Post-Oscar Thoughts (2005 Feb 28)

I can sum up my reaction to last night's Oscar telecast with one short phrase: a good start. With a running time that barely topped three hours, producers are on their way to trimming down the most obese of all awards shows. I'm not sure that I ...

Pre-Oscar Thoughts and Predictions (2005 Feb 26)

When it comes to film critics, I'm probably in the minority when I say that I find the Academy Awards to be a snooze-fest. This year, instead of doing a "live" commentary, I will curl up on my couch with a good book and glance at the TV every time ...

The Strange Case of PROZAC NATION (2005 Jan 19)

Sometimes, I just don't understand movie distributors. And none is more difficult to fathom than Miramax, which occasionally buys the rights to a film, then allows it to rot away on a shelf. For example, take Hero. In order for that film to see ...

The Colors of 2004: Red, Blue, and Green (2004 Dec 31)

From my perspective, 2004 was the most lackluster movie year since I started reviewing. There were plenty of good, entertaining films out there on both the blockbuster end and the indie end of things, but instances of greatness were rare. For the ...

2004 Top 10 - #1 (2004 Dec 30)

#1: Maria Full of Grace : For those who are regular vistors to this site, the selection of Maria Full of Grace as #1 will not come as a surprise. It is, after all, the only 2004 theatrical release to which I assigned four stars. That's not an ...

2004 Top 10 - #2 (2004 Dec 29)

#2: Spring Summer Fall Winter...and Spring : Sublime, stunning, and emotionally powerful, Spring Summer Fall Winter...and Spring spent a number of months at the top of my "favorites" list for 2004 (until it was supplanted by my end-of-the-year #1). ...

2004 Top 10 - #3 and The Hall of Shame (2004 Dec 28)

#3: Before Sunset : For an early summer Valentine to all of us romantic movie-goers, Richard Linklater not only formulated a worthy sequel to his early-'90s love story, Before Sunrise, but he crafted 2004's best English-language motion picture. ...

2004 Top 10 - #4 (2004 Dec 27)

#4: Moolaadé : For me, one of the great disappointments of 2004 was the anemic performance of this compelling feature at the art-house box office. If one of the purposes of movies is to take us to places we have never previously visited, most ...

2004 Top 10 - #5 (2004 Dec 26)

#5: Sea Inside, The : The most mature and emotionally wrenching film to-date from Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar (Open Your Eyes, The Others), The Sea Inside represents a cathartic and satisfying experience. Based on a true story, this film ...

2004 Top 10 - #6 (2004 Dec 25)

#6: Million Dollar Baby : One could make a strong argument that this is the best movie Clint Eastwood has ever been involved in, either in front of or behind the camera. Although Million Dollar Baby will be classified as a "sports movie" by many, ...

2004 Top 10 - #7 (2004 Dec 24)

#7: Closer : Closer is an anti-romance film. At first, it appears to be about longing and love, but it quickly becomes apparent that the forging and breaking of relationships in this movie are conduits for gaining power and causing pain. Sex is more...

2004 Top 10 - #8 (2004 Dec 23)

#8: Sideways : Sideways represents the most mature film to-date from director Alexander Payne, whose impressive resume already includes Election and About Schmidt. By turns poignant and hilarious, Sideways follows the misadventures of two mismatched...

2004 Top 10 - #9 (2004 Dec 22)

#9: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind : An early-year release that will probably not get much (if any) Oscar consideration becuase of its opening date, Eternal Sunshine is already available on DVD for the enjoyment of those who missed its March ...

Let the Countdown Begin (2004 Dec 21)

In the past, I always wrote an end-of-the-year commentary called "Rewinding XXXX - The Year in Movies." This year, the more appropriate place for those thoughts is here. Rather than lumping everything together into one mega-long ReelThought on ...

Closer Later/Mixed Messages (2004 Nov 30)

One unfortunate aspect of living so far from screening locations is that I occasionally have to miss a screening for one reason or another (a 2-hour movie eats up about 5 hours of my time). Admittedly, I don't have an overwhelming desire to see ...

The Last Month (2004 Nov 24)

Gripe time again... I like writing these downbeat little pieces - they help to get something off my chest.It appears that 2004 is about to conclude with more of a whimper than a bang. I have never been so unenthused about a December release ...

Playing Politics (2004 Nov 02)

And now I will proceed to piss of a certain percentage of my readers... For those who don't think a film critic has any business writing about politics or expressing a political viewpoint, I can safely say that today's ReelThoughts isn't for you. (...