THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK

“An anti-nostalgia nostalgia trip, it’s a knotty character study about insular tribes, empty gestures and performative macho rituals full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. No storyteller delights in the subversive anticlimax quite like David Chase, and I worry that this excellent film will be judged against audience expectations it has no interest in fulfilling.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 09/30/2021

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OLD HENRY

Old Henry builds to a bonkers revelation the distributor has requested we critics keep quiet about. I’d never spoil it for you, but what seemed an efficiently executed Unforgiven knockoff sails way over the top with a shocker so silly and grand that I actually applauded while watching the screener at my desk. Days later, I’m smiling just thinking about it.” – North Shore Movies, 09/30/2021

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AFRICAN-AMERICAN NEO-NOIR AT THE BRATTLE

“These four terrific pictures brought issues of race to the forefront of twisty, throwback crime stories. Classic noirs from the ‘40s and ‘50s reflected and amplified the anxieties of traumatized men returning to a changed America after WWII, whereas these ‘90s counterparts applied that sort of doomy, old-fashioned fatalism to structural social injustice.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 09/22/2021

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WATCH WITH JEN SEASON 2 – EPISODE 39: MICHAEL DOUGLAS TRIPS OVER HIS DICK

Had a lot of laughs with my friend Jen Johans talking about Michael Douglas’ reign as Hollywood’s most virile avatar of threatened masculinity. We cover the persecuted cocksman trifecta of Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct and Disclosure, as well has his late-career comeuppance in the underseen indie Solitary Man. Also much discussion of nightclub sweaters. Watch With Jen, 09/18/2021

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CRY MACHO

“Surprisingly sweet, it’s Clint’s gentlest effort since The Bridges Of Madison County. The less that happens in Cry Macho, the better the movie becomes. You watch the film the way you listen to one of your grandfather or another elderly relative’s rambling stories, ignoring the parts that don’t add up and treasuring the fact he’s still around to tell them.” – North Shore Movies, 09/17/2021

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WE STILL LIKE TO WATCH: BLUE VELVET AT 35

“The film’s centerpiece sequence is one of the most boldly transgressive in modern cinema, a terrifying tightrope walk of abuse and illicit longings that famously sent viewers fleeing from their seats. Blue Velvet speaks to something primal about moviegoing itself: we’re all in that closet with Jeffrey. If we didn’t like to watch we wouldn’t be at the movies in the first place.” – Crooked Marquee, 09/17/2021

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PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND

“Words barely matter in this gonzo mashup of midnight movie references and riffs, a barrage of homages to cult classics of yore so exhaustive it borders on exhausting. By no means should this picture be seen during the day, and perhaps not entirely sober. It’s a hoot while you’re watching, if the kind of fun that fades fairly fast in the morning light.” – North Shore Movies, 09/17/2021

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BLUE BAYOU

“An undeniably well-made picture of admirable intentions that becomes a chore to finish watching. It’s too bad because Blue Bayou is the kind of movie you want to like, steeped in local color and gorgeously grainy Super 16mm cinematography. Chon has clearly got talent both in front of and behind the camera, he just needs to take it down a notch or two.” – North Shore Movies, 09/17/2021

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THE VOYEURS

“While we’re all currently suffering through the most tediously sexless era of American cinema since the Hays Code, writer-director Michael Mohan’s cheeky erotic thriller harkens back to a happier, hornier time of Skinemax After Dark offerings and unrated VHS director’s cuts. What a pleasure to watch serious craft unencumbered by seriousness of purpose.” – North Shore Movies, 09/13/2021

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MARTY AFTER MIDNITE AT THE COOLIDGE

“It might be Scorsese’s most manic movie, disjunctively doubling back through dissolves so we’re seeing things from multiple angles at once. The camera flips on its side or upside down altogether, with Van Morrison’s wheezy, queasy ‘TB Sheets’ percolating over and over on the soundtrack, his wailing harmonica standing in for the ambulance’s siren.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 09/10/2021

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