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  • Falling Down 1993

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 31 Aug, 2014

    I'm inclined to call this the quintessential 90s movie.

    Because, as an apocalyptic observation of American society in fast decay at the dawn of the Clinton administration, well...it's pretty friggin transportive. At the time of its release, it felt like a potent powder keg -- one of those rare movies that actually take you inside to live in them. Now, it still feels that way. But the time capsule aspect of it is eerie and resonant in some unexpected ways.…

  • The Next Karate Kid 1994

    ★★★ Watched 30 Aug, 2014

    The series is brought smack into the middle of the 90s with a movie that's so fucking 90s, you'll swear it's the 90s.

    All in all, though. This is not a terrible example of its type. A change in the creative team leads to a change in tone and style - mostly for the better. Not using the tired underdog/tournament formula, the film is instead a combination coming-of-age drama and gritty action flick. Moving the location to the Boston suburbs…

  • Thanks for Sharing 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Aug, 2014

    Should this work as well as it does? I'm not sure. But they really pulled it off.

    Maybe the best way to deal with painful topics is to approach them with humor and warmth, rather than beat you over the head with their importance.

    And so, here we have a romantic comedy about sex addiction.

    The trick of it is that it can function as both a sharply funny human comedy and a potent, dramatic personal narrative - balancing its…

  • The Karate Kid, Part III 1989

    ★★ Rewatched 29 Aug, 2014

    And so... This contrived, forced into existence sequel basically makes the unfortunate mistake avoided by Part 2. Instead of giving themselves the opportunity to take things in an interesting, new direction, they take a couple of steps back -- presenting a basic rehash of the first one...

    Here we are again in Sunny California, and Daniel Larusso must once again train to fight in the tournament and preserve the title. Which gives lazy screenwriters an excuse to basically recycle story…

  • Passion 2012

    ★★ Watched 28 Aug, 2014

    Some will be inclined to call this a return to form for Brian De Palma. In any case, it seems we're due one of those every couple of years, since he always goes off and does something else... Be it a hired hand studio cash grab job, or an experimentation with form... And then he comes back and does one of his weird thrillers.

    And that's what happened here.

    So, I suppose people would not be entirely off base to…

  • The Octagon 1980

    ★★ Watched 28 Aug, 2014

    Chuck Norris' spectacular lack of charisma doesn't do much to help this murky thriller...about a terrorist organization of ninja assassins and how their attempts to do, um, something are ultimately thwarted by the heroic actions of the heroic Norris.

    The truth is I'm not sure why any of this is happening and can't really be asked to make much sense of the pointlessly labyrinthine plot, which also involves mercenaries hired to work for the ninja organization, wealthy socialites who are…

  • The Karate Kid, Part II 1986

    ★★★★ Rewatched 27 Aug, 2014

    This highly enjoyable sequel benefits greatly from a changing of the pace.

    Oh, Avildsen most definitely continues to employ the feel good underdog formula he's most famous for (even in movies like Lean on Me), but by moving the setting from the suburbs of Sunny Reseda to the exotic Honolulu and Los Angeles backlot locations that are supposed to be Okinawa, they manage to make this very quickly produced follow-up feel fresh, new and even surprising.

    The essential story is,…

  • The Karate Kid 1984

    ★★★★ Rewatched 27 Aug, 2014

    I suppose you could argue that John G. Avildsen's patented Rocky formula ... Or, to put it plainly, the Rocky formula in general, has grown somewhat stale at this point. Maybe it's a little difficult to go back 30 years and imagine a time when this movie felt fresh.

    Did it ever feel fresh?

    Probably. Because, formula aside, it's actually a nicely crafted movie.

    The core of the piece - the mentor/apprentice relationship between the title character and the mythical…

  • Sin City 2005

    ★★★★ Rewatched 25 Aug, 2014

    A triumph of style over substance...

    The novelty has worn off. But that doesn't make the movie any less entertaining. And that's because Frank Miller's overwrought noir stories have enough going for them, with elements of camp and satisfying EC crime comics irony to them, it's easy to just sit back and enjoy them.

    Also, they were smart to pick the best of the bunch to give cinematic treatment. The film's basic narrative thrust is driven by those two fun…

  • Charley Varrick 1973

    ★★★★★ Watched 22 Aug, 2014

    A splendid surprise, this movie...

    You want to see Walter Matthau as a badass? Here you go... In which he plays a tough as nails thief on the run from the mob after taking their money from a small town bank.

    Meanwhile, you have the cool exec with a heart of steel...John Fucking Vernon...calling the shots for the bad guys; and slick redneck asshole hitman Joe Don Baker chasing after our hero.

    What more could you possibly want for an…

  • The Expendables 3 2014

    ★★★ Watched 16 Aug, 2014

    I'll say this up front to just get it out of the way... This is the best of the Expendables movies.

    The first one was a good idea... Get the 80s action has beens together in one movie and see what happens. The result was entertaining, but it looked cheap... And it felt like an anticlimax given the little they actually did with the concept.

    For the second one, they roped in more people... But they thought what we REALLY…

  • Humanoids from the Deep 1980

    ★★ Watched 10 Aug, 2014

    Well... It's definitely different I'll give it that much.

    It also isn't very good.

    But, look, far as Jaws ripoffs go... I suppose there are worse ones than this. Certainly less interesting ones than this. Far as late seventies cult movies go... Far as Roger Corman cheapies go... This is probably among the slickest of the bunch.

    Oh, make no mistake, it's a cheap B movie from the late seventies. So... Slick might not be the best word. But there…