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  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey 2011

    ★★★★ Watched 23 Oct, 2014

    Nothing more and nothing less than an entire Film School course, compressed into sixteen hours. Pedantic professor included.

    Mark Cousins' heavily researched, richly detailed documentary certainly shows a lot of affection for its subject. And I think hardcore film buffs will definitely appreciate how he casts a wide net...placing great emphasis on world cinema and its international appeal as well as impact and influence.

    It takes a little getting used to though. A little growing into... Some may be captivated…

  • House 1986

    ★★★ Rewatched 18 Oct, 2014

    There's not much you can say about a goofy 80s horror comedy, starring William Katt in his one and only starring role in a theatrical feature film; that blends haunted house spookery with goofy slapstick, has a soundtrack of cheesy Harry Manfredini music combined with some choice selections from the Phil Spector wall of sound, and features monsters that seem to have been created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop...all of it contextualized within the 'Nam PTSD usually reserved for action…

  • The Equalizer 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Oct, 2014

    More like The Punisher, really... In which Denzel Washington makes it his mission to -- very PAINFULLY and COMPLETELY -- um... DECIMATE the Russian mob. Um... In its ENTIRETY... After Chloe Grace Moretz gets slapped around.

    Like, seriously...

    DON'T SLAP CHLOE GRACE MORETZ... And GOD HELP YOU IF SHE ENDS UP IN THE HOSPITAL should be the tagline for this film.

    This extremely entertaining film.

    Antoine Fuqua has updated the cult 80s show as a flashy comic book movie in…

  • Deliverance 1972

    ★★★ Rewatched 15 Oct, 2014

    Familiarity has dulled the edge on this particular American classic. And so it is most likely not as potent as it once was. Though it does have potent imagery and, as a standard survival adventure, it still works.

    How much enjoyment you get out of it depends on how invested you are in the main characters and their plight. In 1972, I suppose Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox were about as general a representation of the…

  • Enemy 2013

    ★★★ Watched 14 Oct, 2014

    If you're a fan of Lynch and Nicolas Roeg, as I am, then you'll find quite a bit to chew on in this severely intriguing little curio. But if your bag is crisp, energetic thrillers; with concise answers to clear questions and a tidy resolution, you might want to steer clear.

    In any case, most people are bound to find this film pretentious as hell because - let's face facts - it fucking is.

    Adapted from Jose Saramango's novel The…

  • Gone Girl 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 03 Oct, 2014

    Don't let anyone tell you what it's about. In other words, don't talk about it. Just go and see it.

    Not because it's predicated on some snazzy twist ending, or because there is some amazing reveal that Rosamund Pike is actually a guy or anything like that. Just because the pleasure of watching this film unfold comes with how it plays with your perception of what's happening on screen.

    And no one is going to tell you that. They're going…

  • Video Games: The Movie 2014

    ★★ Watched 30 Sep, 2014

    I'm not sure what Jeremy Snead set out to do with this... Is it a digestible cliff's notes overview on the cultural impact of video games? Or does it aspire to something more?

    In any case, there's not much you can really get out of it outside very general terms because it's a bit all over the place. I mean, sure it's cute and everything to see Wil Wheaton and Donald Faison and Max Landis sit around and talk about…

  • Shelter 2010

    ★★ Watched 25 Sep, 2014

    Can good performances elevate a shit film?

    And so, I present for your consideration this barely released and mostly unheard of little chiller from a couple of years ago that can answer that question with a resounding "maybe."

    Because, all things considered, the first hour of this is kind of intriguing. It is during the film's second hour - as things eventually sink into a river of spiritual gobbledygook - that the eyes ever so assuredly begin to roll.

    But,…

  • Body Bags 1993

    ★★ Rewatched 24 Sep, 2014

    Anthologies tend to be a mixed bag... And this one is no exception. Mainly because the project was originally intended as a series for Showtime to compete with HBO's Tales From the Crypt.

    Had that happened, we might have had an interesting precursor to Masters Of Horror... With up and comers, plus the occasional heavyweight genre master bringing us 25-minute tales of gore every week for a couple of years.

    Might have worked. Who knows?

    Since they didn't go to…

  • Lisa 1990

    ★★★★ Rewatched 23 Sep, 2014

    This 90s cable staple is probably a lot better than you remember. After all, there had to be a reason why you felt compelled, as a teenager, to watch it whenever it came on.

    Or was that just me?

    In any case, a potentially trashy, disposable programmer is given a classy treatment and surprising amount of heft by underrated thriller maker Gary Sherman.

    It turns the standard stalker formula on its head in an ingenious and effective way: What if,…

  • The Breakfast Club 1985

    ★★★★ Watched 22 Sep, 2014

    So, is this due for a remake yet? Have there been...talks?

    In any case, it's surprisingly undated.

    I mean, sure, some things like fashion and music cues are hard to overlook in how they speak to a very specific time - a very specific generation.

    But what makes this film resonant even today is how John Hughes' screenplay taps into very real and I'd say pretty universal feelings of teen angst.

    You do have to ignore the surface details, of…

  • Interview with the Assassin 2002

    ★★★ Watched 20 Sep, 2014

    Raymond J. Barry is one of our great character actors and this is his tour de force: A showcase in which he very believably inhabits the person who supposedly killed Kennedy. As a result, there are moments in which this movie is positively chilling.

    It's an early entry in the modern found footage/pseudo documentary style launched by Blair Witch. It's been a go to staple for horror and hasn't worked very well there. As the aesthetic for a character driven…