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  • Cruising

    Cruising 1980

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Feb, 2016

    What a mashup of a movie in terms of tone and visual. Friedkin weaves his direction from horror to detective story to erotic thriller to police procedural, tapping into the many visual cues that accompany each genre while meandering to an interesting but somewhat unsatisfying ending. This flip flopping of style works for the film, certainly keeping the viewer engaged throughout.

    Ultimately this film is not plot driven, not overly concerned with the killings. Friedkin treats it more as a…

  • Signs

    Signs 2002

    ★★½ Rewatched 03 Feb, 2016

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Signs is an extremely frustrating watch. There is so much potential here, wonderful performances, great moments of suspense, a compelling style, chilling score, and effective structure. However, so much of it just feels incomplete. Most significantly, the specifics of the aliens themselves are extremely detailed (invisibility, poisonous gas, their ultimate vulnerability) but not explored beyond the surface, and the script doesn't trust its audience, continually hitting us over the head with the most basic plot (water) and thematic (faith) ideas.

    With everything prior to Signs in Shyamalan's filmography working and everything afterwards not, what a twist that this film is ultimately just middle of the road.

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  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Jul, 2014

    Charming and fun who-dunnit. The usual attention to detail, offbeat humor, and quirky Anderson style are all there. Mixed with interesting animation, period jumping, and aspect ratio tinkering, this is a great watch.

  • Skyfall

    Skyfall 2012

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 06 Jul, 2014

    Works as a spy film, action film, revenge film, and siege film. Does a good job at taking relatively small stakes (for a Bond film), and blowing them up on a grander scale. So easily digestible, this film is fun to watch, has the just the right amount of humor, and is the best looking Bond film ever.