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  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 1910

    Watched 22 Oct, 2016

    The first cinematic adaptation of L Frank Baum's classic. Charming, whimsical, and imaginative. A huge influence on the several Oz films made in the mid 1910s, all of which I highly recommend. A key work for Ozophiles.

  • The Wizard of Oz

    The Wizard of Oz 1933

    Watched 22 Oct, 2016

    Very early animated attempt at the L Frank Baum classic, though several Oz films, including some even based on the first book, had already been released well before this. Baum is billed as the writer, but this lacks the whimsical fantasy of his books and has very little to do with them really. Short and cute and a curiosity piece for sure, but Oz completists only need apply.

  • X-Men

    X-Men 2000

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 30 Apr, 2014

    This has to be the hundredth time I've seen this film...

  • A Band Called Death

    A Band Called Death 2012

    Watched 11 Dec, 2013

    A truly revelatory piece examining an utterly obscure early 70s black punk rock band from Detroit. While not at all devoid of melody, Death's music is still a bone-crunching juggernaut, much like the best 70s punk. The band's story is at turns entertaining and inspiring (as is much punk is to me). This doc places Death into its long overdue proper historical context. Before there was Bad Brains, there was ... DEATH!!

  • The Sweetest Thing

    The Sweetest Thing 2002

    ½ Watched 25 Aug, 2012

    Can we institute a quarter-star rating?

  • The Great Dictator

    The Great Dictator 1940

    Rewatched 01 Sep, 2012

    It's too bad the world didn't take this more to heart when it was first released. If more people had viewed Hitler as he truly was (and was depicted here) - a pathetic joke of a human being (though admittedly far more deadly in real life) - perhaps Chaplin's perfectly pitched parody would have been as prescient then as it turned out to be.

  • The Idiot

    The Idiot 1951

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 11 Aug, 2012 1

    Kurosawa's superb adaptation of Dostoevsky's classic novel is elegiacally rendered but usually cited by fans and critics as the master filmmaker's weakest work. Regardless of the near universal hatred hurled at the film, this transposition of Dostoevky's masterpiece from 19th century Russia to postwar Japan finds Kurosawa at his most deeply earnest and emotive.

  • Cry of the Banshee

    Cry of the Banshee 1970

    ★★½ Added

    Not too bad, but it'd be more prudent to seek out Witchfinder General instead, with Price in a similar role boasting an incredible performance. Neither film really has anything to do with Edgar Allan Poe, FYI. Great opening credits - early work by Terry Gilliam.

  • Emmanuelle's Revenge

    Emmanuelle's Revenge 1993

    ★½ Watched 27 Jul, 2012

    This commits one big cardinal rule of sleaze cinema: it's boring. Well-shot and scored, but dull as a razor without the danger. Luigi Montefori aka George Eastman (get it?) can be entertaining when associated with class projects like Baba Yaga and Keoma (which he had a hand in writing and creating), but the D'Amato gigs wear thin. At least some of those are memorable gross-outs, but this film was just silly, not shocking. Dug the ending though. Not sure where this sits in the convoluted Emmanuelle film timeline, but it precedes D'Amato's own offshoot series starring Laura Gemser.

  • Blood of the Beasts

    Blood of the Beasts 1949

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 25 Jul, 2012

    Much like Cannibal Holocaust 4 decades later, this film succeeds immaculately at its goal - couching its grisly brutality in a patina of incongruously transcendent music and impressive photography. The sad difference emerges that Deodato, in order to make his point, filmed several real animals being killed in the name of his art. This was repellent enough, but the massive, excruciating slaughter depicted in Franju's film foresees today's factory farming juggernaut, in which we are all sadly complicit on one level or another.

  • Blood Brothers

    Blood Brothers 1973

    ★★★½ Watched 25 Jul, 2012

    Chang Cheh and the Shaw Brothers come up with yet another winner - not their very best among the ones I've seen, but overall, a success nonetheless.

  • The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism

    The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism 1967

    ★★★★ Rewatched 23 Jul, 2012

    Terrific little German gothic horror in the vein of early Margheriti. Lex Barker makes a fine stolid lead, Karin Dor is ravishing, and, as usual, even in a small role, Christopher Lee is outstanding.