Friday, July 26, 2013

Lightning Strikes Twice: The Digital Rebirth of Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola's post-2007 comeback is vexing, bewildering, esoteric and, to these eyes, his most exciting work since the 1970s. Funding his own projects with wine money, Coppola has used digital not only as a means of keeping shooting costs down but to explore new forms of cinematic grammar and assembly. The most classical of New Hollywood has emerged its most postmodern. I delve into this aspect of Coppola's rejuvenation for, from his masterpiece Youth Without Youth to the uneven but unexpectedly personal Twixt. Form and content may not converge like they did during the '70s (but then, did they ever for the director after that gold run), but I would sooner watch these experimental works than the bulk of the director's corpus.

Check out my full piece at

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Johnnie To FIlms, Ranked

I haven't been updating this blog like I should to link to everything I've been up to the last month (I hope to catch up on that this weekend), and part of the reason for that is that I've devoted every spare minute the last few weeks to tracking down and watching all of Johnnie To's films for this piece for I'd seen about 20 already, but watching everything for this ranking, even the weaker, early years, has only confirmed Johnnie To as, along with Abbas Kiarostami, my favorite contemporary director.

If you're a fan or you've never seen a Johnnie To film (no time like the present!), I hope you'll take a look at my list for

Bonus, the film I list as my favorite is on Hulu, and the link is in the article.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Blu-Ray Review: Bullet to the Head

I'm very pleased that, after an earlier review copy was never sent to me, I am finally writing for Slant Magazine! My first review is for the Blu-Ray of Walter Hill's not-bad/not-great (but closer to the latter) Bullet to the Head. The film is above-averagely average, if that makes any sense, and the Blu-Ray matches, with a faithful transfer of an inconsistent image and a paltry extra. Nevertheless, I still enjoy this return to theatrical filmmaking from Hill, and I hope it finds at least a minor life on home video.

Read my full review at Slant.

Netflix Instant Picks (7/19/13—7/25/13)

I'm joined this week at Movie Mezzanine by Ty Landis, who offers three Netflix picks of his own. Check 'em all out here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Atmospheric Horror Films

Today's release of The Conjuring brings with it ample praise for the film's well-crafted jump scares, but my hatred of that form of horror got me thinking about some of the more atmospheric, long-lasted terrors that I love. So, I talked about just a few of my favorite unsettling pictures for From Tourneur to Kiyoshi Kurosawa, these are films that may not make me leap out of my seat, but they'll weigh heavily on my mind long after the movie ends.

Check out my full piece at