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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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Thanks to Kenneth E. for his Patreon Pledge Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Hollywood production mogul Harvey Weinstein was fired from his own company after being accused by numerous alleged victims of sexual harassment over the years. Now there are rape allegations as well. The media and online pile-on makes some people uncomfortable, and the bigger issue is the power dynamic inherent to capitalism and the treatment of employees like property by employers, but this is one of those issues where it shouldn’t be hard to find the right side. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Cole Smithey - Articles
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You’d be hard-pressed to imagine a more inept movie, much less one coming from the pedigree that this one does. In hindsight, the film’s title seems to signal a career-ender for all those involved except for J. Quinton Johnson. The icing on the cake is that “Last Flag Flying” was chosen as the centerpiece for the 55th New York Film Festival. Entropy with a whimper is everywhere you look. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Cole Smithey - Reviews
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“The Square” fails as a social satire because Östlund isn’t capable of completing any of his slow-moving trains of thought. He creates provocative situations that he isn’t prepared to pay off on. Östlund got away with pulling the wool over many critics’ eyes with “Force Majeure” because the narrative rested on one blink-and-you-miss-it element. At two hours and 22 minutes, “The Square” puts its many weaknesses on flagrant display. Here is a lazy satire unworthy of a sneeze from such masters of the form as Lars von Trier. Perhaps one day Ruben Östlund will make a competent film; don’t hold your breath. Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Reviews
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This long forgotten romantic comedy represents a perfect storm of comic talents coming together for an enjoyable Manhattan-centric movie that sticks with you. Writer/director Steve Gordon had worked for years as a television comedy writer on series such as “Barney Miller” before crafting the only film he would ever make; Gordon perished a year later from a heart attack. Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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All spectacle and no substance describes Denis Villeneuve’s predictably overwrought yet lightweight sci-fi snoozefest. Even Ryan Gosling comes across as phoning in his performance as K, a replicant blade runner who finds the remains of a female replicant who was at one time pregnant. K’s assignment is to track down the offspring and destroy her. Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Reviews
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THE 55TH NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Articles
October 2, 2017: Icarus Films is excited to announce that Eight Films By Jean Rouchwill be released on home video DVD, with select titles also available on video-on-demand, on November 14, 2017. The new Jean Rouch box set from Icarus Films will include eight newly restored films on four discs, a 24-page booklet with two essays about Rouch and his methodology, and a new documentary about Rouch, his films, and his influence on African cinema, titled Jean Rouch, The Adventurous Filmmaker. Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York’s premiere French cultural center, is thrilled to present the CinéSalon series Caroline Champetier: Shaping the Light throughout the month of October. On Tuesday, October 24, Champetier comes to FIAF in person for a special Q&A after the 4pm screening of The Innocents and the 7:30pm screening of Holy Motors. Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
President Trump has continued to lash out with bizarre and outrageous public pronouncements. He has threatened to destroy North Korea. He says athletes who protest police brutality should be fired. And he has no sympathy for the people of Puerto Rico, which has been devastated by a pair of hurricanes. In any other country, people would take to the streets to demand that the president be removed. But we’re chill…too chill. Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Articles
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Christopher Walken has his breakout performance as a recent ex-con on a mission with his former prison mate (Sean Connery) to rob the tenants of “1 E 91st Street” — namely the Otto Kahn mansion. Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Here comes one more chance to watch the great Anton Yelchin in one of his last film roles before his untimely death. It doesn't hurt that the film is set in one of the world's most romantic and beautiful cities. I'm really looking forward to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
Natalie Portman In Alex Garland's sci-fi thriller ANNIHILATION Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
Includes a new edition of Meet the Filmmakers on Josh and Benny Safdie, four films by Michael Haneke and Juraj Herz's The Cremator! Sunday, October 1 On the Waterfront*: Criterion Collection Edition #647 Marlon Brando gives the performance of his career as the tough prizefighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in Elia Kazan's eight-time Oscar-winning masterpiece. A powerfully emotional tale of individual failure and social corruption, On the Waterfrontfollows Terry's deepening moral crisis as he must decide whether... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Articles
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At best, Christopher Nolan is a barely competent filmmaker. Still, he is far from being an adept storyteller, much less a great director. Not only is Nolan’s “Dunkirk” far from the “masterpiece” that every phony bandwagon-jumping “film critic” pretends it is, the movie is one of the worst war films ever made. Here is a cinematic peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with creamy p.b. and a ton of jelly so that it won’t stick in your throat. You’ll be reaching for a glass of milk rather than the stiff drink that you would be thirsty for if this war movie were any good. Let's be clear, this movie sucks. Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Susan Lacy's Steven Spielberg appears to be a well-researched documentary based on intimate interviews with Spielberg, as well as a cornucopia of people in the filmmaker's orbit. Check out my video essay dedication to the most famous director in the world, at the bottom of this page. Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Articles
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It’s a given that Emma Stone would seamlessly slip inside Billy Jean King’s skin. It’s equally predictable that Steve Carell would embody aging tennis star and gambling addict Bobby Riggs with a portrayal that walks a fine line between comic and tragic figure. But what impresses most about co-directors’ Jonathan Dayton’s and Valerie Faris’s equality-focused time capsule is how Andrea Riseborough’s lesbian hairdresser Marilyn Barnett encompasses emotional, political, and social issues being put through a cartoon media blender regarding a tennis match. Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Although the editing could have been much tighter on Sean Baker’s dramatically infused [ethnographic] study of poverty in Kissimmee, “The Florida Project” remains a moving encapsulation of an escalating human crisis in America. Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Joachim Trier’s paranormal-inflected lesbian coming of age thriller zigs where it should zag. Eli Harboe plays the title character, a hard-bitten Christian girl from the country who tells her strict father “everything.” Now at college, Thelma experiences bizarre seizures seemingly set off by close proximity to Anja (Kaya Wilkins). Love at first sight isn’t such a good thing for Thelma who returns home after receiving a series of medical tests to diagnose her condition. Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Not even Isabelle Huppert’s ever-reliable craftwork can elevate this overwrought and underachieving pro-education, sci-fi inflected, drama. The film’s unbalanced (linear) three act story falls apart during a last gasp act that falls horribly flat. Third act failure is one thing, but to have a narrative with such rich, if ghastly, possibilities reduced to a muted, half-hearted, satire just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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There is beautiful chemistry between the 88-year-old French New Wave legendary filmmaker Agnes Varda and JR, the youthful French photographer who cares for Varda as a loyal would-be grandson. JR and Varda share directing credits for this disarmingly sweet and poignant documentary that plays more as a docudrama due to the circumstance of uncertainty regarding Ms. Varda’s health. Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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In latest YouTube related news, I posted my Axial Cut video on YouTube and got hit with a claim before I even hit the publish key. I wasn't having it this time, and let YouTube know in no uncertain terms where I stand on the issue. Still waiting for my devastating response to their bullying. Look for an update to my unending war with these shysters. Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Articles
D'après une histoire vraie - de Roman Polanski - Bande-Annonce Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog