Favorite films

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  • Calibre
  • The Killing
  • Dogman

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  • The Trip

    ★★★½

  • Halloween Kills

    ★★

  • Operation Hyacinth

    ★★★★

  • To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story

    ★★★★

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  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★★

    To tell a love story without the expected words, phrases, and gestures meant to communicate specific thoughts, feelings, and private longings is particularly challenging to pull off, awkward and off-putting when executed even with the slightest hint of self-consciousness, but Luca Guadagnino’s surprisingly disarming “Call Me by Your Name,” based on the novel by André Aciman, makes it look like most graceful dance, so natural, delicate, and free of chains that prevent so many coming-of-age pictures from reaching their maximum…

  • Zodiac

    Zodiac

    ★★★★½

    A deliberate sidestepping of overt action is the strategy director David Fincher employs in “Zodiac,” a true crime thriller surrounding the hunt for the Zodiac killer who terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area from 1969 to 1971. Highly intelligent, meticulous, and efficient, at times the picture embodies the texture of a documentary in the way it dares to break away from the expected plot and dramatic parabola. What matters is information, how it is presented, and what conclusions, if any,…

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  • Halloween Kills

    Halloween Kills

    ★★

    Do you hear that noise? It’s director David Gordon Green scraping the bottom of the barrel in “Halloween Kills,” a boring and lifeless sequel despite the fact that it follows multiple Haddonfield residents right after the notorious serial murderer Michael Myers (Nick Castle, James Jude Courtney) came home and went on another killing spree. The middle chapter of a trilogy should be propulsive, informative, and revealing—the anchor that inspires viewers to want to learn more about the story being told.…

  • Operation Hyacinth

    Operation Hyacinth

    ★★★★

    Piotr Domalewski’s “Operation Hyacinth” presents a bleak portrait of mid-80s communist Warsaw, specifically in terms of crimes perpetrated against members of the LGBTQIA+ community simply because they exist. The story begins like a slow burn crime-thriller—two militia officers assigned to investigate the murder of a rich man whose corpse was found in a well-known cruising spot for gay men—but it unfolds with simmering anger and condemnation; it is correct to offer only minimal catharsis, if any. This particular story, like…

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  • Godzilla vs. Kong

    Godzilla vs. Kong

    ★★

    Here is yet another example of what is wrong with blockbusters these days: characters having more in common with stick figures than breathing, thinking, caring people; dialogue so dead that halfway through it comes across as though the picture has given up on words and so poorly executed reaction shots are allowed to run rampant; and there is no intrigue to be had or cherished. What it offers is flashing lights and a barrage of senseless noise; go to a…

  • Violation

    Violation

    ★★★★½

    Once a friend (with benefits) suggested that I spend the night. And when one of us fell asleep, the other should… go inside, if you know what I mean. “That’s rape,” I said, almost as an involuntary reaction, while attempting to detect a hint of whether the proposal was a joke. Suddenly there was uncomfortable confusion in the air. “It would be sexy,” retorted the voice right next to my ear but it felt like the words were coming from…