The Failure of West Side Story (2021)

The 1961 film adaptation of West Side Story is one of my favorite movies. I watched it dozens of times as a child; my mother would sing to me “I Feel Pretty,” and my father would hum “Officer Krupke.” The film thus

The Problem with “The French Dispatch”

Last fall, my boyfriend went to see The French Dispatch with five of his friends and one of their fathers, who was visiting. Halfway through, he looked over to find that all six of them had fallen asleep.  Now perhaps this is

“The Vast of Night”: Micro Budget, not Micro Entertainment

In 2019, director Andrew Patterson broke onto the cinematic stage with his debut film “The Vast of Night”. Reminiscent of The Twilight Zone and classic television, the micro-budget film opened at a little-known film festival in Salt Lake City, Utah and has

“Akira” and the Pleasure of Destruction

Content warning: Nuclear meltdown, self-destruction.  Spoilers ahead The post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo painted by the creators of “Akira” features Blade Runner-esque neon buildings, fanatic cults worshipping the mysterious “Akira,” violent anti-government street protests, and Tetsuo and Kaneda’s slick, crowbar-wielding bike gang. “Akira” is an

The Dreamy, Misty Wasteland of “Kaili Blues” (2016)

In the deserted seats of a rickety, mint-colored train, a single man dozes, his sallow face blending into the moss green shadows that swallow the train up as it enters a mountain tunnel. Against the train’s mechanical rumble,  a raspy, disembodied voice

Not Many Jokes in “Joker”

The comic book picture has conquered American movies. Nine of the top twenty box office hits this decade were superhero films; the rest are either remakes of or sequels to already existing titles. Dozens more movies, made by Marvel (owned by Disney),


Bad Dad Astra

“Ad Astra” is an ambitious movie, both thematically and visually audacious. It succeeds as a first-rate portrayal of space travel during a minor cinematic boom of “hard” science fiction movies (that is, sci-fi meant to look like it could actually happen). But

To Lie or Not to Lie — “The Farewell” (2019)

If there isn’t much time left for the one you love, would you let them know? For some, an unhesitant “yes” seems to be the answer, yet the opposite may be the choice for people from a different culture. Based on a

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