Favorite films

  • Vertigo
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Notorious
  • GoodFellas

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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★½

  • Parasite

    ★★★★

  • Uncut Gems

    ★★★★

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    ★★

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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★½

    This is a very well-told story. It's small, and it's intimate, and it's quiet. It's subtlety surprising. It's well-acted, and impressively shot. I just don't know that all of that adds up to it actually being enjoyable.

    For me, I wasn't bored, but I wasn't particularly entertained, either. It's a movie that hangs like a portrait in an art gallery. It's just kind of there, and can be very nice to look at, but what it does for you is probably dependent upon you--what you bring to it, and what you get out of it personally.

  • Uncut Gems

    Uncut Gems

    ★★★★

    This is a great modern-day take on the classic 70s-style spiraling-downward movie. It's The Gambler for the 21st century--the Mark Wahlberg version notwithstanding. You feel the walls closing in on Sandler's character the whole time... and then they do so literally. The Safdies do a great job of combining noirish storytelling aspects with more Millennial elements (it's best if you don't recall the 2012 NBA Eastern Conference finals). Serious Actor Adam Sandler is always a draw for me, and he's…

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  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    ★★

    Coming out of a summer where there was a masterpiece that just kept getting better every time I saw it (OUATIH), now the year is going to end with the opposite. Things I overlooked the first time I saw The Rise of Skywalker are no longer ignorable the second time, and there aren't any parts that got better with a repeat viewing. (It's basically the anti-Last Jedi.) This movie was written by internet trolls. It's the most cynical mega-corporation approach to art that I can possibly imagine.

  • Knives Out

    Knives Out

    ★★★½

    This is the first Rian Johnson movie I've seen that didn't have a weird and unnecessary sidetrack before getting on with the third act. That's not to say it's exactly tight, but it's at least focused.
    You go to a murder mystery expecting a fun experience with some surprises, and that's what Knives Out is. You go in knowing there's gotta be a twist, and then the twist is that the twist isn't the kind of twist you were probably…