RSS feed for Nick
  • Basic Instinct 1992

    ★★★ Rewatched 20 Dec, 2014

    "Tell me Nicky, were you frightened last night?"
    "That's the point wasn't it? That's what made it so good."

    Basic Instinct plays totally different than the typical noir. It is its differences that make it so remarkable and so much more memorable. Consider the first appearance of Roxy; she descends the staircase like so many starring femme fatales, but she's just a red herring. She's even mistaken for the real suspect, Catherine Tramell. Catherine Tramell is first shown, not in…

  • The Guest 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 19 Dec, 2014

    Captain America meets Halloween under the brisk neon supervision of the director of You're Next. The Guest is thrilling as it is stylish. Its retro stylings help spice up the the already exciting action sequences as well as the almost trite notion of the surrogate brother/son that comes and makes everyone's lives better. That, and the great mid-film twist.

    Where You're Next focused on an upper-class home being intruded upon, The Guest has an outsider invade a middle-lower class community.…

  • Interstellar 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Dec, 2014

    What makes us human is what makes us survive. They don't send robots because robots can't improvise. They can't make decisions based on emotions like fear, desperation, hope, and, strangely enough for a Christopher Nolan movie, love.

    Interstellar stresses the importance of love in a way that is becoming more common in film. It's not just the romantic love that's important, but also the familial. It's not just love that's important, it's all those emotions that set us apart from…

  • Carrie 2013

    ★★ Watched 29 Nov, 2014

    A much less subtle interpretation of Stephen King's text where everything comes off as exaggerated and noisy. While it may not be as effective as Brian DePalma's masterpiece (it is hard not to make the comparison), Kimberly Peirce's Carrie still retains some of the core values and musters impressive ends to Carrie's aggressors. While the CG telekinetic effects are unremarkable, Carrie's vengeance is wholly satisfying. Even so, the comically unnuanced cast makes it hard not to laugh, but not enough for it to be appreciated ironically.

  • The Wind Rises 2013

    ★★★★½ Watched 28 Nov, 2014

    Entirely wonderful in the purest sense of the word. The joy of love, creativity, and dreams are all played out in a raw and spectacular fashion by none other than the king of love, creativity, and dreams: Hayao Miyazaki. The Wind Rises is passionate about not only the grand moments of Jiro Horikoshi's life, but also of the smaller moments. A brief kiss. A short expression of gratitude. A series of numbers being written on the page. All these brief…

  • Night Moves 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 24 Nov, 2014

    A quiet somber film about environmental terrorists that focuses, not on environmentalism, but on fear, paranoia, and responsibility. Jesse Eisenberg's shifty eyes and Kelly Reichardt's masterful direction create an incredibly tense atmosphere and overwhelming paranoia. Night Moves proves, yet again, that Eisenberg is a force to be reckoned with.

  • Batman Returns 1992

    ★★★★ Rewatched 22 Nov, 2014

    Batman Returns operates more like a fairytale than a superhero flick. Batman and his rogues are brought to life through Burton's stylishly Gothic sensibilities and his fascination with the tragic and the outcasts. Sexual energy permeates through Batman Returns in a much more effective and tasteful manner than Batman and Robin.

    An interesting choice by screenwriter Daniel Waters to give the eponymous Batman the least amount of screen time of the three lead "freaks". Keaton is totally effective with the time he does get as one can feel the duality rumbling below the calm facade that is Bruce Wayne.

  • John Wick 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 16 Nov, 2014

    The titular John Wick's journey through his grief takes the form of loads of kickass fight scenes and dog ownership. John Wick proves that Keanu Reeves is still a capable action star and that the action movie genre can still provide the same sort of thrills as its golden age (the 1980s). Tonally, John Wick manages to balance the hammy cheese and the serious moments with the same gravitas as the best action films of the past. Not only is it fun, but it looks great with its modernist set design combined and completely controlled cinematography.

  • Birdman 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Nov, 2014

    Before watching Birdman I heard a comparison of it to and it's impossible to shake it it now.

    Like other films that garnered this comparison (Adaptation and Stardust Memories), Birdman focuses on "celebrity" and the expectations one has after their previous work. Birdman in particular is primarily concerned with the concept that instead of "I think, therefore I am" it is "They think of me, therefore I am". If you base your perception on how others think of you,…

  • Shame 2011

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 17 Oct, 2014

    One could argue that Steve McQueen's direction and Sean Bobbitt's cinematography are the stars of Shame, but it is truly Michael Fassbender's performance as Brandon that makes Shame such an effective portrayal of addiction. So much is said in Shame through just faces and camera angles, rather than the minimal amount of dialogue. Brandon's fixation with immediate satisfaction rather than long term emotional/intimate relationships comes in direct conflict of the film's contemplative direction creating an entirely enthralling and mesmerizing experience.

    Sex isn't depicted so much so erotic in Shame, but rather as how an addictive substance is typically portrayed. Dangerous, painful, and blinding.

  • Filth 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 16 Oct, 2014

    The coke-addled anti-hero has become old hat, but Filth is so superbly stylized, humorously written, and honest that it works as a much more critical and human look at the bad boy with a badge.

  • Virgin School 2007

    ★★ Rewatched 12 Sep, 2014

    If you take a drink every time you cringe from second hand embarrassment while watching Virgin School, you should be good by halfway through.

    Virgin School does nothing but document the process in which the titular Amsterdam based school teaches virginal men intimacy and emphasize an idea similar to American Pie, in that losing one's virginity is important and required if one is to be a man. Only worth watching for the spectacle and the unintended humor of it all.