it a technical marvel that even few modern films can hold a candle to, it is also an … Continue reading

For the Love of Star Wars

I’ll start off by saying that somewhere in here is a review of Rogue One. That was the point when I began writing anyway, but it somehow grew into something more. I hope you enjoy this rambling on all things Star Wars as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’ve written in the past about the influence of Star … Continue reading

“Cabiria” (1914, dir. Giovanni Pastrone)

Typically when people talk about the movie changed how movies are made, The Birth of a Nation (1915, dir. D.W. Griffith) is the movie that is brought up. Yet for all of its technical achievement, Cabiria, made the year before and on the other side of the world, has all the technical marvel of Griffith’s civil war film, but … 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

Three Short Films by Werner Herzog (1967-1969)

Today I received the BFI Werner Herzog Collection in the mail. I bought it on sale on Amazon UK about a month ago and have been anxiously awaiting its arrival ever since. I was super excited when it got here, so I immediately cracked it open and started devouring it. The very first disc had … 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

“Bridge of Spies” (2015, dir. Steven Spielberg)

Steven Spielberg has a knack for directing movies that I like. To put it simply, I just enjoy the majority of the man’s work. Tonight I went into the theater not sure what to expect (the last Spielberg movie I saw in theaters, Lincoln, left me disappointed) and within minutes I had bought into the world … Continue reading

Five Movies With No (or little) Sound

Lists are very difficult for me to write because there are just so many movies that I love and that are important to me. So, since I haven’t written anything in a few days, I wanted to take a moment to share some movies that are either completely silent or close enough to count. This list is … Continue reading

“Porco Rosso” (1992, dir. Hayao Miyazaki)

The odd rules at work in the films of Hayao Miyazaki are largely why his movies standout as so unique. This strange sense of reality is at once supernatural and yet highly believable, and lends the films the air of fantasy colliding with reality that is the trademark of his work. Porco Rosso is no … Continue reading

In the Shadow of John Ford: “Lincoln” (2012, dir. Steven Spielberg)

In Lincoln, Steven Spielberg is obviously attempting to channel the late-great director of Americana: John Ford (The Searchers, Stagecoach, Young Mr. Lincoln, The Quiet Man). In certain aspects Spielberg even manages to capture some of the qualities that made a John Ford movie a John-Ford-movie. Lincoln, as played by Daniel Day-Lewis, certainly has the homespun quality of a … Continue reading

“Die Nibelungen – Part II : Kriemhild’s Revenge” (1924, dir. Fritz Lang)

Siegfried is dead, and his wife, Kriemhild, knows who the murderer is. Whatever mythic qualities Part I had are gone. When the mythic character of Part I died, the mythic qualities died along with him. Gone are the Dwarves, Dragons, and magic abilities that define the first half of the tale, and in their place … Continue reading

“Seven Samurai” (1954, dir. Akira Kurosawa)

Seven Samurai has become a part of the cinematic language. Routinely it is described as one of the greatest films of all time, and possibly the greatest of the Japanese films. The director, Akira Kurosawa, has been described as one of the most important directors to come out of the east, and invented a visual … Continue reading

“The Battle of Midway” (1942, dir. John Ford)

There isn’t much to say about this film other than how great a piece of US War Propaganda  it is. John Ford and three other photographers (Jack MacKenzie, Kenneth M. Pier, and Joseph H. August) were on the island of Midway (Midway Atoll) during the attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy. Ford and his crew … Continue reading

An Apocalypse: “Ran” (1985, dir. Akira Kurosawa)

 In a very strange way, Ran is the Akira Kurosawa-counterpart to Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story. Both films deal with parents who are passed about by the children as if they are an unwanted nuisance. But Ran is apocalyptic. It is about a man who puts his faith in the world around him only to discover … Continue reading

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