My favorites are four of my favorites, not my four favorites. Cause who makes a top four list?
One of film’s greatest powers is the ability to turn mediocre songs into magical moments. I’ve become obsessed with a Celine Dione song because of Mommy, and “Rhythm of the Night” because of Beau Travail. For the longest time, I didn’t like or dislike Rihanna. I just had no opinion. After watching Girlhood and American Honey, though, I might as well have her poster hanging above my bed.
The first concert I ever saw was Mike and the Mechanics and…
This film is bananas. The cast is stuffed with stars, but also amounts to a Sopranos pilot; there’s at least ten actors that would end up in the show, and at times it seems like James Mangold and friends went to David Chase and said, “Ok. We’re gonna cast literally everyone and do literally everything, and you can sort through the wreckage and make one of the greatest shows ever.”
Don’t get me wrong. This film about mob infiltration in the…
There came a point when I started placing certain horror films in sub-genres specific to the effect they had on me. For instance, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is, to me, clearly the best horror film ever made. There’s barely any gore, but it’s terrifying throughout. No other film I’ve seen creates and sustains the rapier-sharp tension and anxiety of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s all setting and mood: no jump-scares required (except the hammer one [best jump scare ever])
Martyrs, another much-talked-about…
The majority of the films made by the notorious Cannon film studio starred actors like Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Dolph Lungren. They were the hair metal of 80s films, chock full of boobs, guns, and more boobs.
But I grew up in this era, so I thought films like Death Wish 4, Missing in Action 3, and Breaking 2: Electric Boogaloo were just the way the world worked! It was either those films or snore-fests like Chariots of…
Chloe Zhao has got it. I am loving this crop of directors that are putting one, maybe two professional actors in their films, then filling out the cast with non-actors that can’t help but be authentic and real. Sean Baker’s Tangerine and Florida Project, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Eliza Hittman’s Beach Rats and Never Rarely Sometimes Always, and Chloe Zhao’s The Rider and now Nomadland.
You find actors like Willem Dafoe (Bobby in Florida Project) and Frances McDormand (Fern in Nomadland) that are incredibly talented, but…