Category Drama

Insomnia (2002)

Insomnia is almost the ultimate film noir inverse, an argument supported strongest by its location – a small town in Alaska during the time of year in which it never gets dark, ever. In the noir films of the 1940s and 50’s, and even the majority of the neo-noirs produced in the decades following, high contrast […]

Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

Bringing Out the Dead is so similar to Martin Scorsese’s 1976 masterpiece Taxi Driver, so blatantly a spiritual successor, that the two should be required viewing as a double bill. Replacing Travis Bickle, the volatile, traumatized war veteran cab driver is Frank Pierce (Nicholas Cage), a third shift paramedic racing down the same streets that Bickle prowled after […]

Logan (2017)

The year is 2029. The world is in a state of decay and decline. The X-Men are long gone. It’s telling that the film is set primarily in a desert, with Logan himself living in a self-imposed exile south of the border, in a shelter harboring two of the remaining known mutants (“Professor X” and […]

Snapshot Reviews: Moonlight, Silence, 20th Century Women

Although some considerable time has passed since my initial viewings of these movies, preventing me from confidently writing an individual post for each, I wanted to take at least a little time to highlight just what makes three of last year’s best films so great. MOONLIGHT (2016) Like all great poetry, Moonlight finds its universal impact and […]

Park Row (1952)

Probably the most explosive, high-energy film ever made about something as seemingly pedestrian and banal as the newspaper. Samuel Fuller’s passion-project (he was a journalist himself before becoming a filmmaker) clocks in at just over 80-minutes – not a single frame is wasted. Gene Evans’ Mitchell forms his own newspaper, The Globe, and quickly comes into […]

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

One of the year’s most beautiful movies, to be sure, and the “novel” sections of the film are pure pulped-up thriller, but I’m not sure what else is really here. Reminded me a bit of The Neon Demon meets Hell or High Water (especially in the way Ford elevates cinematic trash, similarly to Refn, through […]

Arrival (2016)

It is difficult with my American ego to not view everything for its potential comments on our society, but Arrival, despite its global scale and preoccupations, feels particularly imperative. Louise, a brilliant linguist professor (Amy Adams, so good you forget she’s acting) is recruited by the U.S. military as they desperately try to establish the purpose […]