Randy Quaid, Jack Nicholson and Otis Young inThe Last Detail (1973)

The Last Detail (1973)

The Last Detail finds a couple navy lifers – Buddusky (Jack Nicholson), better known as “Badass,” and Mulhall (Otis Young), better known as “Mule” – accompanying a young man called Meadows (Randy Quaid) to a prison in Portsmouth. Meadows is eighteen years old facing eight years in the brig. The length of his punishment is…

Manic (2001)

Over a decade later, Manic feels too familiar for its own good. An indie with an impressive cast – Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Don Cheadle – it spends its time in the walls of a psychiatric institution. Handheld, Dogme 95-style camerawork indicates the film’s insistence on naturalism, but the institution itself feels filmic, like any…

Will Forte and Bruce Dern in Nebraska (2013)

Nebraska (2013)

“I can’t remember. And it doesn’t matter.” Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) responds with the above when his son, David (Will Forte) asks about his childhood dreams. That kind of no-nonsense refutation of warmed-over romanticism is critical to Nebraska’s appeal, which tells the story of Woody’s journey to Nebraska, fuelled by his delusional conviction that he’s…

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

One of my favourite novels is Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451, a document that posits a futuristic dystopia where books and liberty alike are immolated in streams of fire. It’s touching and prescient and achingly well-written. It’s also founded on a belief that I reject, the notion that television is an ignorance-inducing tool of slavery. Bradbury’s…

Revisiting Upstream Color

Revisiting Upstream Color (2013)

My review of Shane Carruth’s enigmatic Upstream Color ended with a statement that it was a film “I’m eager to revisit.” Six months later, the film’s strengths and weaknesses became more apparent. One such weakness: I remain unconvinced by Carruth’s acting. He’s an impressive director, producer, sound engineer etc … but an average actor. I…

The Great Beauty (2013)

The Great Beauty (2013)

The camera glides through the sun-bleached streets of Rome, surveying its architecture, singers, tourists. It’s omnipresent; yearning like an idle god striving for subjects. This divinity chances upon a vibrant party and eventually focuses its gaze on one man: Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), “king of the socialites,” an idle, wealthy journalist/ex-novelist celebrating his sixty-fifth birthday.…

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Review Roundup – Jonze Jonze Jonze

Some more reviews/articles! You may not have come across these if you don’t follow me on Twitter, so I figured it was only fair to link them up. First up, over at the 500 Club I’ve been working on a Spike Jonze retrospective with Jesse Thompson. Jesse covered Being John Malkovichand Where the Wild Things…