Category

Essential Viewing

Covers everything from under-the-radar indies, to individual directors, to TV series. Positive reviews only.

The Crook: Film Review

By Essential Viewing

Released – November 20th, 1970 Written By – Claude Lelouch, Claude Pinoteau, & Pierre Uytterhoeven Directed By – Claude Lelouch Starring – Jean-Louis Trintignant, Christine Lelouch, Charles Gerald, Charles Denner Runtime – 120 minutes Genre – Crime / Thriller A contemporary of the Nouvelle Vague directors but never really one of them, Claude Lelouch continues to plug away at the age of 80, releasing a film annually to the indifference of French critics. In the States, his legacy will likely be the derisive laughter of high school French classes forced to sit through A Man and a Woman, but there are some genuinely interesting titles in his filmography. Similar to Truffaut, what comes through Lelouch’s work is a love of cinema, and The Crook is his film that most effectively conveys this exuberance. Jean-Louis Trintignant stars as “Simon the Swiss,” a notorious Parisian thief on the run after escaping from…

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Joe Versus the Volcano: Film Review

By Essential Viewing

Released – March 9th, 1990 Written and Directed By – John Patrick Shanley Starring – Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges Runtime – 102 minutes Genre – Dark Comedy / Fantasy / Romance Most people are familiar with the combination of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. From Sleepless in Seattle to You’ve Got Mail, the duo has proven to be a sure-fire winner. But there’s a lesser known film in which the two star: Joe Versus the Volcano. When the film released in 1990, it was met with mixed reviews. Most people didn’t “get” it—and that’s not surprising, as the most common word used to describe the film is “quirky.” As you begin watching, bubbly Amblin credits roll over the screen while an amalgamation of depressing imagery harkens back to German expressionism. You may find yourself wondering, “isn’t this a comedy?” But this is the genius, near-impossible-to-pull-off tone of Joe,…

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