Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby – 2006 McKay

Looking back – the 2006 comedy from McKay has many of the elements of his authorship from the opening ridiculous fake quote by Eleanor Roosevelt to the celebrity cameos (Earnhardt Jr, Elvis Costello, Mos Def)

Mean Streets – 1973 Scorsese

March 2017Opens wondrously with the voice over, pop soundtrack, and the triple- editing technique (same image zoomed in with short ellipsis) that Scorsese would keep doing for the next 40 yearsThe rock/pop soundtrack is really

The Goonies – 1985 Donner

With Richard Donner directing, Spielberg producing, and Chris Columbus writing—it’s a hell of a blockbustery/populist talent combination behind it—you put that with a gifted young cast of kids and you have a worthy film hereThe

The Hateful Eight – 2015 Tarantino

Much to praise here even if it’s Tarantino’s weakest since Death Proof in 2007 and second weakest as an auteur overall great doorway wall-art photography here The 70mm photography by QT and his DP Robert

Sweet Country – 2017 Warwick Thornton

An impressive Western- violent, starkThere’s a real evil here—both the character and setting—brutal and uncivilizedThornton has a talent for making you feel the open space of Australia—lots of wide shots Reminds me of The Three

Annie Hall – 1977 Allen

Allen is absolutely flexing here – flouting narrative conventions and brimming with creativity Gordon Willis’ work here from a photographical standpoint isn’t quite the achievement it is in The Godfather films or his work with

Saboteur – 1942 Hitchcock

Unmistakably Hitchcockian—another one of his mistaken-identity thrillers--- similar to The 39 Steps, North By NorthwestMinor Hitchcock or a B-side if you will Most notable for the set piece finale—instead of the Golden Gate bridge or

Who’s That Knocking at My Door – 1967 Scorsese

Scorsese’s debut—a rough draft for Mean StreetsIt’s pretty ugly to look (16mm) at – shot crudely—but the talent is there behind the camera is clear- such energy and creativity Ebert--- “Announcing the arrival of an

Inglourious Basterds – 2009 Tarantino

Another major feather in Tarantino’s capThere’s so much to praise here, the Leone-esque Chapter 1, the trademark dialogue, but chief amongst them is the cinema as metaphor reading of the film—there’s so much to unpack

Hello, Dolly! – 1969 Gene Kelly

A messy film—weak in some areas (narrative, casting issues, throwaway songs)  but there is much to praise as wellThe opening freeze-frame (in 1969 with Butch Cassidy- a big year for freeze-frame)—beautiful with the color-tinting changesShot

The Hunt for Red October – 1990 McTiernan

It doesn’t have the haunting claustrophobia of Das Boot but it’s a superb thrillerStrong Tom Clancy source material – the plot actually rides pretty closely to Dr. Strangelove without the comedy of course It’s better

Glory – 1989 Zwick

Zwick is a gifted photographer—he’s made some well-photographed epics (Legends of the Fall, Blood Diamond, Courage Under Fire)—this is no different and Zwick benefits from selecting James Horner for the score (very moving) and strong

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