Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action

Every year, the short film categories at the Academy Awards offer a vast and unique selection of worthwhile films from around the globe. A couple of weekends ago, I viewed the nominees from this year’s animated short film category, and it was a whole lot of fun. Today, I drove down once again to Salem […]

The Best Films of 2014

I apologize for the lateness of my best films of 2014 list, but my usual rule is to at least have them done by the time the Oscars are presented, so luckily I’m safe by a couple of weeks. Every year, a few well-meaning but incredibly misinformed critics, authors and pundits bemoan the death of […]

The Guest

Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett’s The Guest sets out to subvert the action and thriller genres, much like their film You’re Next wanted to play with horror film conventions. Though they have a little bit more success here than they did in You’re Next, the basic problem remains the same: their film isn’t […]


I think I resent it a little bit when movie critics, film journalists and other purveyors of pop culture refer to the so-called comebacks of movie stars. Most of these actors and actresses had been working hard for years between the “big movies.” When critics mention the comeback of somebody like Michael Keaton or Matthew McConaughey […]

Inherent Vice

With each new movie he makes, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Joaquin Phoenix is one of the best actors working today. As good as Daniel Day-Lewis was is Lincoln, Phoenix deserved the Academy Award for his astoundingly brilliant performance in The Master, a role so unlike anything I’ve seen in a movie that […]


At first, it seems like a strange bit of stunt casting: Steve Carell as John du Pont. With a beak-like nose that more than a little resembles the character Gru he plays in the Despicable Me films, the casting of Carell may seem like a joke that Bennett Miller is playing on us. Except it […]

The Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animation

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my favorite categories at the Academy Awards has long been the Best Animated Short category. It’s always a fun mix of nominees; films from all around the globe and each short seems to have a different look and style. For the last few years, I’ve made it a point […]