1980s

Review: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Review: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Year: 1982 | Rating: I, as a rule, do not like '80s high school coming-of-age films. The Breakfast Club is one of my least favorite films of all time and I've found that a lot of these "Brat Pack" films do not age well at all and are unrelatable to most audiences who grew up in post-9/11 society, with their outdated social politics, idealism, and tone of wealthy white privilege. I'd always heard that Fast Times at Ridgemont High was an exception to this generalization, but given how often I've been burnt by "beloved" '80s classics, I've always been hesitant to give it a chance. Well, I…
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Review: The Terence Davies Trilogy

Review: The Terence Davies Trilogy

Year: 1983 | Rating: While it would be fair to say that the so-called "Terence Davies trilogy" (consisting of short films Children [1976], Madonna and Child [1980] and Death and Transfiguration [1983]) at many times feels like a thesis for his later feature films Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) and The Long Day Closes (1992) (which, along with "Trilogy," make up an autobiographical trilogy of their own), it's also undeniable that these are the most provocative films that I've seen from Terence Davies so far; Madonna and Child, in particular, feels downright raunchy in a couple of different instances.  This collection of short films is certainly the most outwardly homosexual of…
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Review: Distant Voices, Still Lives

Review: Distant Voices, Still Lives

Year: 1988 | Rating: Simply put, Distant Voices, Still Lives is a beautiful little revelation of a film. The only Terence Davies film I had seen before this was The Long Day Closes (1992), which I consider a masterpiece and one of my favorite films of all time, and as is often the case when the first film I see of a filmmaker's speaks to me so vividly, I had both been looking forward and hesitant to check out more of Davies' work for many years, in the slight fear that none of his other films would affect me as much…
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Review: Dead Poets Society

Review: Dead Poets Society

Year: 1989 | Rating: I had been putting off watching Dead Poets Society for years at this point because every impression that I've gotten of this film made me believe that it would be a stuffy, cliché product of its time that would really, really not appeal to me. But it was recently selected as the latest entry in an online film club that I follow, and I had watched Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard in Tape (2001) just the day before, so I thought what the hell? I'll give it a shot. After all, every once in a while a…
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Quick Hits: Raising Arizona, The Dead Don’t Die, School of Rock

Quick Hits: Raising Arizona, The Dead Don’t Die, School of Rock

Quick Hits In the latest edition of Quick Hits, I take at look at three lesser-celebrated films by iconic American auteurs: a Coen Brothers comedy featuring a madcap performance from Nicolas Cage, the latest quirky offering from the "master of cool" Jim Jarmusch, and a family studio comedy from Richard Linklater that deserves to be counted among his best work. Raising Arizona Year: 1987 | Rating: Welp, chalk Raising Arizona up as yet another Coen Brothers film that I walked away from thinking that it was aggressively...fine. And as usual, I can't really describe why I wasn't enthralled with this…
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