Posts Tagged ‘California’

Ezra’s Top Ten Favorite Movies Of 2018

Posted 16 Feb 2019 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

Here we go again! I know I say this every year, but it’s an absolutely absurd and impossible task to try to see even half of the 700+ feature films released each year, and then to attempt a ranking of the best [insert arbitrary number] of them, so that’s not what I do. Instead, I managed to see a paltry 101 movies released in 2018, and I’m going to attempt to rank my ten favorite movies out of that number. It’s still absurd and very difficult, but at least I don’t have to convince anyone these are the “best” movies of the year. They’re just the ones I personally dug the most, and your mileage will most likely vary wildly. As always, I’ve made some effort to highlight movies you’re not hearing about on other year-end lists or awards ceremonies, while not stubbornly ignoring any of those that you are hearing more about, as I did in 2016.
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My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done

Posted 31 Oct 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done, USA / Germany, 2009

Directed by Werner Herzog

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done, as the title suggests, is an extremely odd film. Completing a triptych of unconventional horror films by directors not known for making this type of film, I have decided to make Werner Herzog’s My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done the subject of my final entry in my self-imposed Halloween Movie Month experiment. It’s an odd choice on which to go out, but that is fitting, as My Son is an extremely odd film, even for Herzog. To be honest, it’s kind of surprising that it’s taken me this long to see and write about the film, since it is the result of a dream collaboration between to of the weirdest filmmakers alive: co-writer/director Herzog and producer David Lynch. It is definitely not a horror movie in any traditional sense, though Herzog describes it on his official website as “a horror film without the blood, chainsaws and gore, but with a strange, anonymous fear creeping up in you.” Personally, I didn’t find it particularly frightening at all, but it is a rather fascinating portrait of increasing madness centered around a typically intense performance by the wild-eyed and always captivating Michael Shannon. Read More


Posted 25 Jul 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

Tabloid, USA, 2010

Directed by Errol Morris

Tabloid, though it is a documentary, is also one of the funniest films of the year. Anyone reading this, and certainly any student of comedy, is sure to be aware of the well-worn axiom, “It’s funny because it’s true.” Regardless of exactly what parts of its wild, often unbelievable story are actually true, in the most objective and unquestionable sense, legendary documentary filmmaker Errol Morris’s latest, Tabloid, is likely one of the funniest films I’ll see all year. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the assertion of its dubious protagonist that it was nothing less than “Christ-like love” that led her pit bull, Booger, to save her life at one point; equally hilarious is Joyce’s proclamation about the tabloid media, “If you tell a lie long enough, you learn to believe it,” uttered without any apparent awareness of the irony inherent in that statement being delivered by someone of her pedigree.

I’m getting ahead of myself. For those who don’t know, Tabloid tells the story of Joyce McKinney, a former beauty pageant queen and Miss Wyoming who allegedly kidnapped and raped a Mormon missionary named Kirk Anderson in 1977, after following him across the globe from California to England, where she believed the Mormons had brainwashed and enslaved him. The tabloids of the time, particularly the competing British Daily Mirror and Daily Express, had the proverbial field day with the story, dubbing it “The Case of the Manacled Mormon!”  Read More