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  • The Thing 1982

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 06 Oct, 2014

    Flickers of orange flames and swaths of red blood shuttering onto untrammeled white snow. A shape-shifting monster invades an Antarctic camp, and Kurt Russell leads the charge against it, killing his camp-mates - some of them infected, some of them still clean - when they start to threaten the safety of the collective society he's helped to build up. The original was probably a Red Scare allegory, sure, but Carpenter’s interest lies elsewhere. He doesn’t care about the psychological effects…

  • Manhattan 1979

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 31 Aug, 2014

    Seen via a 35mm print as part of a Gordon Willis tribute, so I’m perhaps biased in claiming this, but: Damn if Willis’s standard hallmarks doesn’t make this movie the ambitious, expansive outlier in the Allen canon that it indeed is. My friend and colleague Carson Lund astutely pointed out, after seeing the same print, that “the world [of Manhattan] is bigger and prettier than the faces onscreen.” Exactly. Numerous scenes here play out entirely within Willis’ trademark faraway shrouded-in-shadow…

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  • The Keep 1983

    ★★★★ Rewatched 04 Oct, 2013 1

    On 35mm, at the Coolidge. Apparently Paramount, decades ago, told them to junk the print. No one did because it had "KEEP" written on the front frames. Just passing that along.

  • Lucy 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 26 Jul, 2014 2

    What if 2001's star-child featured in an(other) action movie about the creation and evolution of human existence? And what if this time the star-child was Scarlett Johansson?

    Here it is: A blonde bombshell superhero traveling through a narrative that demands she graduate from ubermensch to God. Johansson first mows down bad guys, then chases down knowledge to evolve humanity, then takes control of the human race itself. So Luc Besson's Lucy is built on a daring philosophical idea: that religious…