The Northman vs. Nic Cage

April tends to play out merely as buildup for summer movie blockbusters. Sometimes, there are unexpected hits (Everything Everywhere All at Once). Mostly, it’s a month full of mindless but somewhat pleasing cash grabs (The Bad Guys) and wretched duds (Morbius). Although I only really liked one of them, The Northman and The Unbearable Weight… Continue Reading →

Everything Everywhere All at Once

“The moment you realize you are not present, you are present. Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it. Another factor has come in, something that is not of the mind: the witnessing presence.”             -Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now As if (Being) John Malkovich warped through… 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 →

The Godfather 50 Years

I wonder what the iconic American drama was before The Godfather. What was that groundbreaking hit that provoked average moviegoers to revisit it multiple times, quote it constantly, and then teach their grandchildren to do the same? I believe my grandma would say Casablanca. Typical published movie critics would point to Citizen Kane, and optimists… 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 →

Reely Bernie’s Top Ten of 2021

For me, 2021 was all about raising a wonderful baby daughter and being a goofball dad and supportive husband. Movies were far and few between, but they continued to be dependable coping devices during the ongoing pandemic (and rare evening off). More theatres were opened and maintained safely, the promised releases of 2020 played catchup,… Continue Reading →

Licorice Pizza **1/2

Reely Bernie on Letterboxd I still think Paul Thomas Anderson peaked with Magnolia (1999), but everything afterward sparks the same anticipation we give Quentin Tarantino films. We’re curious because these movies behave like postmodern disobediences to the greats (Scorsese, Lumet, Leone, Altman), but they can’t help but be influenced by them either. In a way,… Continue Reading →

West Side Story a Worthy Remake

For any traditionalist, West Side Story epitomizes the Broadway musical production both on stage and on the screen. It’s just too faultless in prompt character arc, an urgent message, melodious motif juxtaposition, and choreography that will turn any cynic into a performing arts fanatic. So, with the blueprints and previous successes of the 1957 stage… 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 Last Duel (or the dentist)

Take the epic battle scenes in Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and the ferocious dialogue of his Gladiator (2000) and replace them with a drab medieval soap opera about three long-drawn-out perspectives of a rape scene. You are left with a wretched, wearisome experience in the movie theatre. It’s the kind of experience that… 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 →

The Green Knight’s Quasi Triumph

There’s nothing like watching a new movie in which you have no expectations or context. Regarding The Green Knight, I may have been in a more undemanding position than my friend who already went in with a vast foreknowledge of this 14-century, Arthurian chivalric poem, entitled Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (author unknown). Where… Continue Reading →

Flashback: The Visitor (2007)

The best dullest film I have seen is 1981’s My Dinner with Andre, which literally involves a dinner conversation between two people. (In 1996, Christopher Guest mocked the film by creating plastic action figures to act out the scenes in his mockumentary, Waiting for Guffman.) Although My Dinner with Andre is just a conversation at… Continue Reading →

Roadrunner: A Film about Anthony Bourdain

The celebrity chef culture is like a world in and of itself. It involves impeccable technique, a palette, and, of course, a ferocious ego. Some chefs earn Michelin stars and hide behind the kitchens of their exorbitant restaurants. Others take to televised competition entertainment. Anthony Bourdain? Well, he covered it all from journalism, tourism, and… Continue Reading →

Flashback: Fargo (1996)

There’s a twisted part of me that considers Fargo (1996) to be a comedy. I don’t think the Coen Brothers would contest this. In fact, I think they were going for comedy all along. A coworker and friend of mine introduced me to the movie experience collection app, Letterboxd. If you are an avid movie… 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 →

2021 Movie Draft: The Matador

2021 Movie Draft: Round 12, Pick Featured on SLICEOFLIFE.COM Genre: Crime/Film Noir *Note: I want to take this opportunity to thank “hanspostcard” of SLICETHELIFE.COM for inviting me on this 2021 Movie Draft journey of rediscovering and sharing personal movie favorites in different genres. The community created by this website has been more than congenial and… Continue Reading →

2021 Movie Draft: Poetry (2010)

2021 Movie Draft: Round 11, Pick 6 Featured on SLICEOFLIFE.COM A Gleam of Light in a Very Dark Place It is far easier to appreciate this treasure of a movie than to recommend it. Poetry (2010) is two and a half hours long, you probably haven’t heard of any of the actors or actresses, and… Continue Reading →

2021 Movie Draft: Ratatouille (2007)

2021 Movie Draft: Round 7, Pick 8 Featured on SLICEOFLIFE.COM Genre: Animation Starring: The voices of Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Janeane Garofalo There’s something about mice, rats, and other rodents that either touches your heart or crawls up your skin. Movies seem to idolize these little creatures. From Fievel of An American Tail (1986) to… Continue Reading →

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