Combustible Celluloid

Combustible Celluloid is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Jeffrey M. Anderson, Rob Blackwelder
Rating Title/Year Author
3/4 Crisis Hotline (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson The film sometimes even has a Lynchian feel, with moments that are just so unreal as to feel nightmarish. EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2019
3.5/4 Double Lives (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson The talk is definitely intelligent, but it's also... talky. And if not for the fact that Assayas always merges a talky scene into one more emotional (and physical), then Non-Fiction might have toppled into art-house oblivion. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
3.5/4 House of Games (1987) Jeffrey M. Anderson Regardless of whether the film still delivers its intended zing, it's still hugely satisfying to watch all the moving parts click into place. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
3/4 Aladdin (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson There's no... real reason for a remake, other than the very rare chance that a remake is going to be better than the original. Like most, Aladdin isn't. But it is momentarily diverting, in a pleasant way. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
3/4 Dead Snow (2009) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's a movie that doesn't mind standing on the shoulders of giants, so long as it can take a chainsaw to the giant's neck. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
4/4 My Name Is Julia Ross (1945) Jeffrey M. Anderson Lewis's direction is clean and tight without ever looking shoddy. It feels leisurely and opulent, rather than a quickie from poverty row. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
2.5/4 Shadow (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's a mixed bag, but at least it's better than Zhang's other wuxia films (I'm looking at you, 'Curse of the Golden Flower'). EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
2/4 The Hustle (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's a con-woman story in which the best cons happen off-screen, and what happens onscreen is the creakiest re-treads of old slapstick jokes imaginable. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
4/4 The Wedding March (1928) Jeffrey M. Anderson The current school of critical thought is that 'The Wedding March' is a minor Stroheim effort, but I find it to be one of his most complete and most satisfying films. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
3/4 Dragged Across Concrete (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson The movie's very slowness and quietness makes all the wrongdoing and violence resonate a great deal more; as it goes, we consider consequences more than in any normal film. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
2.5/4 The Strange Door (1951) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's actually a pretty limp costume movie that never really makes much sense. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
3.5/4 The House of the Seven Gables (1940) Jeffrey M. Anderson Manages to be a high-class movie, yet unafraid to wallow in the lower depths of human foibles. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
3/4 Stockholm (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Its emotional purpose, showing how Bianca could possibly form a connection with Lars, is effectively achieved. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
3.5/4 High Life (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson High Life is anything but a good time, but at least it's not easy to forget, and you won't see anything else quite like it. EDIT
Posted Apr 12, 2019
3/4 Shazam! (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson A fine representation of the appeal of superheroes and comic books. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2019
4/4 The Tarnished Angels (1957) Jeffrey M. Anderson An unsung masterpiece. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
4/4 Se rokh (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's a calm, patient, deeply poetic film, often spent waiting and thinking. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
3.5/4 United We Fan (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Sparaga maintains a positive vibe throughout, and takes enough time to really get to know some of these folks, their sweet little quirks, their regrets, etc. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2019
4/4 Ash Is Purest White (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's a testament to personal filmmaking that Jia has been able to look back over his work and create a kind of culmination of everything he has done so far. That he has been able to make it work as a totally, aesthetically satisfying movie, is admirable. EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
3/4 Mad Dog and Glory (1993) Jeffrey M. Anderson The movie isn't exactly laugh-out-loud funny, but it does have a light spirit like a comedy would. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
3/4 Creed II (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's less personal, and basically consists of a sturdy mix of fight scenes and soap opera, but it wraps its bulging arms and soft heart around you in a comfortable, squeezing hug. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
4/4 To Sleep With Anger (1990) Jeffrey M. Anderson Burnett's direction is so subtle and graceful that To Sleep with Anger eschews any such labels as being a supernatural movie or a horror movie. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2019
4/4 The Image Book (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Hugely startling, challenging, and mesmerizing, perhaps even a masterpiece. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2019
3.5/4 Holiday (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Eklöf is eerily assured behind the camera, miraculously avoiding that malevolent feeling that someone like Gaspar Noe can convey. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
