Independent film critic. Progressive po’ boy, moviegoing romantic. SEFCA member, 🍅 - approved. Newsletter at ofthosewho.substack.com

Review | Chasing Einstein

Image for post
Image for post
Official Still

It’s hard to acknowledge the possibility of Albert Einstein being fallible in any way. The man, long considered one of the greatest minds to have ever graced the Earth, carries a sort of gravitational pull around his name alone. Of course, he was still just a man and, of course, his field of science — like that of all sciences — is one that builds upon itself. Nothing is strictly guaranteed, and anything can be understood in new lights.

Chasing Einstein follows multiple modern-day physicists who are searching for answers to specific questions surrounding gravity. Some of this, even in a documentary meant to reach the masses, goes a bit over our heads, but the film nor the scientists ever speak down to us; this is a most humble film made up of most humble people. Some seek to discover what is called Dark Matter — a particle that could change how we perceive space and time — while others wish to focus on updating Einstein’s theory of relativity altogether. …


Review | IRL

Image for post
Image for post
Official Still

Normally, when a guy admits to messaging multiple women on a dating site per week, you think he’s fishing. When that same guy goes out on date after date with these women, you think he’s desperate. When that same guy admits to this on those dates and gets too loud and personal, you think “TMI.” When that same guy is also the writer of the movie he’s starring in, and spins all of this as a positive, you think pretentious.

If you think you’re being too harsh, you’re not. What you’ve done is stumbled upon perhaps one of the more insufferable films of recent memory, and that’s a really poor thing to say about something so fiercely independent and technically well-directed and photographed. IRL is told primarily through an extended long-distance relationship between two dating site users, who hit things off rather quickly, based solely on each other's brutal honesty to one another. …


Review | Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Image for post
Image for post
From the Official Trailer

For some, spoilers are annoying.

With the release of Sacha Baron Cohen’s super secretive Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (there are several alternate titles sprinkled throughout the film itself) — more than a decade and a half since he first unleashed upon Dubya’s Americana his most aggressively in your face creation — comes a flurry of antsy previewers ready to tell all to everyone. And really, who can blame them? Cohen’s sequel is just as much an incendiary act of “who we’ve become” toilet humor satire as his original was and, rest assured, the sheer cleverness and bravado on display hasn’t changed one iota. If anything, the United States has only made it easier to be fooled. …


Review | Time

Image for post
Image for post
From the Official Trailer

To live under the pressure of being strong for others and for yourself, from the start of trauma or at the beginning of life, is something unfathomable to those of the opposing privilege. Of course, this privilege doesn’t automatically make someone a villain or shameful in any way; it can just be how the cookie has crumbled. In Garrett Bradley’s grandly affecting docu-collage Time, racial bias and assumptions are — once again — exposed as being directly built-in to a system of perpetual pain and trauma. A system so unforgiving, unless the color of your skin is the right one. Indeed, just how the cookie crumbles. Exactly and down to the very cracks. …


Review | 79 Parts

Image for post
Image for post
Official Still

It’s all so sad, really.

The effort one makes for themselves to look like a success. The “work with no reward” nature. The desperation we all face at some point.

Sometimes many points. Sometimes one long one.

79 Parts is a movie of such points. It’s even a movie that is one such point. In trying to replicate the cleverness of say a Tarantino with the craft of a Scorcese, the film flails and falters under the weight of such aspirations. Of course, the filmmakers likely were just trying to find their own voice, but clearly had inspiration in the back of their minds. …


Review | Possessor Uncut

Image for post
Image for post
From the Official Poster

A few Google searches didn’t joggle the collective hivemind on this, but there’s a quote about Jennifer Lynch’s Surveillance that remains heavy and profound, considering its source: Her father David.

If memory serves correct, the line was to the effect of “you’re a sick one.” Hopefully, it was delivered as lovingly as possible, and maybe with a hug.

Brandon Cronenberg — also the son of a famous filmmaker, who is also named David — has made a horror movie that matches the gravitas his father normally displays, and sees it by just a touch more. That more never feels too much, but it’s obvious and clear. …


Review | Northwood Pie

Image for post
Image for post
From the Official Trailer

We’ve all been at the same fork in the road that our lead, Crispin, finds himself standing in front of in Northwood Pie. For whatevs and whatever, he’s essentially a townie in the making. An almost burnout. The guy who could make it in the world, but knowingly or unknowingly finds reasons not to. Or truthfully, finds no reason, and goes with it anyway.

Yes, he is in school (community college I believe), but he’s taking it all too easy. Crispin is played by Todd Knaak with a quick-talking and quick-wit charm that’s more friendly than smug. Less of a Randall Graves from Clerks and more of a Justin Long from Waiting…, I feel. I could easily imagine a character like Crispin being played more sarcastic and pathetic in any other film, but Northwood Pie seems to understand how to present that awkward phase between finishing High School and being in College. …


Not every movie has the power to solve the ills of our compassionless vulture-like economy, but all do share a chance at hitting on something true.

Image for post
Image for post
Official Still

I almost feel as though, in this current period of world history, that a film on a white family of slightly-upper middle-class privilege, experiencing the weight of a financial downfall, is the last kind of heartwarming story we should be watching. Almost, mind you. There’s always potential, however modest, for a tale of such possibly stale texture, to be resonant at least or, at best, pretty darn accurate to real-world conditions.

Indeed, Love & Debt hits plenty of surprising checkmarks. …


A documentary by and about yourself? How obnoxious. A film affirming the beauty of creation and community? How wonderful.

Image for post
Image for post
Official Still

I firmly believe that Ethan Minsker is exactly who I could’ve become had I followed my comic-strip mashup side-interest as a kid. He’s likely the image and personality my parents thought of when picturing my future, too — though this, I can’t confirm. My first impression of Minsker came from a visage of him from behind, wearing an all camo suit, facing a crowd of lights and cameras. There “might” be some cockiness here, but I see leadership. I see persistence. I see courage and vulnerability, all on display, for anyone and everyone. …


No matter the effective escapist effects of Christopher Nolan’s latest, our present moment lurks in the empty seats behind us.

Image for post
Image for post
Official Still

RATING — 5/5*

It’s upon the faux-resurrection of our “protagonist” (John David Washington’s nameless lead role) that Tenet reveals the very thesis at its own heart: “Don’t try to understand it; feel it.” We see an exercise in firing time-inverted bullets, where physics and muscle memory are scrambled up, and instead of “shooting,” you are “catching.” …

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store