2018: The Books I’ve Read – Q2

In the second quarter of the year, I managed to boost my rate of consumption by 66%, even as I took longer with at least one book than I had with any of the other seven I’ve read so far this year. That all of the books I’ve read have been fairly short helps (the longest is…

FIRST REFORMED Review – ****

The special brilliance of First Reformed is that, for as much as it confronts us with the ugliness of life, both in an eternal sense and in a sense of the issues we face at this very moment, it repeatedly counters its own arguments by reminding us of the persistence of life, of its simple joys and…

MWFF: HARVEY MIDDLEMAN, FIREMAN – ***

Taking off from my recently published list of my 50 most wanted films, this is the start of a new series which I’m calling Most Wanted Films Found (MWFF). As some of the films on that list are easier to track down than others, I decided that, once the list was up, I would try…

2018: The Books I’ve Read – Q1

Right after Christmas, my workplace banned cell phones on the premises, so that even during my breaks I would not be able to fiddle around on my phone (or spend half my break trying to get a workable signal, as was so often the case). This left with me with up to an hour of…

BLACK PANTHER Review – ****

Five weeks into its release, with over $600 million in the till in North America alone and reviews good enough to spur talk of Oscar glory, is there much left to be said about Black Panther? Is there much I can add to the chorus of acclaim, especially since, as my rating gives away, I am…

A WRINKLE IN TIME Review – ***

A Wrinkle in Time is the kind of movie that breaks my heart a bit. As an example of representation and empowerment, both in front of and behind the camera, it earns top marks. As a fantasy adventure and spectacle, it has some really delightful moments which show just what a skilled director can do with…

ANNIHILATION Review – ****

Is the distortion/mutation/alteration of what we consider the natural order necessarily malevolent? Is the Shimmer, with what it does to our accepted form of organic reality, a force of evil, or good, or something else entirely? The title initially suggests an act of malice, but might it not also refer to an eradication of accepted…

My Top 10 Films of 2017

As with my personal list of the bottom 10 films of the year, this list is solely determined by what happened to end up as the 10 highest-ranked films on my personal list. It wasn’t as if I started with a list of films I liked and had to pick 10 – this is just…

My Bottom 10 Films of 2017

Two film quotes come to mind: “The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.” “You thought you had to become Bigfoot to save this town, but you saved it a long time ago by just being you.” One is from a good film. The other is from…

My Most Underrated Films of 2017

The same rules apply to this list as to yesterday’s list. These are subjective choices, rooted in my perception of how well a film was received, and how well it should have been received. Many of these films got good reviews (there weren’t many films this year where I seriously diverged from the critical consensus, honestly), and…