Favorite films

  • Risky Business
  • Le Notti Bianche
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
  • Written on the Wind

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  • De Palma

    ★★★½

  • When the Wind Blows

    ★★★★½

  • Semi-Tough

    ★★½

  • Across 110th Street

    ★★★★

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  • Nothing But a Man

    Nothing But a Man

    ★★★★½

    I don't claim to know what it was like to be a black man in the 1960s South, but if there was ever a film that shows the realistic point of view of a black man living in the South during that time, it is Nothing But a Man. Co-written by Robert M. Young (director of Caught and Short Eyes) and German-born director Michael Roemer, this film picks up on the subtle nuances of the quest to make a living…

  • The Hill

    The Hill

    ★★★★½

    1964-1965 was a period where director Sidney Lumet made three very high-quality black & white films: The Pawnbroker, Fail Safe, and The Hill. While all three of these films are somewhat well regarded by critics, it wasn't until the Criterion Collection released Fail Safe on blu-ray that collectors took much notice of these Lumet classics. This two-year period represented the time when the late, now-cherished director began to pick up momentum in his career and gained some accolades with critics. In…

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  • Across 110th Street

    Across 110th Street

    ★★★★

    Billed primarily as Anthony Quinn vs. Yaphet Kotto and dismissed by many as a blaxploitation flick, there is far more to this than either of those labels would indicate. Quinn (as Mattelli) and Kotto (as Pope) represent the completely opposite personalities and working methods of the NYPD. With Quinn, you have the self-confident police captain who will stop at nothing to get a confession, often resorting to the use of violence and intimidation if that's what it takes, and proud…

  • Darker Than Amber

    Darker Than Amber

    ★★★½

    PI Travis McGee IS Rod Taylor, and Taylor was never better than in this lost gem from 1970 directed by Robert Clouse. There are some definite treasures to be found here, such as the incredibly beautiful Suzy Kendall (playing two roles), a manically psychotic William Smith as the baddest of the bad-guy bodybuilders (Terry), and a climactic fight scene where Rod Taylor really punched William Smith, who then retaliated, triggering an actual fight where Taylor broke three of Smith's ribs…

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  • Pain and Glory

    Pain and Glory

    ★★★★

    Antonio Banderas has never been better as Salvador Mallo, an aging writer-director who looks back at aspects of his life with sadness and regret. His story is told through flashbacks of him as a nine-year-old boy (with his mother played by the wonderful Penélope Cruz) and much more recently, just before his aging mother dies (not played by Penélope Cruz). She surprises him by saying that he was not always the best son to her, and her death leaves him…

  • Uncut Gems

    Uncut Gems

    ★★★★

    The Safdie brothers continue the fast-paced, feverishly stressful style they set forth in Good Time. In that film, they had Robert Pattinson, and people were saying "Oh, he CAN act!" and here we have Adam Sandler doing very much the same thing. Absolute chaos is what best describes this film and the world of Howard Ratner, quite possibly the film character of the year. He navigates a lifestyle that is as stress-inducing in its audience as anything I have witnessed…