House of Cards’ Lady Macbeth

Review of House of Cards (Season 1), Directed by David Finch “Come you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here; And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood, Stop up th’access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell [Read More...]

‘Admission’ Is Worth the Price

Review of Admission, Directed by Paul Weitz College admissions: the final test of the helicopter parent. While it was no Deerfield or Andover, my college prep school career began with a meeting about college preparation the first month of freshman year and ended with a wall of paper stars announcing mine and my classmates’ acceptances [Read More...]

Die Hard in the White House

Review of Olympus Has Fallen, Directed by Antoine Fuqua Fortunately, the title of this review pretty much provides the summary of the movie [spoiler alerts from here on]. “Terrorists” have taken over the White House and are making insane demands while working on their own secret agenda. The entire government apparatus repeatedly fails to take [Read More...]

House of Cards: Collapse is Inevitable

Review of House of Cards (Season 1), Directed by David Finch Rating: 9/10 If you take The West Wing, strip it of its fluffy idealism, make it dark and pessimistic, mix in contemporary gadgets (iPads, texting), keep the occasional Bartlet monologue but make it lessons in Machiavellian strategy, you get something like House of Cards. [Read More...]

The Music of the Last of the Mohicans

Review of The Last of the Mohicans, Directed by Michael Mann When I was in high school The Last of the Mohicans (1992) made a profound impression on me. Rewatching it two decades later, I think it was all about the music. The 1992 film that I saw turns out to be a remake of [Read More...]

Beyond the Hills Joins the List of Great Spiritual Dramas

Review of Beyond the Hills, Directed by Christian Mungiu Here’s the bottom line on Beyond the Hills, the new film from Romania’s Christian Mungiu: It’s one of the best religious dramas in recent memory, on par with the great spiritual dramas from Ingmar Bergman in his prime (The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Spring, The Silence). But [Read More...]

Burt Wonderstone: From Wonder-Empty to Wonder-Full

Review of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Directed by Don Scardino Yet this I hold against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. ~ Revelation 2:4 Albert Weinzelstein and his friend Anthony—social outcasts and frequent targets for bullying—wanted nothing more than to explore the wonderful world of magic; a world personified by Rance Holloway [Read More...]

Stoker and the Shadow of Alfred Hitchcock

A Review of Stoker, Directed by Park Chan-wook “Shadow of a Doubt” seems a particularly American film, although it is part of a tradition that starts with Dante, culminates with Dostoevsky (whom Hitchcock has called a “master”) and includes in it as well the best writings of Henry James and Graham Greene. … But the [Read More...]

Stoker’s Identity and Inheritance

Review of Stoker, Directed by Park Chan-wook (WARNING: This review contains mature content of a sexual nature. Reader discretion advised. Spoilers are also included.) How much of our lives is determined by our heritage? What does it mean to be an adult? These kinds of questions form the undercurrent in Stoker, the newest film by [Read More...]

The Call: Trouble on the Line

Review of The Call directed by Brad Anderson Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) works in “the Hive”—a 911 call center in California. When she receives a call from a girl being abducted, Jordan does her job efficiently and well, dispatching the first-responders and assuring the girl that help is on the way. Unfortunately, help does not [Read More...]


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