My Chicago International Film Festival recap

In case you’re wondering why updates have been few and far between, it’s because I just ended my stint working for the Chicago International Film Festival.  For the past month I have been working roughly 60-hour weeks, and today is my first day off in about a month.  It’s been a lot of fun though, … Continue reading

Hidden Gems: Blindness

Blindness (Fernando Meirelles, 2008) With Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Alice Braga, Gael Garcia Bernal and Danny Glover. I would call this film a successful foray into crossing an art film with a more mainstream one (although its $3 million domestic box-office makes me lean more toward the former).  Let’s call it the Cyrus of apocalyptic storytelling. … Continue reading

Hidden Gems: Cube

“You think somebody would go to all the trouble to build this thing if you could just walk out?” Cube (Vincenzo Natali, 1998) After seeing Splice a few nights ago, I decided to finally watch Natali’s Cube upon hearing many good things about it.  Remember back in 2004 when the Saw series started and everyone was … Continue reading

Hidden Gems: Jersey Girl

“Cats” is the second worst thing that ever happened to New York City.” Jersey Girl (Kevin Smith, 2004) With Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler and Raquel Castro. While I’m a huge Kevin Smith fan, I have been putting this film off for years and dismissed it as merely a sell-out fluff piece.  Boy, was I wrong. … Continue reading

Hidden Gems: Shattered Glass

“He handed us fiction after fiction, and we printed them all as fact.  Just because we found him entertaining.” Shattered Glass (Billy Ray, 2003) With Hayden Christensen, Peter Sarsgaard, Chloe Sevigny, Steve Zahn, Rosario Dawson and Hank Azaria. Giving this movie a second viewing over the weekend has inspired me to write a post informing … Continue reading

Hidden Gems: The Pawnbroker

The Pawnbroker (Sidney Lumet, 1964) With Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brock Peters and Jaime Sanchez. Sidney Lumet is one of my all-time favorite directors and is a master of social realism.  This film is no exception.  It’s also quite a cinematic landmark because it is the first film featuring a woman’s bare breasts to receive … Continue reading

Hidden Gems: After Hours

After Hours (Martin Scorsese, 1985) With Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Linda Florentino and Catherine O’Hara. As I try to make my way through some of the deeper cuts of Scorsese’s oeuvre, I finally got my hands on a copy of After Hours (thanks Frank).  Griffin Dunne stars as Paul, our guide through the irreverence of … Continue reading

Hidden Gems: Election

Election (Alexander Payne, 1999) With Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick and Chris Klein. Quite simply, this movie is awesome.  Matthew Broderick stars as a high school teacher who is desperate to stop Reese Witherspoon from winning the election for student council president.  Reese is the resident class know-it-all and Broderick hates her for having an affair … Continue reading

Hidden Gems: Dark Blue

Dark Blue (Ron Shelton, 2002) With Kurt Russell, Scott Speedman, Ving Rhames and Brendan Gleeson. Kurt Russell sports some terrific hair and turns in one of his best performances in this ballsy corrupt cop drama.  Set in Los Angeles in 1992, the film offers some interesting social commentary as racial tensions boil over in the … Continue reading

Hidden Gems: John Cusack Two-Pack

John Cusack has always been one of my favorite actors.  I obviously don’t know him personally, but I have always thought of him as somewhat of a “people’s actor.”  He seems to really love what he does, and does it on his own terms.  He’s someone I can relate to… or at least I can … Continue reading