Monthly Archives: January 2019


NY Times Critics

2019-01-09T02:01:34+00:00January 9th, 2019|Essays|

It would be good to know that a certain critic’s taste coincided with your own, especially if that critic were on The New York Times, which is my primary source of movie information. One easy test of this came this weekend, when the Times printed an Oscars section in which their two chief critics, A.O. [...]

If Beale Street Could Talk – 6

2019-01-07T22:50:57+00:00January 7th, 2019|Reviews|

Beale Street is a long, slow street we're asked to walk, without a happy end in sight. There is one scene that crackles, when the future in-laws come over to hear the news, but if that record plays at 78, the rest is 33-1/3. The two lead actors are bland in their goodness, and the [...]

Vice – 7.8

2019-01-03T05:02:19+00:00January 3rd, 2019|Reviews|

Watching this, I was two-thirds ashamed to be an American, with our recent history running from Richard Nixon through the phony justifications of the Iraq invasion, but one-third proud to live in a culture that could produce such a clever, popular takedown of a living public figure. Some caricatures misfired - especially Steve Carrell's Donald [...]

Shoplifters – 8

2019-01-02T01:36:50+00:00January 2nd, 2019|Reviews|

A meditation on family, Shoplifters also hits home as a reflection on what counts as progress in Japanese society since Yasujiro Ozu's very similar films in the 1950s. Most obvious is the style of filmmaker Kore-eda, shooting from tatami-level. Then there is the plot of everyday family matters, one vignette of daily life after another [...]