What is your favorite movie?
I guess the reason why I get asked this question a lot is because people like to get a quick feel of the kinds of movies I’m into. This is a difficult question for me to answer because I don’t only have one favorite.
There are those that mean a lot to me such as Tom Holland’s “Child’s Play” and Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Dreamers” because they sparked my interest in films. There are those that I find fascinating every time I watch them because I believe each frame is perfectly executed such as Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” and John Carpenter’s “Halloween.” And then there are those that just capture me emotionally such as Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunset” and Jonah Markowitz’ “Shelter.”
So when someone asks me this question and I say, “I really don’t have one,” it’s the truth. I’m not trying to avoid the question because I can’t come up with a title on the spot. I’m not one of those “film buffs” who feels the need to name the most obscure independent movie or a classic picture from the film noir era. It’s just my answer requires a little bit of explanation. Sometimes people aren’t interested in an explanation.
Is there any film critic you look up to?
I look up to Roger Ebert, former film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times. I admire that his reviews were very accessible yet they maintained level-headedness, wit, and sense of humor. I noticed that he was quick to establish a tone that made it feel like he was talking to his readers directly. With a lot of critics and reviewers, breaking that barrier proves difficult. As a result, the writing feels awkward and forced, sometimes pretentious and insincere.
When he loved a movie, he expressed it in a way that inspired us to look more closely at the content as well as the craft from behind the camera. Conversely, when he didn’t particularly care for a film, he wasn’t afraid to say exactly what did not work for him and did it in a way that was entertaining.
Here is an excerpt from Ebert’s review of Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”:
“If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination.”
How do you choose which films to watch and write about?
Coming Soon provides a list of independent and mainstream films released each week. I make sure to visit every Thursday, read the synopses, and if I find something of interest, I add it to my Netflix queue. I try not to read too many reviews. I find trusting my instinct is the best way to decide whether to watch a particular film.
Since I started this website, I made a commitment to review each movie I watch with the exception of short films. When I revisit a movie and I happen to have evaluated it already, I reread that review. If I feel I did not do it justice or my feelings toward it have changed, I write another review and replace the last one.
Who are your favorite actors (♂)?
Anton Yelchin, Asa Butterfield, Callan McAuliffe, Chris Pine, Christoper Walken, Cillian Murphy, Clint Eastwood, Colin Firth, Dane DeHaan, Denzel Washington, Dwayne Johnson, Eddie Redmayne, Emile Hirsch, Ethan Hawke, Ezra Miller, Gael García Bernal, Gaspard Ulliel, J.K. Simmons, James Dean, Jamie Bell, Jason Statham, Johnny Simmons, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Hartnett, Josh Hutcherson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Logan Lerman, Louis Garrel, Matt Damon, Matthew Modine, Max Thieriot, Michael Caine, Michael Fassbender, Michael Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Nicholas Hoult, Nick Stahl, Paul Newman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, River Phoenix, Robin Williams, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Steve Buscemi, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Tom Hardy, Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sturridge, Willem Dafoe, William H. Macy
Who are your favorite actors (♀)?
Allison Janney, Alyson Hannigan, Angelina Jolie, Anna Kendrick, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Chloë Sevigny, Ellen Page, Emma Stone, Emma Watson, Eva Green, Evan Rachel Wood, Frances McDormand, Gina Gershon, Greta Gerwig, Helen Hunt, Hilary Swank, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Tilly, Jessica Chastain, Jessica Lange, Jodie Foster, Julianne Moore, Léa Seydoux, Laura Linney, Lauren Graham, Lucy Liu, Meryl Streep, Naomie Harris, Nicole Kidman, Olivia Thirlby, Patricia Clarkson, Rachel Weisz, Rosario Dawson, Sandra Bullock, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sissy Spacek, Susan Sarandon, Tilda Swinton, Uma Thurman, Viola Davis, Whoopi Goldberg
Who are your favorite directors?
Alfonso Cuarón, Alfred Hitchcock, Ang Lee, Bernardo Bertolucci, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Gus Van Sant, Hayao Miyazaki, Henry Selick, J.J. Abrams, James Wan, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, John Cameron Mitchell, John Carpenter, Joss Whedon, Ken Loach, Lars von Trier, Louis Malle, Luc Dardenne, Martin Scorsese, Neil Jordan, Neil LaBute, Paul Thomas Anderson, Pedro Almodóvar, Quentin Tarantino, Richard Linklater, Robert Zemeckis, Sam Mendes, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Soderbergh, Steven Spielberg, Terrence Malick, Tim Burton, Ti West, Todd Solondz, Wes Craven, Woody Allen