Review: ‘The Vast of Night’

Andrew Patterson’s The Vast of Night begins inside a bit of a gimmick. Slowly maneuvering towards a television set located in the center of an impeccably decorated 50’s style living room, the film about to unfurl before us is introduced as part of “The Paradox Theatre” . . . an obvious nod to “The Twilight Zone,” with its block lettering and baritone narrator. The camera seeps … Continue reading Review: ‘The Vast of Night’

Review: ‘How To Build A Girl’

There’s a pivotal scene in Coky Giedroyc’s How To Build A Girl that asks the viewer to suspend disbelief when 16-year-old music critic Dolly Wilde sits down for her first real interview with a thriving British pop singer. She breathlessly asks three or four inane questions (i.e. “favorite Beatle?” and “if you only had one pound to spend in a sweet shop what would you … Continue reading Review: ‘How To Build A Girl’

Review: ‘Blood on Her Name’ Reinvents the Noir Playbook

In the moment, she doesn’t know what to do. But it’s only a moment, and then she steadies her nerves and takes immediate action. Rather than call for help, Leigh Tiller (Bethany Anne Lind) decides to clean up her own mess, which happens to be a dead body on the floor of a garage. How it happened, or her own involvement, or possible culpability … … Continue reading Review: ‘Blood on Her Name’ Reinvents the Noir Playbook

Review: ‘The Lodge,’ Long on Atmosphere, Short on Everything Else

As The Shining showed us almost 40 years ago, nothing good ever comes from a deteriorating mind in an isolated, snow-bound place. In Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s new horror film The Lodge, substituting for Jack Nicholson’s crumbling facade into homicidal impulses is the always interesting Riley Keough as Grace, sent packing with her new boyfriend and his two younger children (Lia McHugh and Jaeden … Continue reading Review: ‘The Lodge,’ Long on Atmosphere, Short on Everything Else

My Favorite Films of 2019

15. Peterloo (Mike Leigh) Imagining Mike Leigh tackle a historical act of massacre seems like an oblique fit for his intensely talky and introspective human nature dramas. I’m so glad he made this film, and yes, it does fit nicely as a very talky effort that exhaustively examines and discusses the swirling politics and history leading up to the event. The first 2 hours can … Continue reading My Favorite Films of 2019