Exhaustively exhausted: Ben Affleck’s Live by Night

Has any topic been more exhaustively dramatized than Prohibition-era gangsters? Live by Night seems especially redundant so soon after HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, which covers a lot of the same ground: the Florida/Cuba liquor pipeline, the Irish/Italian mob conflict, the pivot to legal gambling, etc. The explanation being pretty simple: original novelist Denis Lehane also contributed […]

Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy is his best film

Chasing Amy is far and away Kevin Smith’s best film, and not coincidentally his most heartfelt. I think Smith’s achievement is to tell a universal guy’s story while still featuring significant and sympathetic female characters. Yes, Chasing Amy is spectacularly profane and the characters are prone to giving extended on-the-nose speeches perfectly explicating their inner […]

Ben Affleck’s pervasively grim Gone Baby Gone

Good ol’ Bahstuhn Cahtholick Ben Affleck is an all grown-up, big-boy director now, and lookit, he made himself a pretty decent movie. That said, Gone Baby Gone is a big plate of grim, with side order of depressing. Affleck makes excellent use of location footage and local color. And not surprising for a movie directed […]

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