Blog 20 Posts

Telluride Film Festival 2013

This is home base for my reviews and notes from the 2013 Telluride Film Festival — a day longer this year, and with a spectacular line-up. Since so much of the festival is constantly in flux, due to the way it’s run, posting a schedule in advance is difficult, so I will update as I [...]

SXSW 2013

This is home base for my adventures in Austin this year. Comments and links to reviews will appear in the schedule as the week proceeds. Pre-Festival The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer) C+ Provocative conversation piece is interesting insofar as it offers a glimpse into how mass-murdering psychopaths view their own crimes, but it goes on [...]

2012 Year-End Miscellany

There’s never enough time — and less and less every year, as both responsibilities that swallow it and choices for how to spend it seem to keep growing exponentially. And that changes one’s outlook on things. A week or so ago I went to see Texas Chainsaw, having read some reasonably favorable reviews from some [...]

Fantasia Film Festival 2012

Blurbs and links to longer reviews to appear below; as with SXSW this year, the goal is to write at least something for everything I see. Schedule tentative and aspirational. Wednesday, July 25 Reign of Assassins (Su Chao-Bin) C+ [I tend to have an attention span of about an hour for these traditional kung fu flicks, [...]

2012 Halftime Report

My 10 favorite commercially-released films of the first half of 2012, in alphabetical order: Bernie (Richard Linklater) Declaration of War (Valerie Donzelli) The Deep Blue Sea (Terence Davies) Elena (Andrei Zvyagintsev) The Kid with a Bike (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne) Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson) Oslo, August 31 (Joachim Trier) Perfect Sense (David Mackenzie) Prometheus (Ridley Scott) 21 Jump Street (Phil Lord & Chris [...]

SXSW 2012

I’m going as a civilian this year, not press, but I’m still hoping to jot down at least a few sentences on everything I see. Drive-by comments or links to something longer will appear on this page. Seen Pre-Festival The Raid (Gareth Huw Evans) B-  [This is certainly very impressive, and one can only admire its craft [...]

2011 Top Ten List and Other Year End Miscellany

I loved 2011 at the movies, in part because it brought a change in philosophy, namely: an unwillingness to waste time on films that were certain to waste my time. It’s a rewarding approach; I recommend it. The other day I read my friend Eric Snider’s typically terrific year-end piece and, upon realizing that I had only [...]

Mid-year Report

If you don’t make a habit of keeping an eye on obscure genre films making a blip on arthouse radar or getting dumped onto VOD, it’s been… well, it’s been a pretty shitty year, is what it’s been. The lack of a truly outstanding big summer entertainment may be the most disappointing thing; after all [...]

Is This Thing On?

Well hello! Welcome to the relaunched Film Blather! I hope you like it. The new look and implementation is by the brilliant Matt Brett, whom I heartily endorse for all of your WordPress and web design needs. Take a poke around the new digs and let me know what you think in the comments or [...]

2010 Wrap-Up

No fancy wind-up or verbose navel-gazing. This year, we’re keeping things simple. I may have written less in 2010, but I watched roughly as much. Here are some thoughts on the year in film. The Worst, Briefly Noted 10. Charlie St. Cloud (Burr Steers) – A one-act play in three tweets: “Isn’t ‘emo Charlie St. Cloud redundant’?” [...]

2008 Wrap-Up

This year marked my first foray to the Toronto International Film Festival — something I likely won’t repeat in 2009, for unrelated reasons — leading to a record number of films watched (315). It was also the year that I made a concerted effort to realign my grading system; I wanted to shape the grade [...]

2007 Wrap-Up

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s critics who end each year with the sentiment that it was “the worst year in recent memory,” without even considering the possibility that perhaps it was they and not the movies that changed. In 2007, fortunately, these sorts of pronouncements have been few and far between, since [...]

2006 Wrap-Up

My mindset at the end of each year I spend doing this seems to be the same. There are always frustrations — cinematic, professional and personal — and always moments where I start to think it would be more productive to refocus my efforts, perhaps lower my intake of new releases, or do something else [...]

2005 Wrap-Up