Certain Valley (This Week’s Movies)


Kristen Stewart, Certain Women

Links to my reviews posted this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly.

Certain Women. “A sense that we should be concentrating on gesture and intonation rather than plot.”

In a Valley of Violence. “If you saw John Wick, you have a pretty good idea of what happens when bad guys mess with the hero’s dog.”

Denial Strangler (This Week’s Movies)


Rachel Weisz, Denial

Links to my reviews published in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Denial. “Hare’s real subject is corrupted public discourse.”

The Greasy Strangler. “Bonkers, and designed to be an instant cult item, which raises the question of whether you can design a movie to be cult.”

Hey Crop Duster reader, I’ve been in Romania since Oct. 9, enjoying a Fulbright Specialist grant and visiting universities in two cities, Ovidius University in Constanta and Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Iasi. I’ll be here for a while, but hope to file reports a little more frequently, including one on a Romanian film I saw here. In the meantime, if anybody’s in Iasi on Thursday and wants to attend my lecture at the American Corner, please come by at 1:30.



The Birth of Honey (This Week’s Links)


Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf: American Honey

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

The Birth of a Nation. “Parker struggles to connect these motivations to Turner’s ultimate historical strategy.”

American Honey. “Somehow Arnold finds a stride that hits an endless-summer groove.”

The Girl on the Train. “You might be vaguely curious about who did what, but you won’t care much about this drab batch of characters.”

Phantasm: Ravager. “If Marcel Proust had written this movie, he’d call it In Search of Lost Time.”

Movie Diary 10/5/2016

Denial (Mick Jackson, 2016). David Hare wrote the screenplay for this drama about Holocaust denial being put on trial in the U.K., so despite the mostly pedestrian direction, the film is compelling. It’s also about something else very much of the moment – how we must stop respecting opinions when those opinions are stupid. Couldn’t be timelier. (full review 10/14)

Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016). A festival hit, with some very fine actors. The director has come a ways since Medicine for Melancholy. (full review 11/4)

Movie Diary 10/4/2016

The Girl on the Train (Tate Taylor, 2016). Not sure any movie about someone daydreaming out the window of a train has ever come up with less colorful characters than this one. Three good actresses – Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett – do their best in this adaptation of the best-seller. (full review 10/7)

Phantasm: Ravager (David Hartman, 2016). Part V of the series that launched in 1979, with Angus Grimm (RIP) turning in one last go as the Tall Man. There’s something to be said for longevity, that’s for sure. (full review 10/7)

Movie Diary 10/3/2016

The Greasy Strangler (Jim Hosking, 2016). You will get the idea in the first few minutes of this deranged film, and then you will keep getting it thereafter. There are certainly some brave people on screen. (full review 10/14)

Deepwater Dressmaker (This Week’s Movies)


Kate Winslet: The Dressmaker

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Deepwater Horizon. “The excitement generated by each crash is perhaps just a tad unholy.”

The Dressmaker. “Jocelyn Moorhouse gleefully blends laughter and shocks. She works with a scalpel – the characters, the one-liners, and of course the costumes are shaped with precision.”

A Man Called Ove. “The whole thing comes across like a Swedish Gran Torino, but without the guns and gangs.”

The Lovers and the Despot. “A true Cold War cloak-and-dagger affair.”

The most recent session of Framing Pictures is online; in this one, the panel talks about Sully, Hell or High Water, Disorder, and an appreciation of Gene Wilder. You can watch here; it’s also playing on the Seattle Channel this week.