Tag Archives: movie reviews

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s

1,899 words

Blake Edwards’ 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s—loosely based on Truman Capote’s 1958 novel of the same name—stars Audrey Hepburn in her iconic role of Holly Golightly, a charming, flighty, feminine, haunted young woman trying to create a life—and an identity—in a gorgeous Technicolor New York City at what is arguably the peak of American civilization, just before the plunge.

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Joker

1,785 words

Note: Contains Spoilers

Audio Version: To listen in a player, click here. To download the mp3, right-click here and choose “save link as” or “save target as.”

One of the great things about Heath Ledger’s Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is that he does not have an origin story. Read more …

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Eyes Wide Shut

4,473 words

The day Jeffrey Epstein turned up dead in a New York jail cell, I decided I needed to write something about Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Stanley Kubrick’s last and weakest movie.

Epstein has quickly faded from the headlines, so let me remind you briefly of who he was. Epstein was an American Jew who enjoyed immense wealth from unknown sources, hobnobbed with the global elite, including Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, Read more …

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Remembering Leni Riefenstahl:
August 22, 1902–September 8, 2003

782 words

German translation here

Helene Bertha Amalie “Leni” Riefenstahl was born on this day in Berlin in 1902. She died in Pöcking, Bavaria, on September 8, 2003, just after her 101st birthday. She was a highly accomplished dancer, actress, photographer, and film director. 

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A Star Is Born

1,200 words

I could have happily lived the rest of my life without seeing any of the now four versions of A Star Is Born (1937, 1954, 1976, 2018). But on a long flight, I decided on a whim to watch the latest version, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. I like Bradley Cooper as an actor, and this is also his directorial debut. I was also curious about Lady Gaga, whom I had never actually heard. (Can I refer to her as “Gaga” for short?) Read more …

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Daft Punk’s Electroma

2,488 words

Daft Punk’s Electroma is a 2007 science fiction drama written and directed by the famous electronic house music duo, Daft Punk (Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter), who wear iconic robot outfits as part of their act. Daft Punk formed in 1993 and found success through their 1997 debut album Homework, 2001’s Discovery, and the critically mixed 2005 Human After All. Electroma, released in 2006, is an elaboration on Human After All‘s themes of technology and personal authenticity. Read more …

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The Game of Thrones Finale

2,225 words

I loved the Game of Thrones series when it first got started. I watched it on the recommendation of Greg Hood’s Counter-Currents reviews of Season One and Season Two. I was so taken with it that, when I ran out of episodes, I actually picked up George R. R. Martin’s books to see how the stories continued, Read more …

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Lauren Southern’s Borderless

1,284 words

I wasn’t going to watch Borderless, Lauren Southern’s latest documentary. I thought Farmlands, her film on South Africa, was important. Yet I knew enough about Europe. Read more …

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Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator

1,052 words

My favorite Martin Scorsese film is Gangs of New York (see my review here), but his follow-up film, The Aviator (2004), is a close second and rises in my estimation with each viewing. The Aviator is an epic depiction of the career of Howard Hughes, spanning the years 1927 to 1947, from the creation of his WWI flying epic Hell’s Angels to the successful test flight of the Hercules transport plane, dubbed by his enemies the “Spruce Goose.”

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Starship Troopers

2,086 words

Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers (1959) marked his transition from writing juvenile pulp science fiction to serious novels of ideas, in this case setting forth a highly reactionary and militarist political philosophy. Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 film of Starship Troopers takes quite a few liberties with Heinlein’s plot but manages to capture its spirit and communicate its key ideas. Read more …

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David Lynch’s Dune

5,550 words

David Lynch’s third feature film is his 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction classic Dune. Herbert’s Dune is widely hailed as a masterpiece, while Lynch’s Dune has a much more mixed reputation, tending toward the negative. When I first saw Lynch’s Dune, I was deeply disappointed. Herbert’s novel had left a powerful and vivid impression on me, and Lynch’s vision was not my vision. Read more …

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Far from the Madding Crowd

2,305 words

John Schlesinger’s 1967 adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel Far from the Madding Crowd should be a universally recognized cinema classic. But although it received generally positive reviews and did well in England, today it is virtually unknown, even among my friends who are film buffs.

