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Cole Smithey
Manhattan
The Smartest Film Critic in the World
Interests: Film, Jazz Guitar, Teaching, Craft Beer, Great Food, Travel.
Recent Activity
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Miguel, a start-up teen gangster (played by Elijah Rodriguez) is looking to come up fast in the local cartel when he spots Alejandro after nearly being run over. Miguel’s memory later sparks a shark-jumping double climax that lets its audience know this drawn-out melodrama of lawyers, guns, and money has its tongue firmly in cheek. Sure, there’s even a bloody hole in the cheek, just for good measure. Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Reviews
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Affirmative-action comes to film review aggregation. It wasn’t clear whether Larson was attacking Rotten Tomatoes or the corporate media outlets that garner the aggregate film review website’s coveted “Top Critics” designation, but it was clear that she isn’t keen on white male film critics, or even female film critics for that matter. Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
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As promised, here is my special thank-you to the one and only Neil Cohen, who was kind enough to pledge $10 a month at the Independent Cinema Tier of my Patreon page! If you don't know who Neil Cohen is, I have two words for you "Chief Zabu." Check out Neil's movie if and when you get the chance. In the meantime, I'm raising a glass to this old-school New Yorker and all-around good guy. Cheers Neil! And thanks a bunch! Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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On June 27, 2018 Magno Review will close forever. I miss my second home already, and the film community that shared the space there. Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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For many years “If It Ain’t Stiff, It Ain’t Worth a Fuck” was an incredibly rare find available only on scratchy VHS copies. That it now shows up on Amazon Prime gives it fitting exposure for the masses. Witness a bunch of inspired, talented, and frequently drunk and stoned musicians laying down the jam harder than you knew they did. Elvis Costello might have thought he was better than the company he kept, but he was wrong. And as the record shows, Elvis Costello was also Punk as fuck at the time. Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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For the first time since Quentin Tarantino reinvented the heist genre with “Reservoir Dogs” way back in 1992, a filmmaker has broken the thing wide open. With a handful of documentaries under his belt writer-director Bart Layton crafts a snappy docudrama rendition of a small-town heist at a university in Lexington Kentucky that finishes with appropriate grace notes of hubris and pathos. Bart Layton isn’t a household name, yet. Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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I'm not a fan of Hollywood's knee-jerk tendency to remaking movies, but this project looks promising. Luca Guadagnino is smart to do horror after making "Call Me By Your Name," an intentionally camp classic if ever there was. I especially love the font for "SUSPIRIA" with the comb-like piano keyboard under it. Points for style all around. Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Here's the list of films newly streaming on Netflix beginning in June 2018. My personal pick are in bold. Bon appetite! Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
Includes Frank Capra's It Happened One Night, the Complete Monterey Pop Festival, and Aki Kaurismäki's The Other Side of Hope! Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Here's the list of films streaming on Amazon Prime beginning June 1. The bolded titles are my personal picks. Bon appetite. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Finally there exists a beautiful top-to-bottom documentary about the incendiary rock ‘n’ roll band that recorded the first Punk single (“New Rose”) in 1976, and went on to keep reinventing themselves five decades over. They’re still at it today. The Damned’s single “Smash It Up” (from their third record “Machine Gun Etiquette”) was so aggressive that it was banned by the BBC. The band’s founding drummer Rat Scabies met guitarist Captain Sensible at a London concert hall where they had jobs cleaning the toilets. Such are the tidbits and details that documentarian Wes Orshoski (“Lemmy” 2010) delivers with loving attention. In-depth interviews with band members present and past (especially the band’s longtime vampire-inspired singer Dave Vanian) give way to great archive footage to tell the story of a band that never got the attention they deserved. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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"The sculpture gallery's upstairs. Would you like to see it?" —Eyes Wide Shut Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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As Thomas Wolf pointed out in his essay, Christ’s primary teaching was that “loneliness could be destroyed forever by the life of love.” You don’t have to be religious to see the truth in that, but you should see “First Reformed” a couple of times to understand how Paul Schrader shows you what is important in the kingdom of heaven that we all possess and share. Is "First Reformed" a perfect film? Yes, yes it is. Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Reviews
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I'll never forget my time spent swimming on the Ebony Pearls Swim Team — a great bunch of people who taught me the value of swimming. Still doing six miles a week in the pool. And yes that's me in the unzipped sweat. Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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CANNES 2018 AWARDS COMPLETE Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
Un Certain Regard 2018 presented 18 films in competition. 6 of them were first films. The Opening film was DONBASS by Sergei Loznitsa. Under the presidency of Benicio Del Toro (Puerto Rican-American actor), the Jury was comprised of Annemarie Jacir (Palestinian director and writer), Kantemir Balagov (Russian director), Virginie Ledoyen (French actress) and Julie Huntsinger (American executive director, Telluride Film Festival). Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
Director Spike Lee, speaking at Cannes, denounced Donald Trump as a “motherfucker” because he failed to denounce the Nazis in Charlottesville who murdered a peaceful protestor. Considering that Trump has done even worse things, one wonders what Lee would say about those crimes against racial justice. Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
Scheduled for release on November 2, Bohemian Rhapsody already looks like a shoe-in come Oscar-nomination season. The movie stars Rami Malek in the title role as Freddie Mercury. Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aiden Gillen, Tom Hollander, and Mike Myers also star.... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
Modern Cinema's master provocateur Lars von Trier adds yet another layer of outrageous satire to his already expansive oeuvre with The House That Jack Built — premiering at Cannes as we speak. If indeed "heaven is the soul and hell is the body," Cinema has the filmmaker to connect the two on film. Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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“Always At The Carlyle” gives you a sense of old New York’s glamour and decadence. The movie is as much a history lesson as it is a celebration of a way of doing business that honors human nature above unbridled greed. You might want to break open your piggy bank to sip a cocktail in Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle after seeing the bar’s enticing atmosphere, complete with a 14K-gold-covered ceiling, on the big screen. Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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The coolest comic you’ve [probably] not heard of, Rick Crom is a comic legend among stand-up comics. The Chicago-born stand-up comic of legendary New York City status gets his just deserts in this loving documentary from co-directors Dustin Sussman and Aaron Rosenbloom. Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Reviews
Donald Glover (a.k.a. Childish Gambino) takes the protest song form to new heights in this impressive music video that exquisitely captures America's crisis as a Police State busy escalating its 150-year long system of genocide by degree against Black citizens. While Hollywood hides behind generic superhero movies that only pretend to speak to social issues, Donald Glover puts his body, soul, and voice on the line. Props to Childish Gambino. Bring it on. Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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“Permanent Vacation” represents a state of mind and space that doesn’t exist anymore. Technology has wiped out the possibility for such introspection. So much is lost that can never be regained, or can it? Watching this movie is one of the few tunnels back to a time and place where you could think. It’s a groovy movie to think along to. Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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The new poster for Ramin Bahrani's adaptation of the Ray Bradbury classic gives an enticing sense of this film's retro-modern take on the socially relevant subject matter. The casting looks promising. I don't think Michael Shannon has ever given a less than stellar performance in anything he's done. Michael B. Jordan certainly has the stature for the role of Guy Montag. Rev your engines and get out your fire extinguishers; it's getting hot. Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog