The Shape of Water (****1/2) holds you completely

If you like Del Toro, this is the best work he's created since Pan's Labyrinth. It's regrettable that he's not received more resources to create with, but seeing what he's done here with such seemingly limited funds, I really don't know if it matters. He just needs to bring more of his universe to ours.

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I Don’t Have A Vote: The 89th Annual Oscars – You are ruining Everything

My pick for the best in film this year is a lot closer to what the Academy picked this year. I can almost see it from here when there are no clouds at night. It's somewhere behind Pluto.

Nocturnal Animals (*) is weak

Ford has no talent that I can see for the art of movie making. Most of his shots come across like those awkward photos of kids in the 70's when you get the front view and a soft side view in one shot. It's supposed to be poignant and deep. It only produces awkward chuckles.

Loving (*****) brick by brick

#loving is one incredible true film event. If you can see it, do so. This should see plenty of nominations, but probably won't because it's not tied to an agenda.

Midnight Special (****) has a familiar shine

Nichols succeeds with this story, but not to the level of his previous work. The pace works, and the effects are in keeping with the rest of the story up until that big reveal. If you loved what Nichols has done before, you will like this one. That it's not the groundbreaking work one would hope for feels like a disappointment, and that's a little unfair. If you hadn't seen the previous work of the director with his number one actor, you'd think this film is more than fine.

Forgotten Gem: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?

My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done? - 2009 Director Werner Herzog Starring Michael Shannon, Willem Dafoe, Chloë Sevigny, Udo Kier, Michael Peña, Grace Zabriskie, Brad Dourif Screenplay by Herzog and Herbert Golder Herzog and Golder were thinking of making a movie about the real life murderer Mark Yavorsky, who committed a matricide, mirroring the play of Orestes.  He … Continue reading Forgotten Gem: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?

The Iceman just wants to be a landlord

The Iceman - 2013 Director Ariel Vroman Starring Michael Shannon, Winona Rider, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, James Franco, David Schwimmer, Stephen Dorff, Erin Cummings, Robert Davi Screenplay by Vroman and Morgan Land No one can economize a performance like Michael Shannon.  His countenance is always sober, but seething underneath.  His performance in Man of Steel was a thankless … Continue reading The Iceman just wants to be a landlord

Mud: The dream of love lives on

Mud - 2012 Written and Directed by Jeff Nichols Starring Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Reese Witherspoon, Sam Shephard, Jacob Lofland, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Michael Shannon, Joe Don Baker, Stuart Greer, Michael Abbott, Jr., Bonnie Sturdivant I was never more fiercely dedicated to the pursuit of love than when I was in the Grade School.  My nerves … Continue reading Mud: The dream of love lives on

Bearing the weight of the Man of Steel

Man of Steel - 2013 Director Zack Snyder Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Christopher Meloni, Ayelet Zurer Screenplay David S. Goyer Well documented are the difficulties of making a movie about a man with no weaknesses.  As good a Superman as Christopher Reeve was, there was really … Continue reading Bearing the weight of the Man of Steel

Premium Rush: Don’t expect Fly By Night

Premium Rush - 2012 Director David Koepp Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Wole Parks Screenplay Koepp and John Kamps Ever since discovering we were going to get a preview of Michael Shannon as a bad guy in Premium Rush, the movie rose to the top of the must see list.  His skills have shown him without peer … Continue reading Premium Rush: Don’t expect Fly By Night