Author Mel Valentin

Mel Valentin hails from the great state of New Jersey. After attending New York University as an undergrad (politics and economics double major, religious studies minor) and grad school (law), he relocated from the East Coast to San Francisco, California, where he's been ever since. Since Mel began writing about film nine years ago, he's written more than 1,600 reviews and articles. He's a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Online Film Critics Society.

Reviews xxx

Let’s try this one more, hopefully last, time. Raise your hand if you wanted to see Fast & Furious star Vin Diesel reprise his role as the most extreme of extreme James Bond clones, Xander Cage, a.k.a., xXx? Now put your hand down if you happen to be Vin Diesel, his agent, manager, or anyone associated with his production company. Also…

Reviews Screen Shot 2017-01-20 at 12.30.44 PM

Anyone who thought M. Night Shyamalan’s last film, The Visit, was something of a return to form for a filmmaker who, mostly by his own hand, had fallen on hard times, was, of course, grading on a generous curve. After the disastrous trio of The Happening, The Last Airbender, and After Earth (box-office and critical disappointments one …

Reviews fences

Few things in life are certain, but adapting a Tony- and Pulitzer Prize winning play – in this case, August Wilson’s 1983 play, Fences – for the bigger-than-a-television screen all but guarantees a slew of year-end award nominations, possibly even a win or more for the high-profile performers behind and in front of the camera. That…

NP Approved silence

There’s a moment in Silence, Martin Scorsese’s (Kundun, The Last Temptation of Christ) decades-in-the-making adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s prize-winning1966 novel, when the central character, Father Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield), a Jesuit priest on a spiritual and physical journey in 17th Japan, gazes into a stream, finding…

Reviews why-him

It’s a father’s worst nightmare. There he is, minding his own business (i.e., trying to hack into a tech-bro’s computer) and in walks his daughter and her tech-bro where – unprompted by anything except their raging hormones – they enter into the first, pre-coital stage toward heterosexual coupling while the daughter’s father…

Reviews passengers

In space no one can hear you scream, but in Passengers, the latest big-budget space romance to grace multiplexes this holiday weekend, no one can hear you scream because you’re either in hibernation and thus in deep REM sleep or awake, wandering the corridors of a massive, fully automated spaceship, alone with only a…

Reviews lion

Based on Saroo Brierley’s memoir A Long Way Home, Garth Davis’ (Top of the Lake) feature-film debut, Lion, isn’t, to paraphrase Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities,” but it is a tale – or rather a film – of two distinct, unequal halves, one set several decades in the past on the Indian subcontinent, the other in the near present…

1 2 3 4 5 27