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 ghost in the shell
7.0
0

A live-action remake, re-adaptation, or reimagining of director Mamoru Oshii’s (The Sky Crawlers, Avalon, Patlabor 2: The Movie) 1995 cyberpunk classic, Ghost in the Shell, has long been on the wish-list of anime enthusiasts. As always, be careful what you wish for. Given the production budget needed to give Masamune…

NP Approved t2 trainspotting
9.0
0

It’s hard to imagine anyone outside of Danny Boyle, Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, or Robert Carlyle who wanted, let alone demanded, a sequel to the 1996 adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s blackly comic, transgressive, subversive satire, Trainspotting, but here we are 21 years later with T2 Trainspotting, a near…

Reviews Song to Song
7.0
0

There might be something to that quitting while you’re ahead thing. An auteur’s auteur, Terence Malick crafted an indelible, unimpeachable reputation as a visionary filmmaker with just two films, Badlands (1972) and Days of Heaven (1978), both made in the 1970s. For the better part of two decades, rumors swirled around new projects…

Reviews Life
7.0
0

If we’ve learned anything – anything at all – from Jurassic Park I-III, Jurassic World, and no doubt, the forthcoming sequel, Jurassic World II, it’s this simple message: Life always finds a way and by way, we mean, mess with Mother Nature – or in the case of Life: The Movie, a science-fiction/horror film directed by Daniel…

NP Approved Personal Shopper
9.0
0

Like any good French filmmaker, writer-director Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours, Demonlover, Irma Vep) has crafted both an offscreen persona as a hyper-intellectual filmmaker and openly courted, if not controversy, then audience disengagement and alienation. Under one interpretation, a true auteur and mainstream filmmaking…

Reviews Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 10.43.22 AM
7.5
0

We can thank – or blame, depending on your perspective – the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) for Gareth Edwards’ (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) 2014 remake/reboot of Godzilla three years ago and Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) Vietnam War-era set Kong: Skull Island. Without the multi-billion dollar success of the …

NP Approved logan
9.0
1

All art is political, even superhero art. And there’s little doubt that Logan, the second collaboration between writer-director James Mangold (The Wolverine, 3:10 to Yuma, Night & Day, Cop Land) and star Hugh Jackman, qualifies as art, as superhero art, and as political art. Set in a possible future for the X-Men universe – both a…

Reviews Get Out
8.0
0

Jean-Paul Sartre was wrong. Hell isn’t other people. Hell is white people, specifically white faux-liberals, in Jordan Peele’s (Keanu, Key & Peele) writing-directing feature-length debut, Get Out, a horror-comedy mash-up of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, The Stepford Wives, and The Puppet Masters that ruthlessly satirizes the misguided…

Reviews the great wall
6.5
0

“Save us, Matt Damon. You’re our only hope.” That phrase or something like it uttered by a studio executive may have helped to convince the Oscar-winning, Oscar-nominated Damon to headline Zhang Yimou’s (House of Flying Daggers, Hero, The Story of Qiu Ju, Raise the Red Lantern, Red Sorghum) action-fantasy-adventure, The Great…

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