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  • Godzilla vs. Hedorah 1971

    ★★★ Watched 18 Jun, 2014

    The only old school Godzilla flick I had never seen, though I'd heard for years it was also the weirdest.

    It is, indeed, also the weirdest.

  • High and Low 1963

    ★★★★★ Watched 26 May, 2014 1

    Most of the Kurosawa films I've watched and enjoyed were his period pieces; I've slowly begun working through his movies set in contemporary time, with the latest being this engrossing police procedural based on an Ed McBain 87th Precinct novel, King's Ransom. Perhaps it really helped that I enjoy that series.

    Successful businessman Kingo Gondo (Toshiro Mifune) is faced with a dilemma: an attempt to kidnap his son instead netted the son of his chauffeur. The kidnapper demands 30 million…

  • Godzilla vs. Monster Zero 1965

    ★★★★ Rewatched 25 May, 2014

    My favorite of the old-school Godzilla sequels. A little silly, but not overly so. The computer-controlled people of Planet X ask Earth to borrow Godzilla and Rodan to chase off "Monster Zero" - King Ghidorah - who has been raiding their planet. It is, of course, a complicated plan to take over the Earth and steal its water, using Godzilla, Rodan and Ghidorah as weapons of mass destruction.

    Why a superior race needs to use such subterfuges is a good…

  • Winter Light 1962

    ★★★★ Watched 24 May, 2014

    Ingmar Bergman and company deliver a spare, stripped-down movie experience as austere and bleak as its subject matter. In the course of a single afternoon, a pastor losing his faith finds himself beset by a shrinking congregation (only five to take communion) suicidal parishioner consumed by his fear of nuclear war and his former mistress pressuring him for marriage.

    The usual Bergman tropes are there, not least of which is a central character so obsessed with his search for a…

  • Fela Kuti: Music Is The Weapon 1982

    ★★★★½ Watched 21 May, 2014

    Excellent 1982 program about the charismatic Fela Kuti, his activism and music in his native Nigeria. Among the documentary footage and interviews are several pieces of concert footage which are fantastic. Makes you want to immediately go out and get your hands on everything he ever recorded, and that is a good thing.

  • MST3K The Final Sacrifice

    ★★ Watched 21 May, 2014

    I have actually watched a movie - more like an extended short - where one of the characters is named "Zap Rowsdower". This movie got made. Somebody invested money in it.

    I'm going to go cry myself to sleep now.

  • Godzilla 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 18 May, 2014

    It's not often a movie realizes all my hopes for it. Godzilla did it. It is, quite simply, the best Godzilla movie since the very first one, blending the human story skillfully with a gripping disaster movie and three bigass monsters destroying everything in sight.

    I'm not sure which facet of the movie I appreciate more: the fact that it is a loving, respectful Valentine to the Godzilla movies and its fans; or the fact that it serves as a…

  • My Darling Clementine 1946

    ★★★★ Watched 11 May, 2014

    John Ford's version of the Shootout at the OK Corral, which means it has little relation to the actual events but is a damn fine movie, anyway.

    It's not Ford's fault; the movie is based on Stuart Lake's biography of Wyatt Earp, which in fine Shootist style, was almost entirely fiction. Henry Fonda makes for a fine, upstanding Wyatt Earp, Walter Brennan a suitably evil old Old Man Clanton, and Victor Mature a bit of a puzzling choice as the…

  • The Honeymoon Killers 1969

    ★★★½ Watched 07 May, 2014

    Honeymoon Killers is a movie that almost shouldn't exist, except for small, cultural things; the producer and director really hated Bonnie & Clyde, for instance, feeling it was fake, too glamorous for the subject matter. The producer had always wanted to make a movie, and got $150,000 to do it. he knew a successful opera composer, and convinced him to write the script. That composer, Leonard Kastle, eventually became the director.

    Kastle was a great fan of Godard, Truffaut, and Pasolini.…

  • The Gospel According to St. Matthew 1964

    ★★★½ Watched 05 May, 2014

    I was promised a politicized Jesus, from Pier Paolo Pasolini I expected a politicized Jesus, but what i got was... well, the Gospel According to St. Matthew.

    I watched this on Amazon's Video service, and was somewhat dismayed that was dubbed into English - oh, Criterion Collection how you have spoiled me! Did the rather flat, somewhat rushed dubbing whitewash Pasolini's politics? Or was it really only confined to Jesus socking it to the Pharisees after Palm Sunday, sealing his…

  • The General 1926

    ★★★★½ Watched 04 May, 2014

    Justly praised as one the great masterpieces of the silent era, The General will surprise many viewers that it comes that close to being a serious action film.

    Buster Keaton's character, Johnnie Gray, is refused enlistment in the Confederate Army because he's an engineer, piloting the title locomotive, and far too valuable to the Southern cause to risk on the battlefield. Fate intervenes when Union spies steal his beloved engine, and Keaton pursues them over enemy lines, finds that they've…

  • Wild Strawberries 1957

    ★★★★★ Watched 03 May, 2014

    Isak Borg (Swedish film legend Victor Sjostrom), at 78 years of age, is to be honored with an Emeritus degree for his lifetime in medicine. Deciding to drive to the ceremony rather than fly, in the company of his daughter-in-law (Ingrid Thulin) and eventually three student hitch-hikers, Borg must deal with childhood memories sharper than his present life, and a series of dreams that indicate to him that he is more dead than alive, and has been for years.

    It…