Author: Ian D.

Phantom Thread

Mr. Daniel Day-Lewis rarely works.  When he does and the rumors begin to swirl his next film or project typically hits a fever pitch upon release.  Simply put, it’s an event.  A once every half-decade moment to come together as cinephiles and revel in one of the finest actors we’ve had the privilege to see work.  When it’s announced DDL will be retiring after his next project and what he’s chosen is to reteam with his There Will Be Blood Director Paul Thomas Anderson for one last hurrah – well, they hype couldn’t possibly ascend any higher.

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The Post (Capsule Review)

Saying a film is timely always feels cheap, as I’m sure The Post would be just as timely if it was released in 2008. That said, Spielberg felt this was the right moment and using his cinema wizardry assembled the most A-list cast on my list this year to tell the story of brave journalists in the 1970’s at the New York Times and Washington Post exposing a 3-decade long conspiracy to cover up the government’s role in the Vietnam War. Hanks and Streep lead a cast of all-stars as they deftly navigate the questionable ethical landscape of their endeavor and deliver a rousing piece of filmmaking. It’s stand up and cheer type of stuff – and I’m here for it.

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My Top Ten of 2017

Let’s be honest – 2017 was a pretty shitty year on a global scale. We all dealt with it in our own ways – lashing out on social media, listening to emo music on repeat, taking our dog on a walk that was just long enough that he started to get concerned – point is, we coped. One silver lining, filmmakers seemed emboldened. Not only did the quality of blockbuster peak for the first time in a decade but this awards season has been an avalanche of class pictures.

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Downsizing is Director Alexander Payne’s first film since Nebraska in 2013 so of course there is reason to be excited.  Payne has always reveled in his brand of Americana – a view of the Midwest that is salty, sad and at times a bit sanguine – but nonetheless all his own.  He writes about what he knows and few Director’s have given us such assured vision and direction in the last several decades. So it pains me to report that the man that has presided over classics such as Election, Sideways and Citizen Ruth has almost completely whiffed with his most recent venture.

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The Shape of Water

It feels like ages ago that Director Guillermo Del Toro stole our hearts and made us cover our eyes with his instant classic Pan’s Labyrinth.  In fact, that was only 10-years ago and Del Toro had been working on creature features (Mimic, Hellboy) and writing extensively dating back nearly two decades.  But when Labyrinth was released in 2006 in felt like a moment – a true visionary was being born and we were going to be reaping the cinematic pleasures for years to come.  But while Del Toro has steadily worked and stayed in the public eye he has only made 3-feature films since. 

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