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Cole Smithey
The Smartest Film Critic in the World
Interests: Film, Jazz Guitar, Teaching, Craft Beer, Great Food, Travel.
Recent Activity
It's very telling that Martin Scorsese's latest gangster film is a Netflix production. The big studios have abdicated power by focusing solely on superhero movies. Netflix is the new sheriff in town. I suppose this is what it takes to get Joe Pesci out of retirement. Can't wait to see THE IRISHMAN the big screen, by which I mean the 75" projector screen in my living room. Continue reading
Posted 3 hours ago at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
Posted yesterday at Cole Smithey - Articles
Errol Morris’s six-part Netflix documentary series “Wormwood” wears out its welcome by the end of the fourth episode. It’s not that the subject matter isn’t as gripping as it is disturbing — you’ll come away being as fearful of C.I.A. spooks as you are of ISIS — but rather that there is so much repetition and filler that you can’t help being bored long before the long-telegraphed narrative hook comes along. How many times do you need to see a guy falling out of a window to get the point? Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Cole Smithey - Articles
Helen Mirren is always great. I saw her a few months back at the Starbucks at 92nd and 3rd, and she looked great. WINCHESTER could well be the first good movie of 2018. Keep an eye out for my review in early February! Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
JANUARY PROGRAMMING ON THE CRITERION CHANNEL ON FILMSTRUCK! Includes No Country for Old Men, a double bill of Cat People and Curse of the Cat People, and Orson Welles's Mr. Arkadin! Wednesday, January 17 The Piano Teacher: Edition #894 In this riveting study of the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
“Phantom Thread” is nothing that it pretends. It is considered a cardinal sin for an actor to break character, and yet that is exactly what Daniel Day-Lewis’s and Vicky Krieps’s personas do. It’s not often that you come away truly hating a movie, but I suggest that if you find yourself loving “Phantom Thread,” you have issues with self-loathing that should be addressed. Color me disgusted. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Cole Smithey - Reviews
Although inscrutable to any mainstream reading, “Going Places” succeeds due to the film’s refusal to provide easy answers for its characters’ irredeemable actions. Here is an unapologetic, if infuriating, cinematic provocation that dares its audience to rationalize the orgiastic behavior on display. Governments, politicians, soldiers, and police are busy committing far greater crimes as you read these words. Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
Sorkin uses tightly composed scenes, packed with lean dialogue, to form volatile sequences that unite exposition with motivation and panache. On-screen graphics embellish poker sequences to telegraph inside information about the hands being played with a voice-over bump. This is quality cinematic storytelling. If only Hollywood made more films in the vein of “Molly’s Game.” Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
Documentarian Brett Morgan (“The Kid Stays In The Picture”) utilizes roughly 100 hours of previously-believed lost footage (taken by Jane Goodall’s husband Hugo van Lawick) of Goodall’s exploits in Africa’s Gombe region to craft a documentary that stalls as much as it reveals. The result is a limited but significant window into Jane Goodall’s bold mission to study and organize the behaviors and habits of chimpanzees in the wild without having any formal education to inform her research or approach to the mysterious subject at hand. Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
Jerry Seinfeld caps off his comedian’s masterclass web series (“Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee”) with a beautifully conceived, and executed, performance of the exact jokes he told while climbing his first stairs of stand-up comic success back in the mid ‘70s. Manhattan’s Comic Strip comedy club, located at 1568 2nd avenue between 81st and 82nd streets, provides the original venue where a teenaged Jerry Seinfeld honed his first bits and comic chops. Many of the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
In its open-faced simplicity “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” holds a charm and candidness about the comedic process unavailable in any other setting. Five stars isn’t a high enough grade for this brilliant series where even the episodes with the worst guests show you something valuable about what makes the true greats (Don Rickles, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Robert Klein) all the more memorable. Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
Best Picture – Drama: “Call Me by Your Name” “Dunkirk” “The Post” “The Shape of Water” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama: Jessica Chastain, “Molly’s Game” Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water” Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” Meryl Streep, “The Post” Michelle Williams, “All the Money in the World” Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Timothée Chalamet, “Call... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
“Darkest Hour” is a brief, and presumably misleading, biopic aimed more at winning awards for acting than in connecting our modern political problems with those of the past. Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Reviews
One of the points many women have made since the beginning of the current national discussion about sexual assault and harassment has been that sexism and misogyny have cost women countless opportunities to achieve their full potential. Probably because this began with Harvey Weinstein, much of the mourning of opportunity costs focused on Hollywood: New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd mentioned her reaction to research she did on the topic: “I got more and more... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Articles
Posted Dec 28, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Articles
Michael Haneke’s run of making increasingly better films has come to an abrupt halt. The provocative auteur behind such gems as “Funny Games,” “The White Ribbon,” and “Amour” (an undeniable masterpiece) turns a regressive corner in a failed attempt at comedic satire posited as a familial drama simmering with racial discontent. Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
"The Shape of Water" Leads with eight nods. Here is the full list of nominations from the Online Film Critics Society. Winners will be announced on December 28th. Best Picture Call Me By Your Name Dunkirk The Florida Project Get Out A Ghost Story Lady Bird mother! Phantom Thread The Shape of Water Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Best Director Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Articles
Best Picture – Drama: “Call Me by Your Name” “Dunkirk” “The Post” “The Shape of Water” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” Best Picture – Comedy or Musical: “The Disaster Artist” “Get Out” “The Greatest Showman” “I, Tonya” “Lady Bird” Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name” Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread” Tom Hanks, “The Post” Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Articles
Bill is my favorite guitarist. In you're in NYC, get down to the IFC Center and catch this promising documentary! Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
Although dramatically flat, Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age directorial debut covers its Mumblecore tracks with jabs of humor and a breeze of earthy authenticity. Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Reviews
Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animated film ‘Isle of Dogs’ (featuring the voices of Bryan Cranston and Tilda Swinton) will premiere at the 2018 BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL. From the trailer, this looks like vintage Wes Anderson — kooky dry humor with an international bent of globalization. Yum. Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
Steven Spielberg’s nostalgic celebration of the heyday of American journalism offhandedly gives deserved praise to such brave patriots as Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning for their part in speaking truth to power via newspaper institutions (i.e. The Washington Post). However, much gets lost in this film’s meandering script that takes far too long to kick into gear before settling on an overleveraged climax that is underwhelming at best. Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today the 90th Oscars® telecast on Sunday, March 4, 2018, will now begin at 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST, a half-hour earlier than prior telecasts. As previously announced, late-night talk show favorite Jimmy Kimmel will return to host, and Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd will return to produce. Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
Criterion will be accepting all of your questions from fans from now until December 8 and sending the most thoughtful and creative ones to Jim. Though they cannot guarantee that all will be answered on the release, feel free to ask as many as you like. Personal requests will not be answered. Now ask away! Just make sure to include your full name, city, state, and country of residence with your questions. Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog