Joel Mandelkorn

Joel Mandelkorn

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Favorite films

  • Ikiru
  • Certified Copy
  • Mistress America
  • Burning

Recent activity

All
  • The Haunting

    ★★★

  • Blaze

    ★★

  • White Echo

    ★★★

  • House on Haunted Hill

    ★★★½

Recent reviews

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  • The Haunting

    The Haunting

    ★★★

    "You mustn't confuse ghoulish with ghostly."

    Scattered fragments of a better film, this is a start and stop "scary" story, more concerned with quips and potential subtext than stitching together any actual plot or suspense. Julie Harris' crazed and unraveling Eleanor carries the film and any hope of a good ol' haunting. The black and white cinematography is stark but also rote in an "important" stage play sort of way. There are a few great scenes punctuated by killer sound design - cliché now but still effective.

    "Look, Doc, don't give me any of that supernatural jazz."

  • Blaze

    Blaze

    ★★

    Clumsy start but it eventually finds a simple Hollywood groove. Still way too long considering the nothing story and loose political plot add-ons. Gruff Paul Newman seems to be having fun and is also just sort of winging it. Lolita Davidovich has an awkward and undefined role but still makes something of it. This movie is too sleepy and aimless scene-to-scene - definitely could have used a bit of pace and wit to capture the odd but charming romance. The…

Popular reviews

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  • Anatomy of a Murder

    Anatomy of a Murder

    ★★★★½

    This film is so absolutely dialed into its mission. Extra credit for being one of the seminal courtroom dramas, inspiring countless imitators - from the story beats, cast of characters and mixed tone. The stakes are neatly laid out, all while sneaking in charm and irreverence. A few fun supporting characters disappointingly drift to the background.

    You could talk me into this being the best Jimmy Stewart performance. Love how he's not a full idealist and is okay working the…

  • Nashville

    Nashville

    ★★★★★

    Observer's delight.

    Ambitious and intimate, this film is a wonderful piece of American zeitgeist. It's a grand ode to an earnest, yet stunted culture. It's a treat to view a story effortlessly assembling a collage of perspectives - adjoined with both curious warmth and soft ridicule. The layered and lived-in sound design and visual stoicism are exciting, creating the kind of film that feels singular and timeless.

    Absolutely love the hard cynical turn the final 45 minutes.