Steven Hyden introduced his five-albums test more than a decade ago as a third way to judge a band, short of its popularity or its critical acclaim. While this one is not meant to stand on its own—for example, he’s not sure that either Bob Dylan nor the Rolling Stones had made five great albums… Read More The Five-Movies Test or: Which Director Has Had the Best Stretch of Consecutive Feature-Length Films in English?
Dir. Penny Marshall. Starring Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Jared Rushton Over the course of a year, three separate comedies put women at the upper echelons of late ’80s business and simultaneously ensnared them in love triangles. The world of business and work entwine each other until there is no clear separation between the profitable and… Read More Big (1988)
The following is from my series of Oscar Best Picture rankings, as well as my strongly worded suggestions for what should have won from among the nominees. For an introduction to the project, click here. For a way to vote on some Oscar-related ideas, click here. If I’ve written a review on any of the… Read More Better than the Oscars: 20-16
Dir. Albert Brooks. Starring Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty, Garry Marshall Dir. John Carpenter. Starring Roddy Piper, Keith David, Peter Jason Any fool can point at an American movie from the ’80s and say, with some authority, “Well, I declare! This picture here’s a critique of Reagan-era capitalistic excess!” What strikes me about the pairing of… Read More Lost in America (1985) and They Live (1988)
The following is part of an overview of the top 100 American narrative fiction feature films, from my perspective. For an introduction to the project and an index of other entries in the series, click here. For a list of more than 800 films which I considered for the top 450 and my eligibility qualifications, click here.… Read More Better than AFI’s Top 100: 20-16
The following is part of an overview of the top 100 American narrative fiction feature films, from my perspective. For an introduction to the project and an index of other entries in the series, click here. For a list of more than 800 films which I considered for the top 450 and my eligibility qualifications, click here.… Read More Better than AFI’s Top 100: 95-91
Dir. James L. Brooks. Starring Holly Hunter, William Hurt, Albert Brooks Within a stretch of about twenty minutes, each of the principals in this movie has a moment where s/he asks someone else to hold on for a minute. Tom and Aaron (Hurt and Brooks) ask Jane (Hunter) to hold on for a second while… Read More Broadcast News (1987)
Dir. Andrew Stanton. Starring Ellen DeGeneres, Ed O’Neill, Albert Brooks Two things stand out when we talk about why Finding Nemo is one of the best animated movies of the past thirty years. First is the episodic structure of the narrative; Finding Nemo is, like The Canterbury Tales, much more than the sum of its parts based on the characters… Read More Finding Dory (2016)