Father. Realtor®. Movie nut. After pestering my parents for their commentary on “Star Wars” when I was four years old, my mind went into a creative frenzy. I’d imagined something entirely different than the actual film, which I didn’t end up seeing until its 1979 re-release at the Uptown Theater in Washington, DC. This was my formal introduction to the cinema.
During that long wait, which felt like an eternity to a child, my mind was being molded by more corrosive stuff like “Trilogy of Terror” and “Rosemary’s Baby”, most of which I’d conned various babysitters into letting me watch on television ( I convinced one poor lady that “Jaws” was actually “Moby Dick”).
The folks were pretty strict in that regard, so the less appropriate it was for a kid to watch, the more I was fascinated by it. Horror staples like “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th”, as well as lesser-known low-budget fare like “Madman”, “Sleepaway Camp” and “Pieces” all ended up sneaking their way into the VHS on a regular basis.
Since then, I’ve developed an obsession with the entire film industry. Even though I watch and review a wide breadth of films these days, my appreciation for the campy, poorly lit micro-budgeters still lends itself to my evolving perspective on movies just as much as the summer blockbusters and Oscar contenders. As I recall my trips to the movie theater, I realize that this stuff is about much more than just a fleeting piece of entertainment.
A couple years ago, I was finally given the opportunity to lend my opinion on films to a publication, The Rogers Revue, with a subsequent run at Reel Film News. It's been both a privilege and a gateway to what we’re doing now. Most of my experience has come from interviewing independent filmmakers, who consistently promote innovation. The filmmaking process is grueling and relatively unforgiving.
Fellow film enthusiast Eddie Pasa and I have created DC Filmdom as a medium for film reviews, discussion, and (inevitably) some debate. And so, the creative frenzy continues.
(Michael is a member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association).
(This interview was originally published on August 5, 2011 at The Rogers Revue) Tony Todd’s film career is so expansive that it almost possesses its own bloodline, drawing from “Platoon” in 1986 to “Candyman” in 1992 and the upcoming “Final Destination 5“. He’s a horror icon to many, but his artistic soul is rooted in the theatre with […]Read More
(This review was originally published on July 29, 2011 at The Rogers Revue) Mike Cahill’s ethereal tale of a young woman’s struggle for redemption, “Another Earth” is something of a visual poem, a minimalist rendering of a very large concept. The film’s ambition is laced with a quiet despair that feeds its ominous tone, effective in […]Read More
(This review was originally published on July 29, 2011 at The Rogers Revue) A movie with a premise like “Cowboys & Aliens” might draw plenty of unwarranted criticism from biased moviegoers, but its content isn’t as black-and-white as its title might suggest. Jon Favreau’s $180 Million blockbuster-to-be is unquestionably an epic, but it unwittingly parlays its winning […]Read More
(This review was originally published on July 22, 2011 at The Rogers Revue) When a film taps into a recurring theme like the fabled existence of complication-free ‘relations’, it stands to reason that aspects of its script would appear like faded remnants of rom-coms in the past. These days it’s hard to talk about anything […]Read More
(This review was originally published on July 9, 2011 at The Rogers Revue) If Seth Gordon were a less competent director, I might be tempted to make a few cheap and obvious critical references to the title of his newest film “Horrible Bosses”, though I would not be proud of myself for it. Fortunately, his […]Read More
(This review was originally published on May 27, 2011 at The Rogers Revue) In his follow-up effort to the highest grossing R-rated comedy in American history, director Todd Phillips proves that it is somehow possible to be lazy and overzealous at the same time. “The Hangover”, which grossed over $467 million worldwide in 2009, succeeded […]Read More