3.5/4 Fighting With My Family (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson Merchant finds a steady, sturdy combination of hard working-class English edge (innit) and heartfelt sentiment; he gets close to The Full Monty territory without outright copying it. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
4/4 Boudu Saved From Drowning (1932) Jeffrey M. Anderson Renoir keeps it all beautifully, humorously on track. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
4/4 Swamp Water (1941) Jeffrey M. Anderson [Renoir's] first American film... almost feels like the work of someone else, although it still contains a few of its maker's signature themes, and it's an excellent entertainment in any regard. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
4/4 Christmas in July (1940) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's a small gem, almost too short to mention (67 minutes), but glitteringly perfect nonetheless. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
4/4 The Last Picture Show (1971) Jeffrey M. Anderson The deep-shadowed, dusty black-and-white cinematography by the legendary Robert Surtees... helps elevate the story beyond the realistic and anticlimactic, making it mythic and poetic. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
3/4 Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's colorful and diverting, and it truly is good to see Mary again. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
2.5/4 Madeline's Madeline (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Many have admired it, but I'm afraid it just didn't really work for me. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
2.5/4 Washington Square (1997) Jeffrey M. Anderson Not even the usually twinkle-eyed Maggie Smith, here playing Catherine's aunt, can buoy the material. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
3.5/4 On the Basis of Sex (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson The casting and acting here are the high point. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2018
3/4 Cold War (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Though 'Cold War' falls far short of its predecessor, it still has enough striking moments to recommend it. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2018
3/4 Bumblebee (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Set in 1987, this breezy, bright, summery movie is steeped in 1980s culture, feeling a lot like E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Short Circuit, and other movie adventures of the day. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2018
3/4 Maniac (1980) Jeffrey M. Anderson Though it's about as grungy as a film can get, it feels like a professional job, with a brisk flow and a hard, gritty, urban look and feel. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
4/4 Chikamatsu Monogatari (1954) Jeffrey M. Anderson 'A Story from Chikamatsu' will make you angry, but first it will move you to the core. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
3.5/4 If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson A highly accomplished piece of filmmaking. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2018
1.5/4 Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson [A] dull, chunky ornamental iceberg. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2018
2.5/4 Ben Is Back (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Between this and Beautiful Boy - another harrowing drama about a young person's addiction to drugs - I think I dislike Ben Is Back slightly less. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2018
3.5/4 Mirai no Mirai (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson A soaringly beautiful film, as open-aired and pulsingly rhythmic as the best anime. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2018
3.5/4 Searching for Ingmar Bergman (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson If you love cinema, then you must love Ingmar Bergman, and this documentary will justify your love. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2018
3.5/4 Green Book (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Farrelly's pacing is impressive, turning in a whopping 130-minute movie that simply flies by, and never feels too heavy or too long, and never outstays its welcome. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2018
3/4 Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson [This] sequel... is quite a bit weirder, and possibly even disturbing in parts, but some clever ideas and the strong friendship between Vanellope and Ralph - and our love for them - carry things through. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2018
3.5/4 Manbiki kazoku (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson As easy as it is to be appalled at the horrible conditions that caused this situation, it's just as easy to become involved with the characters and their little triumphs and tragedies. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2018
3/4 Dr. Seuss' The Grinch (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson This Grinch's brevity and bright, bold colors may be just the kind of thing to relax and get lost in this holiday season. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
2.5/4 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Talented writer though she is, Rowling doesn't seem to be capable of cramming what would be a 900-page book into a 135-minute movie. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
3.5/4 The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Will not be to every taste, but for a few of us it's a treasure trove worth re-visiting, whether in small dips, or in another deep-dive. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
4/4 A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (2003) Jeffrey M. Anderson The third in the great trilogy of year-end "Charlie Brown" half-hour holiday specials, this one is just as inspired, with its makeshift dinner of toast, popcorn, pretzels and jelly beans. EDIT
Posted Nov 9, 2018
4/4 The Great Buster: A Celebration (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's impossible to watch and not get excited about the genius of Keaton's films in particular and the possibilities of cinema in general. EDIT
Posted Nov 9, 2018