RSS feed for Mike

Favorite films

Recent activity


Pinned reviews

  • Where's the Money, Ronnie?

    Where's the Money, Ronnie?

    [Apologies to casual followers and people who actually look up Shane Meadows' short during the brief window when this'll be up. Nothing for you here. This is just the best way for me to reach those who'll care.]

    This is not in fact a review of the short film "Where's the Money Ronnie!" (which actually ends with an exclamation point, not a question mark), though I saw it over 20 years ago and recall it being quite funny. Rather, it's…

Recent reviews

  • The Apartment

    The Apartment


    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.


    I want to talk about a cinematic trope that (to the best of my knowledge) has never been given a name. I'm gonna call it Oppositional Processing.

    You see this one all the time (albeit not quite so frequently these days, intricate plotting having become a half-forgotten art). One character is talking to another, and inadvertently/innocently/unwittingly reveals some key bit of information that powerfully affects the person who hears it. The listener doesn't interrupt the speaker, however, or otherwise…

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed



    Second viewing, no change. Tried to look past the Frankenstein's-monster aspect (see my previous thoughts), but droning "Koyaanisqatsi" aloud when Toller's levitation vision shifts from natural beauty to human detritus probably means that I failed, huh? Schrader's still a strong Best Director candidate for me, though. Just about every shot is perfectly judged.

    Oh, and nothing against Philip Ettinger, who's totally fine, but imagine if First Reformed had been made 20 years ago and that role had been Mark Ruffalo's cinematic debut? Suddenly occurred to me and I got chills.

Popular reviews

  • Moonlight



    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.


    Okay, here we go: Why I think the year's most universally acclaimed film is sorta kinda not really very good. Took a second look to be sure, both because I'm always open to the possibility that I'm wrong and because I served on a festival jury with Jenkins a couple of years ago and liked him enormously, so take no pleasure in being a contrarian here. Had exactly the same reaction, alas. In descending order of importance:

    • I'm…

  • Sicario



    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.


    Second viewing, no change. Having now professionally reviewed this film four times (for The Dissolve from Cannes, and then for the A.V. Club, the Nashville Scene, and the Las Vegas Weekly), I thought I had nothing left to say, especially since I made a point of addressing the most common criticisms. But since a bunch of folks are praising Adam Nayman's takedown for Reverse Shot, let me quickly address a few of his points.

    “I have to know,” Kate…