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  • Days of Wine and Roses

    Days of Wine and Roses 1962

    ★★★★½ Watched 23 Mar, 2015

    A frustratingly cynical tale of an extremely affable couple's slow and painful descent into crippling alcoholism. Both Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick put in transformative performances as the doomed couple. The bleak Days of Wine and Roses really cuts to the heart of addiction and how having a partner share your vice only makes it harder to be sober. Reminded me of 2012 film Smashed, but Days was much more effective in that the central couple is given an opportunity to be worth rooting for before the heavy alcoholism sets in.

  • It Follows

    It Follows 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 20 Mar, 2015

    Gone is the virginal pure scream queen. It Follows makes literal the "have sex in a horror movie and you die" cliche. The totally pulse-pounding soundtrack mixed with the inevitable horror lurking in the shadows will make your chest hurt from stress. With a script that has a unbelievable amount of verisimilitude in its dialog, David Robert Mitchell proves, as he did with The Myth of the American Sleepover that he understands youth to an impossible degree. It Follows is…

  • Last Year at Marienbad

    Last Year at Marienbad 1961

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 19 Mar, 2015

    Last Year at Marienbad blurs the possible and the impossible. Just shadows of plot and character executed in elegant dreamlike episodes. It's frozen in one fleeting imaginary moment, creating beautiful modernist set pieces. Lovely and dreamlike as it is dark and nightmarish. A masterpiece that defies explanation.
    "Leave me alone"

  • Chappie

    Chappie 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 10 Mar, 2015

    The Robocop remake we deserved. A Frankenstein's monster for the technology saturated wasteland we constantly fear. Consciousness and individuality try to break out of the rigidity of our societal places. Although, all enlightenment is painful and a film of this budget needs an explosive third act. Found here are heavy-handed, but compelling, identity crises, crises of faith, and a Freudian upbringing.

  • Fifty Shades of Grey

    Fifty Shades of Grey 2015

    ★★ Watched 12 Feb, 2015

    Jamie Dornan excels at playing the eponymous Mr. Grey in that he captures the darkness lurking below the surface. The way Dornan stalks the set, like a panther watching its prey, is completely riveting. Even when forced to do and say ridiculous things ("laters baby" and crawling on the bed eating toast), he retains his composure and intensity in such a way that you can see that he is almost totally committed to portraying this deeply complicated individual. Emphasis on…

  • Scorpio Rising

    Scorpio Rising 1964

    ★★★★ Rewatched 12 Feb, 2015

    Scorpio Rising is an intoxicating barrage of images of sex and death. James Dean's image, a sex icon and a tragic symbol of death, is repeated as well as other idols (Jesus/love and Hitler/death). The other, and much more focused on, image of sexuality and mortality is the gay bikers. Men of such overt sexuality committed to two lifestyles that put one closer to death. It isn't easy to live as a homosexual man in 1964 and the number of…

  • The Cell

    The Cell 2000

    ★★★★ Watched 23 Jan, 2015 1

    Aside from experimental and surrealist films, The Cell is one of the most effective films I have seen to depict dreams and nightmares. While Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn star, the real highlights of the film are Vincent D'onofrio and, like Tarsem Singh's The Fall, the incredible visuals. From the sets to the costumes, The Cell is near perfect and with D'onofrio as the canvas to which Singh paints there couldn't really be anything wrong. The production is totally both…

  • Beauty and the Beast

    Beauty and the Beast 2014

    ★½ Watched 09 Jan, 2015

    Fails to capture the magic of the story and adds a needless and ineffective sense of peril where it should be simply a love for the fantastic. Instead of using special effects to help create the enchanting atmosphere, it does the opposite. It uses the supernatural elements of the story as an excuse for an oversaturation of CGI characters and backdrops that don't really add anything tonally. At least this iteration of Beauty and the Beast is still creative and…

  • Macross Plus

    Macross Plus 1994

    ★★★★ Watched 30 Dec, 2014

    Macross Plus is either totally technophobic or a statement on the destructive power of the unchecked id. Either way, Macross Plus goes from a slow first act into an incredible second and third with an incredibly heavy finale. Its beautifully animated at times and highly emotional at others all the while maintaining a highly engaging sci-fi world with a lot to dream on.

  • Jurassic Park

    Jurassic Park 1993

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 27 Dec, 2014

    Dressed in all black, Doctor Ian Malcolm is a chaos theorist. Loud and freewheeling.
    Dressed in all white, John Hammond is all about controlling nature. A quiet, but stern man.
    Between the two of them is Dr. Alan Grant; a man who's job is inching towards extinction via technology (the radar finding the bones and, explicitly said in the film, the eponymous Jurassic Park) who's next step in his "evolution" is to be a father. He detests this change and…

  • The Interview

    The Interview 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 24 Dec, 2014

    Whenever I brought up the controversy surrounding The Interview my friends would usually put on a whiny voice and say something to the effect of "Ooo! I wanna see the James Franco movie because Kim Jung-Un doesn't want me to" and then continue on how Sony is just banking off of the controversy.

    While that may be true, it is definitely true that I wanted to see The Interview because Kim Jung-Un didn't want me to. Well, that and because…

  • Basic Instinct

    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…