Film Faves

A few of my favorite recent film reviews and commentaries.

Steve & Rob go to Italy

Coogan and Brydon focus more on competitive banter and dueling impressions than on the food, but the food and scenery are still pretty spectacular in their second culinary road trip film.

The Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense

This great concert film, envisioned by David Byrne and directed by Jonathan Demme, deserves its 30th anniversary screening. I also discuss films from Brazil and the UK that warrant attention.

Transferring Ibsen to the screen

A Master Builder is another successful collaboration by Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory, with Jonathan Demme as director.

Jersey Boys, better on stage than screen

The film version of Jersey Boys got mixed reviews. My review wasn’t mixed. An adaptation should be allowed to stand on its own, without reference to its origins. But this film tried to be more than a jukebox musical and it failed.

Movies, movies, movies.

I comment on some Oscar favorites and orphans and offer you a special treat: The Kevin Smith Trilogy. One of my favorite films of all time is in this post.

Reliving the ’60s with Llewyn Davis.

Only the critics seemed to love this movie and I did too. I even had arguments with friends who for some reason “hated it.” So see what I think.

Why did I love Her?

One reason is that it reminded me of one of my favorite authors. This review gave me a chance to recruit a few more fans for the work of Richard Powers, an under-appreciated novelist.

Five movies to add to your watch list.

No fluffy comedies, no chick flicks or guys-bonding stories.  Just five imaginative, insightful, beautiful and thought-provoking films. These are five films I love.

Czech Dream & Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer 

Movie reviews of two politically charged documentaries, set 10 years apart in Prague and Moscow. In Prague, two filmmakers play a commercial prank on their fellow citizens. In Moscow, feminine activists prove that Putin’s Russia is still totalitarian.

No, Holy Motors and Goodbye Solo

My reviews of three excellent films, the kind of film that the mainstream media often ignore. Holy Motors is a particularly innovative and hallucinatory film. It’s a film about film-making. I’m going to write more about it in the future.

This Must Be the Place 

This is an extraordinarily rewarding film if I can interest you in the plot and the techniques – and if you can tolerate ambiguity. It’s written and directed by the Italian Paolo Sorrentino. Sean Penn stars as Cheyenne, a rich rock star, retired in Dublin, who seems to have lost interest in life and has nothing to think about except when to sell his 30,000 shares of Tesco.

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