Category B+ Reviews

Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997)

Boogie Nights may borrow generously from Scorsese, Altman, Kalatozov, and others, but when borrowing is done this well, and touched up to fulfill the borrower’s own unique sensibilities, it’s hard to care. The first shot, which tracks from an exterior into a nightclub and then circles the room, briefly acquainting us with many of the […]

Innocent Sorcerers (Andzrej Wajda, 1960)

You can’t tell at first, but Andrzej Wajda’s Innocent Sorcerers slowly reveals itself to be cut from the same cloth as Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour, Roberto Rossellini’s Voyage to Italy and Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise. Of those, Hiroshima Mon Amour is the closest resemblance, for Innocent Sorcerers has its own Nouvelle Vague sensibilities, from […]

Stranger By The Lake (Alain Guiraudie, 2014)

A handful of critically acclaimed, awards-nominated, and highly visible LGBT films have enjoyed some level of prominence over the past few years, such as Andrew Haigh’s excellent Weekend, Ira Sachs’ Independent Spirit Award-nominated Keep The Lights On, and Steven Soderbergh’s Emmy and Golden Globe winning Behind The Candelabra, but all of them shied away from […]

La Haine (Mathieu Kappovitz, 1995)

It is almost appropriate that the June 8th and 9th riots in Noisy-le-Grand, a cité East of Paris, were blamed on La Haine, because the film, barely a week old at the time, comes dangerously close to implicating movies as the reason for violence in the French projects. The film’s protagonist and most foolhardy character, […]

The Player (Robert Altman, 1992)

There is a scene near the end of The Player’s first act in which Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) calls June Gudmundsdottir (Greta Scacchi) from his cell phone just outside her house to get in touch with her boyfriend, David Kahane (Vincent D’Onofrio), who Griffin believes to be threatening him. Never mind the purpose of the […]

All is Lost (J.C. Chandor, 2013) (New York Film Festival review)

At the time of writing, the Wikipedia page for All is Lost has a section that reads nothing more than “A man is lost at sea and struggles to survive.” The only amendment I would make is adding that he wakes up to water rushing into the interior because of a collision with a shipping […]

I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007)

Not once is the name Bob Dylan, or even Robert Zimmerman, the birth name of the folk legend, spoken in I’m Not There. Instead, we get Woody Guthrie (not THAT Woody Guthrie, this one is an African-American child, portrayed by Marcus Carl Franklin), Jack Rollins (Christian Bale), Jude Quinn (Cate Blanchett), Billy The Kid (yes, […]