Reely Bernie Faves: Cinema Paradiso (1988)

My favorite coming-of-age movie is a tossup between E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (E.T.) and Cinema Paradiso, and I’m going to pick Cinema Paradiso because Spielberg represents other upcoming selections on my Reely Bernie Faves movies list. Plus, you have to include the Italian filmmakers, right? As an avid reader of Roger Ebert (RIP), I caught up... Continue Reading →

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Reely Bernie Faves: Steve Jobs (2015)

I’m a sucker for historical fiction as it toys with timelines and actual events but holds true the atmosphere of the period, character impressions, and the filmmaker’s freedom to interpret. As the late, great Roger Ebert would say, “I look to books for facts and movies for feelings.” Despite fabricating a few incidents and compartmentalizing... Continue Reading →

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Don’t Shoot the Piano Player: Tonic (2023)

A couple of days ago, my good friend, John, THE QUICK FLICK CRITIC, introduced me to the work of his friend, Derek Presley. Derek represents Independent Films|Muscular Puppy, and his latest indie hit, Tonic, is currently touring the film festival circuit. What an honor it was to watch and review a pre-release movie, and let... Continue Reading →

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Reely Bernie Faves: ¡Three Amigos! (1986)

“Do you have anything besides Mexican food?” I start my Top 50 Reely Bernie Faves list with ¡Three Amigos! to make the point that some of our favorite movies are the least insightful, and within their “no-brainer” status we find a place of comfort and nostalgia. For me, ¡Three Amigos! was babysitter backup for dozens... Continue Reading →

“Greatest” ≠ “Favorite” Movies

I’ll never forget flipping through Entertainment Weekly’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time magazine at the Gonzaga University Bing Crosby Student Center. It was October 1999, and the trend of releasing as many “Top,” “Best,” and “Greatest” lists was exploding before the world itself was predicted to explode. Y2K anticipation was all about the fear... Continue Reading →

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Any Role-Playing Game is an opportunity to walk vicariously in your alter ego’s shoes. (Heck, you can even tailor-make those shoes!) Whether played with dice on a tabletop or through a video game campaign, the RPG is an extension of self—your noblest or darkest self. Created in the early 70s, revived by Stranger Things pop... Continue Reading →

Starting 2023 with Skinamarink

As some of you may know, I like to reserve my horror movies for the month of October. However, because I'm a sucker for the found footage genre, and January expectedly provides so little potential in theatrical selections, I had to give this critically acclaimed oddity a chance. I'm glad I did, and I'm grateful... Continue Reading →

Reely Bernie’s Top Ten of 2022

This was my favorite stretch of movies since the dire reality of March of 2020. Laughing at the face of COVID with new, audacious filmmaking playbooks and neo-classical perspectives, 2022 cracked the medium wide open. This was also a tougher year for me to choose just ten. I realize many will have Everything Everywhere All... Continue Reading →

A Warm Hug from The Fabelmans

Steven Spielberg is the movie industry’s ultimate protagonist, an influencer of the coming-of-age narrative, and an auteur of visual storytelling. Born into the Spielbergian suburbs of the 80s, I was blessed to grow up with his imagination and knack for child-height thrills. Little did I know that Spielberg instilled a tiny moviegoer in me in... Continue Reading →

Banshees of Inisherin an Ode to Loneliness

Playwright Martin McDonagh writes with a knife to a rock, etching in truths that are hard for his characters to swallow. “I just don’t like you no more,” Colm Doherty tells his long-time friend and drinking buddy, Pádraic Súilleabháin. It is the stuff of absurd finality that one either laughs off as “only the Irish”... Continue Reading →

Tár Crescendos to the Top of the Year

"The narcissism of small differences leads to the most boring kind of conformity." Filmmaker Todd Field’s previous masterpieces in In the Bedroom (2001) and Little Children (2006) invite the viewer behind the closed doors of a darker American suburbia where secrets fester and unethical decisions are made. On the surface, we may be quick to... Continue Reading →

Upholding the Mystery in What Is David Bowie

I always thought David Bowie, the person, was more intriguing than David Bowie, the musician. Something about the mystique of his androgynous alter persona and heavily costumed stagecraft usurped the controls from anything musicological or biographically revelatory. I think the very private "Mr. Stardust" himself would have liked it that way. Director Brett Morgen's Moonage... Continue Reading →

Yup and Nope to “Nope”

Until its “ah-ha” moment at the end, Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017) was a unique blend of almost satire, almost horror, and almost socioracial statement. Staying at almost would have kept it above standard, but there’s no denying the ending was a predictable horror movie cliché.  Peele’s second round with Us (2019) also started strong... Continue Reading →

The Satisfactory Polarization of “Elvis”

Watching a Baz Luhrmann movie is like sitting in front of a gold confetti-blasting canon. It’s style over substance, obnoxious over subtle — a nightmare for minimalist cinephiles like me. For anyone with a smidgen of an attention span, conveying a groundbreaking musician’s artistry on film just takes hitting a record button. Ever see last... Continue Reading →

The Batman Still Has Wings

An argument can be made that anything “Marvel Cinema Universe” is the same movie with 27 different titles. The formula never fails: Arrogant, grumpy, or emotionless hero + desensitizing CGI +/- obligatory love interest + forgettable villain who always possesses one less level of power = box office points. The DC Comics movies are no... Continue Reading →

“Worst Person” the Best Movie Out There

I remember seeing the trailer for this movie last year and thinking, “This looks like an ode to late-twenties selfishness. Puke.” But, then I thought: Isn’t that exactly the time when someone should be selfish, especially when it comes to relationships? Isn’t that exactly the time we are supposed to date in person (or online),... Continue Reading →

Spencer: A Fable from a True Tragedy

The nuanced performance of Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, the psychological interpretation of Director Pablo Larraín, and the mystery of what happens behind closed doors are exactly why the film medium was created in the first place: These components call for a multi-sensory experience of what could be safely read but valued more when felt.... Continue Reading →

The Awe in Dune

I never finished Frank Herbert’s novel; David Lynch’s movie adaptation put me to sleep; and I read enough about Denis Villeneuve’s latest being all set up with no payoff. This all being said, I went into Dune with no expectations because I didn’t think I earned them. I left Dune wholly enthralled. I was and... Continue Reading →

The Card Counter Dependably Not for Everyone

Filmmaker Paul Schrader is renown for taking us to the dingiest of places and introducing us to the gloomiest of people, and these are good reasons to watch the movies in the first place. Hopefully, we don’t want to be the imploding taxi driver, raging middleweight boxer, or guilt-ridden Calvinist priest, but it is surely... Continue Reading →

Three Movies to Start the Summer (in the theatre)

It is so good to be back in the movie theatre again. The vulnerability, air conditioning, and the screen of hopeful unpredictability are all part of the magical moviegoing experience that you simply cannot recreate at home with the pause button and ability to leave the action whenever you please (air conditioning optional). Today, I... Continue Reading →

The Last Blockbuster

For me, it was the smell. An amalgamation of Milk Duds, buttery popcorn, and hard-shell plastic would rush through my nose the moment I opened the glass door. It was the smell of nostalgia long before I was old enough to be nostalgic. It reminded me that movies were comfort, and comfort was home. In... Continue Reading →

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