I am going to comment on the movie only, not the book, which I have not read. Read more …

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Dragged Across Concrete

1,301 words

Dragged Across Concrete, S. Craig Zahler’s latest film, is a hardboiled, slow-burning neo-noir crime thriller that examines the plight of white men in modern America and the circumstances under which ordinary men are driven to crime. It further establishes Zahler (Bone Tomahawk [2015], Brawl in Cell Block 99 [2017]) as a highly talented filmmaker who is willing to take creative risks and deal with controversial ideas.

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Captain Marvel: A Review

1,789 words

America has to once again endure a terrible, big-budget girl power film from Hollywood.

Captain Marvel is receiving much praise from critics and journalists as the first feminist superhero movie. The Marvel film, starring Brie Larson as the titular female superhero, has been propelled by non-stop propaganda. Multiple movie theaters made Captain Marvel the only film they would play last weekend. Read more …

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Glass

809 words

M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass is a sequel to two of his films, Unbreakable (2000), which is my favorite of his works, and Split (2016), which I found to be quite unpleasant, although I must concede that it is brilliantly acted in the lead role(s) by James McEvoy.

Unbreakable is a deeply moving film about how David Dunn (Bruce Willis)—once a brilliant college athlete who has been emasculated by his wife, an overprotective physical therapist—discovers that he is not an ordinary man. Read more …

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Age of Cringe:
Alt-Right: Age of Rage

2,003 words

Based on a few clips, I was certain that Alt-Right: Age of Rage (2018) would lead to permanent physical damage from sheer cringiness. But I was delighted to have been proven wrong. This is a remarkably fair-minded documentary. On balance, though, I think it will be good for white identity politics. Age of Rage was directed by Adam Bhala Lough, an American of partial South Asian descent.

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“Hotter than Georgia asphalt”
David Lynch’s Wild at Heart

4,326 words

Wild at Heart is not David Lynch’s best movie, but it is my favorite. I would argue, for instance, that Blue Velvet, The Elephant Man, and The Straight Story are all better films. But for some reason they do not call me back year after year like Wild at Heart.

Wild at Heart was released in the summer of 1990, when Lynch was riding high on Twin Peaks mania. It won the Palme d’Or at the 1990 Cannes film festival, albeit over vocal protests. Read more …

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Three Identical Strangers

1,919 words

Three Identical Strangers is a 2018 documentary directed by Tim Wardle. It premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Storytelling. You can now watch it online at Amazon.com.

The documentary tells the story of Edward Galland, David Kellman, and Robert Shafran, identical triplets who were separated shortly after birth. Read more …

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Krampus: A Reminder of Winter

1,780 words

Imagine this. It’s 3 in the afternoon. You’re lying in bed with your wife. You’re watching a Christmas movie. Suddenly you understand at the same time the purpose of family, the absurdity of reward without punishment and the naivety of European man who thought he could live as a goofy creature of materialism while shutting out from himself the darkness of existence. You think back to some boomer or tradcon or whatever bellyaching about how muh leftists are trying to take the Christ out of Christmas and make it ‘just some holiday about snow.’ Read more …

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Bernardo Bertolucci & The Conformist

1,340 words

Reputation-wise, Bernardo Bertolucci (1941-2018) missed a good bet by not dying a quarter-century ago, rather than lingering on for years of illness and diminishing fame. Orson Welles spent his lengthy dotage introducing himself to new generations as a pitchman for Paul Masson wine, and that seemed pretty sad, but at least people knew who he was. When the equally talented Bertolucci died on November 26, he had almost no public profile at all.  Read more …

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Eraserhead:
A Gnostic Anti-Sex Film

3,373 words

David Lynch’s first movie Eraserhead (1977) combines surrealism, low-budget horror, and black comedy. It rapidly became a staple of the midnight movie circuit and provided endless fodder for coffee-house intellectuals and academic film theorists.

