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  • 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…

  • The Stepfather 1987

    ★★★★ Rewatched 11 Apr, 2014

    It's a concept that may not seem all that interesting after time, sequels and remakes... But writers Brian Garfield and Donald Westlake drew from a real life case to produce a psychologically convincing thriller that - a handful of over the top elements aside - is actually very scary, because it rings true.

    Joseph Ruben is a solid, underrated director and the restraint he shows in carefully crafted suspense, punctuated by effective shocks gives this film an unexpectedly classy feel…

  • Dead On: Relentless II 1992

    Rewatched 10 Apr, 2014

    Relentless was most definitely not one of 1989's biggest film hits. But, I suppose it was enough of a perennial rental and late night cable favorite that someone, somewhere, decided to continue the saga.

    And we are all the richer for it, surely.

    Because, make no mistake, this unbelievable (as in: "I can't fucking believe they actually made the fucking thing") sequel picks up where the previous film left off. It is not an in-name only sequel about some serial…

  • Relentless 1989

    ★★ Rewatched 09 Apr, 2014

    This is a singularly weird film.

    Not up front. On a surface level, this is basically 90 minutes of standard, boilerplate cop thriller nonsense. It's a film that came and went in 1989 and you might remember the TV ads that showcased Judd Nelson crashing in through the skylight into a screaming woman's house.

    And that's why it's weird.

    Because it's a movie in which Judd Nelson, still the baby faced star of The Breakfast Club two years removed from…

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 02 Apr, 2014 1

    A splendid action film. With all the trimmings you might expect from a brawny, rat-at-at modern blockbuster produced by Joel Silver or whatever. Cars flipping over in the road and going boom, shootouts... Flying things attacking and crashing and exploding. Fistfights...people crashing through glass panes and dying. Frank Grillo... Stuff like that.

    The works.

    I also like how it's a 1970s political thriller infused with steroids so that it has, like, a lot more action than any of those movies…

  • RoboCop 1987

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 01 Apr, 2014

    Not only is the satire as potent as ever in this day and age.. The film - as I write this, it is 27 years old - still holds up as a slick, state of the art slice of slam bang action entertainment.

    The pacing is excellent and there is an organic immediacy to the action sequences that feels genuinely refreshing in this age of the cgi-enhanced PG13 glossy blockbuster.

    Take, for instance, the early chase on the freeway -…

  • The Five Obstructions 2003

    ★★★★ Watched 31 Mar, 2014

    Essentially, this boils down to a self-indulgent exercise... A kind of post punk variation on My Dinner With Andre given a meta Spike Jonze twist.

    It should be insufferable.

    And, chances are, for many people it will be. Because Lars Von Trier and Jorgen Leth are not operating on a level that takes the layman into account.

    What I'm saying is that any film technicians, or just artists in the general sense are bound to find this fascinating. It's delightfully…

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 26 Mar, 2014

    It's a Russian nesting doll of a movie. Stories within stories and layers upon layers abound in Wes Anderson's epic concoction.

    Always a master world builder, the filmmaker brings his meticulously detailed sensibilities to a rich tale that is at once buoyantly whimsical and deeply tragic. It starts with the vibrant setting, which is a cockeyed Eastern Europe of the imagination - and then you have a typically eccentric cast of wonderful faces all doing exemplary work.

    At the heart…

  • The Hitman 1990

    ★★ Rewatched 11 Mar, 2014

    There are many reasons why this movie is hilarious.

    First, the opening credits...which play over stylish shots of the night cityscape - while an absolutely awful, overwrought rock song plays on the soundtrack.

    And then, from the very first scene, you know that director Aaron Norris is attempting to craft a high-end, SERIOUS gangster/cop thriller. The way the scenes are staged... How all actors play it with a straight face... Never mind that Chuck Norris doesn't understand the meaning of…