The Seven Year Itch

This month marks our blog’s seven-year anniversary. Credit for this site goes to Bill who created it, came up with its cool look, and posts everything you see.

 In figuring out what kind of movie review site this should be, Bill wanted one question answered: “What’s the best movie I’m not watching?” (Bill’s directness and clarity is as piercing and succinct as his excellent impression of Terence Stamp’s General Zod in “Superman II”). Since 2014, I’ve brought attention to good movies by writing about them but there’s only been one movie I wish I’d written about and fits Bill’s query- underrated, overlooked and a completely satisfying film surprise. In appreciation for everything he does, I’ve decided to finally answer Bill’s question. To scratch that seven year itch, here’s the review that’s long overdue …from 2016, it’s “The Light Between Oceans”.

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Shattered Glass

In the tradition of “Gone Girl” and “The Girl on the Train” and streaming on Netflix is “The Woman in the Window”- a tired “Rear Window” rip-off that leads you down an overgrown garden path until you’re bleeding from scratching against its thorns.

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Fire Walk with Me

 If Taylor Sheridan (“Sicario,” “Hell or High Water”) hadn’t directed “Those Who Wish Me Dead,” you’d have a bland thriller. Instead, the balance of time between the good guys and the bad guys keeps you interested, the action scenes keep the story moving, and the actors believably sell their routine roles.

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I Am Wrath

What director Guy Ritchie’s “Wrath of Man” lacks in the humor of his previous crime films like “Snatch” or “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” he makes up for in an above-average throwback to one-man wrecking crew movies where a mysterious stranger appears and spells trouble for the bad guys who can’t quite make him out.

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2020: The Ones

With the Oscars being presented on Sunday, April 25th, I like to focus on the films and performances that I found most memorable. In keeping with the tradition of the late Siskel & Ebert’s “If We Picked the Winners,” here are my standouts for 2020 using the nominees in the main Academy Award categories. While others try to second-guess Oscar politics with who ‘should win’ or ‘will win,’ I like to keep it simple. In case you missed any of them, these are the films and performances I’ll remember- simply put, these are the ones:  

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The Wicker Man

As a comedic copy of “John Wick,” “Nobody” shouldn’t work as well as it does. But thanks to Bob Odenkirk’s deadpan humor and realistically violent action scenes, “Nobody” does for the male machismo action film what “Deadpool” did for the comic book movie genre.

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Murphy’s Law

After 30 years, you’d think the sequel to one of Eddie Murphy’s best and beloved comedies would get a fair shake. It doesn’t. “Coming 2 America” is a disappointing mix of rehashed jokes and missed opportunities.

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Revolutionary Road

Whether as a snapshot of a city under siege or a political thriller based on past events, “Judas and the Black Messiah” works best by condensing chronology to let its strong ensemble of actors bring the people they’re portraying to life.

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Limitless

 “Our Friend” is a movie that surprises. Within the trappings of its terminal illness storyline, it earns its emotions by focusing on a friendship without boundaries. Subtle and straightforward, “Our Friend’s” a refreshing reminder of what holds true value in life. 

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The Perfect Storm

As the two tempestuous leads in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman give Oscar-worthy performances.

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