When Faye Played Joan: Mommie Dearest (1981)

On paper, Mommie Dearest looked like an easy Oscar nomination for its leading lady Faye Dunaway. Fresh from a decade of career bests and a Best Actress trophy for Network (1976), Dunaway was on her A-game and was being recognized as one of Hollywood’s most well-rounded actresses. Unfortunately, the tides turned on her ad director Frank…

The Stylish Beat of the Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

When I think of style personified in modern film, the very underrated The Talented Mr. Ripley is one of the very first things that come to mind. The mentally perverted film by director Anthony Minghella is his very best work, in a career that includes a Best Picture winner (1996’s The English Patient). Matt Damon shines as the conniving,…

Harry Potter in Retrospect

Recently, I had the pleasure of re-visiting all eight Harry Potter films on Blu-Ray. After hours upon hours of dissecting each and every film, I’ve come to a conclusion that Harry Potter only gets better with age. It’s far and away the best young adult movie series ever made – surpassing the quality, production value, writing and…

The Sex Comedies of Doris Day and Rock Hudson

Despite what we know today about Rock Hudson, whenever he paired up with cutie crooner Doris Day, screen magic was always made. Their efforts in creating three witty sex comedies (in partnership with their third-party and always dependable supporting actor Tony Randall) are always a highlight when I think of the fluffy days of the…

The Late Coming and Rocky Road of David O. Russell

Director David O. Russell first made a splash in the film industry after his debut feature film Spanking the Monkey (1994) won him accolades at both the Independent Spirit Awards and Sundance Film Festival. The director was an instant darling to the art scene, and became somebody to watch. Years after, O. Russell found himself in numerous scandals…

Subtlety at Its Finest: The Nun’s Story (1959)

Hearing a title like The Nun’s Story (1959) could be a turn-off to some people. I, on the other hand, am almost obsessed with film nuns. They are always full of wisdom (like Peggy Wood’s under-appreciated Mother Superior in 1965’s The Sound of Music) or are used in dark and disturbing settings (see the 1947 cult classic Black Narcissus), and that…

Why “Whiplash” is Still the Best Movie of 2014, A Love Letter.

It’s no doubt that Whiplash is an awards player for Oscar Season 2014. It’s even strange for a movie lover not to be predicting J.K. Simmons (arguably Edward Norton for Birdman too) as the frontrunner to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. But as the season unfolds, I’m praying that Supporting Actor isn’t only the category that we…

Review: The Theory of Everything (2014, James Marsh)

Eddie Redmayne dazzles as Stephen Hawking in the new Oscar-ready film about the genius’ life and relationship with his wife, Jane. But it is really Felicity Jones’ as Jane, Hawking’s young, suffering but trying wife that steals the picture right from under Redmayne that kept me going as I watched James Marsh’s new sappy biopic…

Review: Magic in the Moonlight (2014, Woody Allen)

Woody Allen, the genius that he is, has made both brilliantly good and tediously bad movies in the past forty years or so. However, his “legendary” status is not effected by the quality of work he produces year after year. In all honestly, I was a bit hesitant to the fact that Mr. Allen has…

Review: St. Vincent (2014, Theodore Melfi)

Self aware and a little bit too quirky was my first reaction to Theodore Melfi’s new comedy St. Vincent, starring comedy legend Bill Murray. And over the past few days, as I let my bias subside I can’t help but still feel the same way with the comedy that tried to touch my heart, and yet left…

Review: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay: Part 1 (2014, Francis Lawrence)

The first instalment of Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay is definitely the most mature film in the entire series so far. The Hunger Games is lucky to have both a technical director with a great eye of making his Mockingjay (Jennifer Lawrence) shine because this franchise has a rare quality to it that doesn’t only make it the best Young…