Flashback: Persepolis (2007)

Rather than constantly panning mainstream banalities, good film critics need to find hidden treasures unheard of by most of the public. So, when I unearth a black-and-white animated movie about a young woman coming of age in Iran during the Islamic revolution, I hope you keep reading!          I, myself, had never neither heard of nor… Continue Reading →

Rear Window (1954): A Timely Feature

Quarantine. Lockdown. Shelter in place. No one would have guessed such dystopian, sci-fi concepts would become a reality for the last three months of our lives. L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies could empathize. He broke his leg and has been wheelchair-ridden in his small, quaint New York City apartment for six weeks. The once renowned freelance photojournalist… Continue Reading →

Movie Critic 101: Action!

One of the most effective ways to write a movie review is to apply the movie’s theme to the world today. Whether it be political, social, spiritual, or philosophical, the question to pursue is: What is going on in this movie that directly relates to my experience right now? Through the lens of the camera… Continue Reading →

Movie Critic 101: A Summer Mini Course

I am so excited to teach a five-week online “mini course” on film criticism through my high school this summer! We provide this opportunity for our students as a way to “sustain connection with our school community during this unprecedented time.” These mini courses are free of cost and an ideal way to keep our… Continue Reading →

Flashback: Bernie (2011)

I love my unique first name. Even with its immediate connection to the presidential race dropout, Senator Bernie Sanders, I find my Bernie identity special. Heck, I’m the second youngest Bernie I know! Before Sanders, people used to associate my name to the comedy, Weekend at Bernie’s (1989), in which the titular character’s murdered body… Continue Reading →

Beastie Boys Story a Nostalgic Trip

It’s the summer of ‘94 in my best friend’s basement, and we’re watching MTV music videos at full blast. Soon, we see three skinny, pale guys dressed in ‘70s era undercover cop garbs with fake mustaches running wild through alleyways. Their hideous striped ties and shaggy wigs fly in their faces. The music behind the… Continue Reading →

Flashback: Fargo (1996)

There’s a twisted part of me that recognizes Fargo (1996) as a comedy. I don’t think the Coen Brothers would contest this. In fact, I think they were going for comedy all along. Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) and Letterboxd have Fargo labeled under the genres of Drama, Crime, and Thriller.   But, when I first… Continue Reading →

Flashback: So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)

One of the best Romantic Comedy title sequences out there (just follow the helicopter to the mug): For me, So I Married an Axe Murderer is everything 1990s. It is the self-conscious Mike Myers schtick from Saturday Night Live, it is San Francisco embraced, and it is the best darn soundtrack for lifting your spirits,… Continue Reading →

Flashback: Interstellar (2014)

Nothing can ever replace my experience of seeing Interstellar for the first time in the theatre. The perplexities of time warp in galaxial black holes, Hans Zimmer’s glorious pipe organ-centered score, and the state-of-the-art cinematography both on a dust bowl dying Earth and a gravity defying galaxy were truly extraordinary encounters embedded forever in my… Continue Reading →

Onward vs. The Invisible Man

I thought I’d give Prime Video Cinema a try since we’re not allowed to leave our homes (and the theatres are closed). I’m not gonna lie, the two “In-Theatre” purchases I made were expensive. But, one of these movies was so good that I won’t just see it again on my couch, I’ll list it… Continue Reading →

Magnolia: How do you make God laugh?

As much as I want to discuss the ending to Magnolia, I am also ecstatic for the human being who has yet to see this remarkable film (and that extraordinary ending). I promise I am not giving anything away when I say that the ending has a lot to do with what is happening to… Continue Reading →

Flashback: Contagion (2011)

Although this Steven Soderbergh thriller is a bit dated, its subject matter couldn’t be any more timely. As the Coronavirus continues to make headlines and possibly touch the lives of people we know, a sense of fear is expected. For me, the manufactured fear found in movies is a necessary antidote. Contagion suffices (for now)…. Continue Reading →

A Lesson for Ari Aster in The Lodge

Take it from Alan Alda in Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) when he says, “If it bends, it’s funny. If it breaks, it’s not funny.” The same can be said about thrillers and horrors where suspension of disbelief is so fragile, the moment you push the otherworldly button too soon or too forcefully, you break the… Continue Reading →

Flashback: Be Kind Rewind (2008)

Like the muddy, carcass-filled trenches we so elaborately experienced in Sam Mendes’ brilliant 1917, this time of year in movies is “No Man’s Land.” Unless you’re into redundant ultraviolence (“Birds of Prey”), Tarantino-wannabe violence (I saw The Gentlemen when it was called Snatch, and I saw Snatch when it was called Lock Stock and Two… Continue Reading →

1917 Breaks Ground on the War Epic

1917 is a miracle in filmmaking. Never have I been so deep-seated in a journey through the shrapnel-infested bloodshed of war and my theatre chair at the same time. I blame it all on the camera work. The camera puts you right there. As British soldiers Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay) deliver a… Continue Reading →

Reely Bernie’s Top Ten Movies of 2010-2019

Top Ten lists are the most personal, subjective, and ludicrous arrangements in the universe. If there’s any essential purpose to their existence, it’s that they instigate conversation, harmless controversy, and passionate opinion sharing. Ambiguous weight is placed on terms like “Top,” “Greatest,” or “Most Influential.” I think these lists we make are simply our “favorites.”… Continue Reading →

Ford v Ferrari: Vroom to the Best of 2019

There’s a reason Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times placed Ford v Ferrari as his top film of 2019: It is a refreshingly uncontrived look at male camaraderie, and it revitalizes the sports movie genre, even if you have a low motorsports IQ. Yes, there are several mentionings of 427-cubic-inch big-block engines, GT40 acronyms,… Continue Reading →

The Irishman and the Art of Sitting

A Martin Scorsese film is like an old, leather wingback lounge chair: Even with its holes and flaws, it is still dependable and comfortable. His recently released The Irishman is 3 hours and 30 minutes long. That’s a lot of sitting in front of a movie – too much for a seat in the theatre… Continue Reading →

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