Category: movies

  • Serve Lots of Wine Beatriz at Dinner a film by Miguel Arteta.  With Salma Hayak, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Chloe Sevigny.  ***1/2 “Why have an ending that negates everything that happened in the whole movie?” my wife said to me as we left Beatriz at Dinner?  I’d been troubled by the ending, though I wouldn’t have put so strongly.  She ... Read more
  • The Wonder of Women Wonder Woman a film by Patty Jenkins.  With Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright ***1/2 Arrival a film by Denis Villeneuve.  With Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker ***** A Quiet Passion a film by Terence Davies.  With Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle, Duncan Duff ***   I’m as happy as everyone else that we finally have a movie about ... Read more
  • Alcoholics Preposterous Colossal a film by Nacho Vigalondo.  With Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell.  *??? There’s a mind state called suspension of disbelief, where we overlook an unlikely aspect of a work of art because it is a premise of what we’re watching.  The idea that James Bond would always do the right thing at the right ... Read more
  • What’s Your Name, a film by Makato Shinkai, based on his novel.  With Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryo Narita. I’ve been reading Kobun Chino’s commentary on the Song of Awakening, and the day before I saw this film read the following passage: “When the body of all the buddhas penetrates my nature there is interpenetration and fusion.  My nature ... Read more
  • Doc, Ya Gotta Level Wit Me  Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2017 My Lineup: Whose Streets? / Still Tomorrow / The Good Postman / Abacus / Zaatari Djinn / Tribal Justice / Strong Island / Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities / Quest / The Force / May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers At ... Read more
  • James Baldwin Has a Question I Am Not Your Negro a film by Raoul Peck.  With James Baldwin, Samuel L. Jackson, Dick Cavett. ****1/2 In a way I wish the title of this film had gone further.  The speech in the movie that it most closely reflects it is one by James Baldwin on a television interview: “What white people have ... Read more
  • This Movie Is About You (Put Away Your Phone) Paterson A film by Jim Jarmusch.  With Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley, Nellie. Every now and then people call something a Zen movie, and the candidate this year is Paterson, a film whose script Jim Jarmusch apparently wrote twenty years ago and in which almost nothing happens.  A man (Adam Driver) awakens every morning ... Read more
  • You Gotta Start Somewhere Beginners a film by Mike Mills.  With Ewen McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent, Mary Page Keller, Cosmo. I have the perfect solution for those who loved 20th Century Women and don’t know what to watch next (after they’ve read the profile of director Mike Mills in the New Yorker): watch Mills’ previous film Beginners, which streams ... Read more
  • Maybe Not This Village Twentieth Century Women a film by Mike Mills.  With Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, Lucas Jade Zumann.  ****1/2 When I first heard the title of this movie, I thought, what the hell is a twentieth century woman?  How is she different from a twenty-first century woman?  But now that I’ve seen it, I think the ... Read more
  • The Poetry of Everyday Speech Fences a film by Denzel Washington.  Screenplay by August Wilson.  With Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo. When I was a young man growing up in Pittsburgh, I wanted to be the writer who put the city on the map.  I read Theodore Dreiser’s Newspaper Days; he’d spent some time in the city, and ... Read more