Detroit Cineaste

Reviews of movies and television programs

A Spy in the House of Love (Anais Nin)

A novel by Anais Nin, the fourth in the Cities of Interior collection. Like the preceding novels, it is a work of lyrical richness, sensuous detail and self-discovery. Highly recommended.

Murder on Middle Beach (HBO)

A true crime documentary series where filmmaker Madison Hamburg attempts to figure out who murdered his mother. The series contains several moments that are very moving, while the segments constructed to induce tension come off as contrived. While only four episodes, the series feels brief and padded at the same time. Moderately recommended.

The Rental

A lean, mean and very effective horror movie from Dave Franco. Insidious in how it elevates the slasher genre to an entirely new level. Highly recommended.

Last Christmas (2019)

A Christmas movie featuring attractive turns by Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding. They manage to overcome what is probably the strangest plot twist ever for a rom-com. Its heart is in the right place(!), so I’m recommending it.

The Midnight Sky (Netflix)

A movie that attempts to cover over its many narrative logical problems cheap sentimentality. The big plot twist at the end was a huge cheat for which it cannot be forgiven. Not recommended!

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)

The blues come alive in this excellent retelling of the August Wilson play, filled with noteworthy performances by everyone involved, and Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman in particular. Highly recommended!

Control (2007)

An electric and haunting elegy to Ian Curtis, lead singer and songwriter for Joy Division. For the uninitiated, the movie will definitely help explain what all the fuss was about. Highly recommended.

The Mandalorian (Season 2, Disney+)

A worthy follow-up to season 1. The visuals and action sequences are more than worth the price of admission. A must-see for obsessive and casual Star Wars fans alike! Go Grogu!


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