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  • The Hunt for Red October 1990

    ★★★½ Watched 05 Sep, 2014

    John McTiernan used to be so amazing.

    This movie is shot extremely well, which is necessary for films with much of the activity happening in close confines. McTiernan pulls out his bag of tricks and gives us enough nifty rack focus, dolly shots, and Dutch angles to keep things visually interesting on the submarines.

    While this is not an action film in the same way that Die Hard and Predator are action films, orientation and geography of the actors and…

  • American Beauty 1999

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 02 Sep, 2014 7

    Free napkins!

    It's been a long time since I've seen this film, and the film being very much a product of its time, I was curious to see how well it held up. The answer is: surprisingly well.

    I think a primary reason for this is because the ideas the film presents are still quite relevant today - and every bit as relevant they were in 1999.

    Too many people appear trapped in lives they don't want. Ask anyone about…

  • Contagion 2011

    ★★★ Watched 01 Sep, 2014 2

    Please make more films, Mr. Soderbergh.

  • The Eiger Sanction 1975

    ★★★ Watched 31 Aug, 2014

    What a weird movie.

    Beer: St. Ambroise The Great Pumpkin Ale - 4.5/5 (very, very spicy; my kind of pumpkin beer).

  • Looper 2012

    ★★★★ Rewatched 30 Aug, 2014

    Not quite as strong on rewatch.

    First viewing, I was irked by Bruce Willis's lack of meaningful activity following JGL's arrival at the farmhouse, and that only stood out more this time around. He simply has nothing to do. Find two kids that we the audience know (even on first viewing) are not The Rainmaker? Not very enthralling.

    I also think that Rian Johnson dropped the ball in a few areas where he could have milked some more meaning and…

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 30 Aug, 2014 3

    There are few perfect films. Terminator 2 is one of them.

    What separates this from lesser action films is its attention to character and - most importantly - character-driven action. While the action scenes are shot impeccably well, creative, well-paced, and large in scale, they are also - most importantly - large in emotion.

    Most Hollywood movies get this wrong. Action scenes should not be a break from the plot or the character development, and nor should the character stuff…

  • Charley Varrick 1973

    ★★★★ Watched 28 Aug, 2014 3

    Underrated (much like the rest of Don Siegel's filmography).

    There are so many detailed and creative moments, you know this was adapted from a novel. One I would very much like to read.

    This is an excellent example of a film that allows the viewer to play along. Many actions have no accompanying dialogue and are never spoken about, yet we begin to piece together their meanings as the story develops - a method of storytelling with great appeal to…

  • Exotica 1994

    ★★★★ Watched 27 Aug, 2014 4

    Fans of Eyes Wide Shut might want to give this a view.

    Hypnotic is a suiting adjective to use. Very few films can pull off the "what the flying fuck is this about?" for so long and then tie it all together by the end in such an immaculate package.

    The acting is strong, the music is all spectacular, the camerawork is well above average, the locations and settings are nearly characters in themselves, but it is the script that…

  • Midnight Express 1978

    ★★★ Watched 25 Aug, 2014

    The first act gets 5 stars, the rest does not. It's nevertheless a well-made film, but despite the wholly unfair situation the lead character finds himself in, I found it hard to connect with him on any level beyond that fact. The viewer gets no insight into who this person is, and that is something I need to be moved by this film. Unfortunately, the character exists only on the surface. There are plenty of quality moments thanks to the…

  • Jack Reacher 2012

    ★★★½ Watched 20 Aug, 2014

    Loosely based on the documentary Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, Jack Reacher is quite an entertaining and surprisingly well-made film. It's smart, shot exceptionally well, and doesn't dumb down for its audience - although the third act falls victim to Third Act Syndrome, in which the third act is your typical Hollywood third act. I'm intentionally being vague and generic to highlight the side-effects of Third Act Syndrome. Nevertheless, made me want to buy some Lee Child novels, so, well done.

  • From Russia With Love 1963

    ★★★ Rewatched 19 Aug, 2014

    One of the least interesting, least exciting Connery Bond films. The train sequence is great, but everything before it was very...meh. Everything after it was also...meh. Outside of that one part of the film, there is very little to be interested in.

  • The Last Stand 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 19 Aug, 2014

    Surprisingly good. Dumb at times, great at others. This is a fitting return for Arnold, and a solid American debut for Kim Jee-woon. Love the way this was shot - in a more creative and artistically inspired way than a good 100% of Hollywood action films.