Eraserhead is quite simply a gnostic anti-sex film. The film is premised on a gnostic dualism, which holds that the material world—including sex and childbearing—is fundamentally evil, Read more …

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Children of Men

828 words

Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men (2006) is loosely based on P. D. James’ 1992 novel of the same name. Cuarón is solidly Leftist, but Children of Men seems more and more like a Right-wing vision of dystopia with each passing year. (Cuarón’s 2001 film Y Tu Mamá También, is basically Marxist propaganda and soft-core porn, but his 2013 hit Gravity could be seen as an argument against putting women in the military or space, although I don’t think this was the director’s intention.)  Read more …

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

1,290 words 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the latest installment in the ever-expanding Wizarding World franchise and the second film of the Fantastic Beasts series. Much like Peter Jackson’s bloated Hobbit trilogy, the Fantastic Beasts franchise is an unapologetic cash grab and will sprawl across five films, approaching the length of the original Harry Potter series.

Read more …

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The Sci-Fi Channel’s Dune & Children of Dune

1,723 words

David Lynch’s Dune (1984) is a flawed masterpiece. When I first saw it, I was deeply disappointed. Frank Herbert’s original novel made a powerful impression on me. I could see Herbert’s world, and Lynch’s vision was not my vision. But when my initial impression faded and I returned to Lynch’s film with an open mind, I found it immensely imaginative and compelling. Even the score by Toto managed to grow on me.  Read more …

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We’re All Jets Now:
The Racial Politics of West Side Story

5,930 words

So Stephen Spielberg is remaking West Side Story.

Let me guess, Stephen. You believe that in the era of Trump, this classic tale of nativists versus immigrants — and about how “we should all just get along because we really aren’t all that different when you really think about it” — is more relevant than ever. Did I guess right, Stephen? Did I?

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Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto

1,130 words

Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto is set in present-day Los Tuxtlas, Mexico in the year 1511 and depicts the final days of Maya civilization through the eyes of a man named Jaguar Paw. The main theme of the film is summarized by the Will Durant quote displayed at the beginning: “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it destroys itself from within.”

Apocalypto is hard to find: Read more …

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Remembering Leni Riefenstahl:
August 22, 1902–September 8, 2003

768 words

German translation here

Helene Bertha Amalie “Leni” Riefenstahl was born on this day in Berlin in 1902. She died in Pöcking, Bavaria, on September 8, 2003, just after her 101st birthday. She was a highly accomplished dancer, actress, photographer, and film director. 

Read more …

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

812 words

I loved 2015’s Jurassic World, the reboot of the Jurassic Park “franchise” starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, directed by Colin Trevorrow, and co-authored by Trevorrow and Derek Connolly. Jurassic World blew away the Jurassic Park films. It is highly entertaining and also surprisingly wholesome. Along with the main attractions, the dinosaurs, Jurassic World is pro-masculine, anti-feminist, and pro-family, with an overwhelmingly white cast and virtually no political correctness. Read more …

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The Incredibles 2

2,167 words

Appreciating Pixar’s The Incredibles 2 really is all about perspective, and that perspective comes only after experiencing the giddy nirvana of watching the first Incredibles movie. Going into the sequel, I was prepared to forgive it for not quite living up to the original, but would not forgive if it did not remain true to the spirit of the original. I’m fairly easy to please in this regard given that the spirit of the original was such a unique and wonderful thing.  Read more …

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Céline Goes Hollywood

1,860 words

One of the saddest episodes in the life of Dr. Louis-Ferdinand Destouches, alias Louis-Ferdinand Céline, came right after he published his first novel in 1933.

Voyage a la bout de la nuit (Journey to the End of the Night) was a succés d’estime from the start and before long a bestseller too. Surely it would be soon made into a major motion picture.

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