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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 year’s overlooked... 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 →

Reely Bernie’s Top Ten of 2020

Ugh, what a year. I'm finally compiling the movies I enjoyed from 2020, and I find myself laughing at the horror of it all. It wasn't a bad year in film, but it wasn't all that great either. The year in general ended with a silver lining, as my wife and I welcomed a healthy... Continue Reading →

Underrated Christmas Movies for All!

A Christmas movie may include anything from Jesus Christ’s birth to the gruesome pressures of trying to please family members around the dinner table. It can involve the magic of time travel and flying reindeer, or the lack of magic when life is lonely. Either way, the Christmas movie absolutely has to involve these two... Continue Reading →

Tenet: Why So Serious?

A friend of mine suggested an interesting notion for Christopher Nolan to consider: What about just writing the screenplay and leaving the artistic decisions to a different director? Would the never-ending 150 minutes go by faster? Would the main characters possess a heart and earn viewer empathy? Finally, would Nolan’s astounding time warp perplexities include... 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: The Dark Knight (2008)

No CGI-infested, Jack Nicholson-spectacled, comic book-possessed entry of the Batman filmography can ever top the mastery behind Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008).   When it was first released, this masterpiece with wings had three audiences: One for the sequel of Nolan's Batman Begins (2005), one for another interpretation of what was the sixth Batman-related... 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 →

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