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Robert Elswit

Syriana Review

Syriana Review

“The Beverly Hillbillies” called oil “black gold,” which sums things up quite well. It’s a commodity that people like Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood would sell his soul for back at the turn of the 19th century, and in the century between when that film is set and when Stephen Gaghan’s Syriana is both set and released, the […]

Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation Review

Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Five films into the Mission: Impossible series, and you sort of think you know everything you’re going to get—death-defying action, lots of Tom Cruise faces, masks, exotic locations, etc. It’s a variation on the James Bond theme, just like the Fast & Furious franchise has become a variation on the Mission: Impossible […]

Inherent Vice Review

Inherent Vice Review

RATING: (4 STARS) A stoner private dick, his manipulative ex-old-lady, her millionaire land developer lover, his scheming wife, her ripped kept man. A recovering dope fiend single mother, her missing snitch boyfriend, a black panther, a gang of Nazis, an maniacal actor cop, a maritime lawyer, a pot-smoking assistant DA, nose-picking FBI agents, and a […]

Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol Review

Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol is hopefully the beginning of a beautiful friendship. It’s hard to say whether Brad Bird needed Ethan Hunt more, or if it was the other way around, but regardless, their first collaboration is one hell of an action movie. Bird is the director of such animated hits as […]

Punch-Drunk Love Review

Punch-Drunk Love Review

RATING: (4 STARS) After films like Magnolia, Boogie Nights, and There Will Be Blood, P.T. Anderson understandably has earned a reputation as a big, epic filmmaker. Ironically, his most impressive direction might come in his smallest film, both in scope and perhaps stature—Punch-Drunk Love. Anderson’s 2002 “romantic comedy” is just bursting with energy, literally, to […]