QT8: The First Eight Honors Quentin Tarantino

QT8: The First Eight is a feature-length documentary paying tribute to Oscar-nominated filmmaker and cinephile Quentin Tarantino. Everything started with Reservoir Dogs in 1992. After its midnight premiere during Cannes, history would forever change.  This was the breakthrough.  Michael Madsen shares some interesting insight into the film’s wardrobe especially with the all-black clothing. The film is told in three distinct chapters: The Revolution, Badass Women and Genre Play, and Justice.  It’s a reminder of the…

"QT8: The First Eight Honors Quentin Tarantino"

Inglourious Basterds: Revisionist Film Marks 10 Years

Quentin Tarantino’s revisionist war film, Inglourious Basterds, has one of the best cinematic endings of all time while the film holds up ten years later. What I am sorry to report is that this is a film that could also take place in 2019.  It’s not so much because of conditions in Europe but how things presently are in the United States.  Much of today’s anti-Semitism is being enabled by the man presently holding office…

"Inglourious Basterds: Revisionist Film Marks 10 Years"

The Operative: Spying Can Be Messy

The Operative isn’t a fast-paced spy thriller but there’s enough going on here to keep your attention for the two-hour run time. Filmmaker Yuval Adler brings Yiftach R. Atir’s novel, The English Teacher, to the screen.  It is films such as this one that should remind us that spying isn’t just about the fast cars that never come back in one piece.  No, they can be slow-burn thrillers, too.  This is the case here for…

"The Operative: Spying Can Be Messy"

National Treasure: Book of Secrets ups the action

National Treasure: Book of Secrets suffers from the same problem that seems to plagues many sequels by offering more of the same. The film does manage to up the stakes and increase the action.  This time, the legacy of the Gates family is on the line.  But rather than keep it simple, the clues take Benjamin Gates (Nicholas Cage) and company overseas to Paris and London. The film’s prologue puts Thomas Gates on the scene…

"National Treasure: Book of Secrets ups the action"

National Treasure: A Fun Adventure 15 Years Later

National Treasure is still a fun adventure to be had some fifteen years after the adventure film was released in theaters in 2004. The film asks us to imagine a map being on the back of the Declaration of Independence.  It is a fun idea no matter how preposterous that the idea sounds.  But before we get to this point, a young Benjamin Franklin Gates must learn the Gates family history.  It turns out that…

"National Treasure: A Fun Adventure 15 Years Later"

J.T. LeRoy is Quite The Letdown

While the subject certainly makes for a compelling film, J.T. LeRoy is merely a conventional biopic at best and we’re all the worse for it. Based on Savannah Knoop’s memoir Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT Leroy, we go behind-the-scenes of the literary hoax.  Laura Albert (Laura Dern) hires Knoop (Kristen Stewart) to serve as her public face.  I can understand Laura wanting to not have to deal with the the fame.  It’s a…

"J.T. LeRoy is Quite The Letdown"

Welcome to Marwen: The Downsizing of 2018

Robert Zemeckis and Steve Carell team up in Welcome to Marwen but this story is better told as a documentary rather than narrative feature. The town of Marwen is a fictional Belgian town that Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) creates while recovering from the brutal attack.  An artist in real life, Hogancamp loses many of his memories following the attack.  Basically, an American fighter pilot, Captain Hogie (Carell), crashes during World War 2, gets attacked by Nazis,…

"Welcome to Marwen: The Downsizing of 2018"