While the Coen version of True Grit is structurally a straightforward Western, on a deeper level it engages with a type of narrative that the directors had never attempted before -- the coming-of-age story.
Burn After Reading mirrors No Country’s pessimism, presenting inevitable suffering, failure and death in a farcical rather than purely dramatic context. The thematic parallels allow the films to work companion pieces, similarly to the complementary pairing of Miller’s Crossing and Barton Fink.
I haven’t officially signed up for the church of Dudeism, but I'll admit I'm a bit of a Lebowski fanatic. I've spent more time than anyone should trying to figure out what books the Dude has on his coffee table, and I own an (almost) exact replica of the Dude's Pendleton sweater. Despite these patterns … Continue reading The Coen Project Part 7: The Big Lebowski
As I mentioned briefly in my last post, Joel and Ethan went to New York City for a three-week break in the middle of writing Miller’s Crossing, which they were struggling to complete. While there, they wrote the script for what would become their fourth feature, Barton Fink. While the film stood on its own … Continue reading The Coen Project Part 4: Barton Fink
In 2005, then Pixar chairman Steve Jobs and Disney CEO Robert Iger were in the middle of negotiating over the extension of the deal in which Disney marketed and distributed Pixar’s films, an already impressive roster including Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, and most recently 2004’s The Incredibles. The talks hinged on the release of Disney’s … Continue reading Netflix Pick: Chicken Little
I was discussing HBO’s Westworld with my college buddy, Kevin, when he mentioned that he had never seen Blade Runner. In general, he felt that he was lacking in the classic sci-fi filmic knowledge appropriate to a card-carrying nerd. To remedy this situation and to help him to expand his overall cinematic palate, I offered … Continue reading Picks for Kevin
Arrival I have been anticipating Arrival since I saw the trailer running before Ghostbusters this summer. It didn’t disappoint. Sicario director Denis Villaneuve’s adaptation of a short story by sci-fi author Ted Chiang is a thoughtful and mature genre piece that delivers on its premise in a way most similar films fail to do. The world has been … Continue reading Quick Takes – Arrival, Trolls
Like most of us, my new hobby is watching Stranger Things repeatedly until my eyes bleed. Among other things, the show has made me realize that the 1980's is somewhat of a blind spot in my pop cultural education. Sure, I know the hits, but I want to delve deeper into the weird corners, both … Continue reading Christine VS 80’s: Round 1
Force Majeure is slow, uneventful, and thoroughly entertaining. Ruben Ostlund's arthouse black comedy is a disaster movie in which the disaster never actually materializes, leaving its characters to deal with a much bigger emotional catastrophe, to both dramatic and humorous results. It's pretty rare to find great foreign films on Netflix, so if you're looking … Continue reading Netflix Pick: Force Majeure
In this (maybe) ongoing feature I'll talk about a movie that's currently on Netflix streaming. At various times in my movie-loving life (read: my life), I have had what I will refer to as a Default Movie. A Default Movie is one that I enjoy so much that I will watch it by default when … Continue reading Netflix Pick: Dope