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  • American: The Bill Hicks Story 2009

    ★★★★ Watched 22 Apr, 2014

    The legendary comic's life and career are brought to life with ingenuity in this strange, captivating documentary.

    Because the story is mostly told through the testimony of his family and friends, it achieves a rare sense of intimacy; and the unique, vibrant visual design gives things the feel of a living pop up book.

    And, yes, maybe that's just window dressing to mask what is essentially a talking heads endeavor. But my point is it works to give the proceedings…

  • 2 Guns 2013

    ★★ Watched 22 Apr, 2014

    The latest in a long line of sassy, post modern crime "comedies," is pretty much the slick, soulless garbage you might be expecting just from looking at the ad campaign.

    And they're certainly banking on the star power of Denzel and Marky Mark to pack them in.

    That's about the only thing the movie has going for it - the chemistry of the two stars, which is solid and fun to watch...for a minute.

    They also bring out a nice…

  • Stepfather 3 1992

    Rewatched 21 Apr, 2014

    I suppose you can't blame Terry O'Quinn for refusing to take on the role of the evil stepfather for a third go-round because, honestly, just how much more juice can you squeeze out of this lemon?

    And so, writer/director Guy Magar closes the trilogy (and pretty definitively) with this thoroughly ridiculous chapter, which has the gall to bring things around "full circle."

    There is no question that Magar is a pretty inept filmmaker... Certainly when it comes to things like…

  • Milius 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 21 Apr, 2014

    This engaging, highly entertaining portrait does exactly what it's designed to do, which is to give you a great appreciation of John Milius as an undeniable creative force.

    Whether or not you agree with the political leanings in some of his films (and a close examination of his career reveals this may not be as clear cut towards the right as has widely been commented), there is no question that Milius is an original and unique storyteller with a vibrant,…

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2012

    ★★★ Rewatched 21 Apr, 2014

    For some reason, they thought it was a really good idea to remake a barely 10-year-old film to extend a franchise, when simple recasting and moving on in the Bond tradition, probably would have been fine.

    That being said, they could have done worse than hire the director of a popular indie romcom for the job. As, let's face it, Spider-Man is probably the most "indie" of comic book superheroes.

    Marc Webb seems to be an inspired choice, which shows…

  • Taxi Driver 1976

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 20 Apr, 2014

    As potent as it ever was, this searing portrait has lost none of its hypnotic, riveting power.

    It's interesting how Martin Scorsese's apocalyptic view of New York in the mid 1970s is both true to life and surreal. With Michael Chapman's rich, vivid cinematography helping to create a pulsating nightmarish world.

    This is back when Robert De Niro was a genius... Probably the most interesting of American actors. And, in Travis Bickle, he created one of the great iconic screen…

  • Relentless IV Ashes To Ashes 1994

    ★★ Watched 17 Apr, 2014

    And so... The Relentless saga comes to an unceremonious close with this thoroughly uneventful psychological thriller.

    I suppose there are some good points. Mainly, a young Famke Janssen is on hand as a psychologist cum love interest for the hero... And, well, she's not hard on the eyes all that.

    It's also worth noting that three movies in, Leo Rossi has finally grown into his starring role... This is his Jimmy Bond, basically... And the guy owns. He gives the…

  • Stepfather 2: Make Room for Daddy 1989

    ★★★ Rewatched 16 Apr, 2014

    An intriguing, tense and realistic thriller is morphed into a slasher film in this inexplicable sequel.

    Up front, though, there are some interesting elements. It's never the best of ideas to "explain" the psycho, but this film does give it the good college try and succeeds in some aspects... You do at least get to see different facets of the title character's persona; giving the wonderful Terry O'Quinn a chance actually deepen and enrich his character.

    It's a completely incredible…

  • Noah 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Apr, 2014

    Darren Aronofsky repurposes Judeo-Christian mythology to fit a Lord of the Rings action/adventure epic template.

    The end result, though, is frankly a much richer and more thoughtful film than most people might be expecting. Especially given the bombastic trailer that sells this primarily as an adventure film.

    It is that, of course. Powerfully and spectacularly realized as such. With a strong cast and splendid special effects.

    You get everything you expect in this sort of film. Larger than life monsters,…

  • RoboCop 2 1990

    ★★★ Rewatched 14 Apr, 2014

    There tends to be a "bigger is better" mentality applied to most high profile sequels, and this is no exception. As it becomes clear from the onset that more money was thrown at the screen (or, at least, it looks that way) and an attempt was made to aim for a wider, more epic scope.

    The film certainly seems to be operating on a larger scale. But gone is the sense of invention that makes the first film such a…

  • Relentless III 1993

    Watched 13 Apr, 2014

    I wonder if the weird shifts in tone for this series are deliberate.

    The first one was, basically, a slasher film. The second was a Cloak & Dagger Cold War spy melodrama.

    And now... Presenting for your consideration, an EROTIC THRILLER.

    It's entirely possible that writer/director James Lemmo had already written this. He went to CineTelFilms and said: "I've got this hot thriller you guys are gonna love. It's like Silence of the Lambs, but with psycho-sexual elements!" And they said,…

  • Little Shop of Horrors 1986

    ★★★★ Rewatched 13 Apr, 2014

    The now classic filmed version of the stage musical still holds up as a whimsical live action cartoon.

    Because it was already a period piece, steeped in the 80s nostalgia for early 60s pop, it doesn't feel dated at all. And a couple of things still stand out as pretty dazzling.

    For one, Audrey II is a stunner of old school puppetry - brought to life also with the help of a vibrant vocal performance by Levi Stubbs. And there…