Palm Springs

Release: Friday, July 10, 2020 (Hulu) →Hulu Written by: Andy Siara Directed by: Max Barbakow Palm Springs, a buzzy new Hulu original starring Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti and J.K. Simmons, for me has an unusual distinction. This romantic comedy about two strangers stuck in a time loop at a wedding boasts one of the best post-credits scenes I’veContinue reading “Palm Springs”

Harpoon

Release: Friday, October 4, 2019 (limited)  →Showtime  Written by: Rob Grant; Mike Kovac Directed by: Rob Grant Harpoon is a horror-comedy set at sea that is bizarrely compelling considering what actually happens in 80 short minutes. It’s a vicious little social experiment concocted by writer/director Rob Grant, who quite brilliantly uses little more than the bare essentialsContinue reading “Harpoon”

Top That! My Ten Favorite Films of 2019

It’s Oscar weekend, so I figured now is as good a time as any to announce my ten favorite movies of 2019. There’s not a whole lot of science that goes into my process; it’s mostly gut feeling that determines what goes into this list and how I’m arranging it. The emotional response is theContinue reading “Top That! My Ten Favorite Films of 2019”

Uncut Gems

Release: Christmas Day 2019  →Theater Written by: Ronald Bronstein; Josh and Benny Safdie  Directed by: Josh and Benny Safdie If they have proven anything in their last two movies it’s that few filmmakers stress you out quite like the New York born-and-bred Safdie brothers. Uncut Gems is, in a word, intense. This is a very aggressive mood piece thatContinue reading “Uncut Gems”

Paddleton

Release: Friday, February 22, 2019 (Netflix) →Netflix  Written by: Mark Duplass; Alex Lehmann Directed by: Alex Lehmann It’s not often that the Duplass brothers make a heavy movie. Darting in and out of the so-called mumblecore scene and playing with time in pleasantly nostalgic trips down memory lane (Blue Jay) or lurching ahead into the future with spiritedContinue reading “Paddleton”

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Release: Friday, November 9, 2018 (limited)  →Netflix Written by: Joel Coen; Ethan Coen  Directed by: Ethan Coen; Joel Coen For a fleeting moment The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the new Coen brothers film — a big shiny red apple waiting to be plucked from the ever-growing Netflix tree — was also available for more traditional consumption in theaters. But whoContinue reading “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

Anomalisa

Release: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 (limited) [Redbox] Written by: Charlie Kaufman Directed by: Charlie Kaufman; Duke Johnson Someone please give Michael Stone a hug. I’m starting an online petition to see if we can get Michael Stone just one good hug, because he really, really, really, really, really needs one. Either him or writer-director Charlie Kaufman, I’m not sureContinue reading “Anomalisa”

The Fundamentals of Caring

Release: Friday, June 24, 2016 (Netflix) [Netflix] Written by: Rob Burnett Directed by: Rob Burnett A long time ago I made some comment to the effect of being frustrated by how easily I’m tricked into watching movies starring Paul Rudd. This knee-jerk reaction was inspired by a viewing of the terrible 2012 comedy Wanderlust which paired him with Jennifer Aniston.Continue reading “The Fundamentals of Caring”

The Lobster

Release: Friday, May 13, 2016 (limited)  [Theater] Written by: Yorgos Lanthimos; Efthymis Filippou Directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos Outré black comedy The Lobster might be likened to a religious experience for those looking for their fix of anti-Valentine’s Day sentiments. If you look hard enough you  could even find enough evidence to validate its romance label as well, but it’s so weird and soContinue reading “The Lobster”

Demolition

Release: Friday, April 8, 2016 [Theater] Written by: Bryan Sipe Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée Jake Gyllenhaal has played a variety of oddballs in his time. He’s navigated his way carefully through a maze of mental illness — including, but certainly not limited to, sociopathy, obsession and depression — and often bravely inhabited characters who we’re almost dared to embrace atContinue reading “Demolition”