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  • The Terminator

    The Terminator 1984

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 30 Jun, 2015

    A big studio sequel can’t replicate the original 'Terminator,' because it feels so distinctively homemade, from those chintzy lightning strikes to the wonderfully Harryhausen-esque stop-motion cyborg skeleton of the climax. In scenes like that, 'Terminator' feels like it’s handcrafte; the sequels (even, in this respect, 'T2') play as if they’ve been made by a committee.


  • Mala Mala

    Mala Mala 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 30 Jun, 2015

    A group of trans women (and one trans man) struggle to find their place in modern Puerto Rico in this intensely personal and thought-provoking documentary. Directors Santini and Sickles initially create disparate portraits, with subjects of varying ages, personality types, status, and experience, moving from the exquisitely photographed joy of the drag club to the nitty-gritty depression of the street corner. But the film turns inspirational in the third act, as they create a community (and a non-profit foundation) to…

Popular reviews

  • The Fisher King

    The Fisher King 1991

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 20 Jun, 2015

    After years of critical kudos and studio battles, Terry Gilliam finally scored a mainstream hit with this 1991 Robin Williams/Jeff Bridges vehicle — and it’s still a little surprising that he managed to make such a downright odd movie within that system, at that moment. His over-caffeinated style doesn’t always mesh with the subtleties of Richard LaGravenese’s excellent (Oscar-nominated) screenplay, but he does bring out an operatic lyricism that works, while miraculously, gingerly navigating from tragedy to buddy comedy to…

  • Under the Skin

    Under the Skin 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 21 Mar, 2014

    A beautiful, bizarre, and occasionally troubling bit of abstract art-house sci-fi in the Beyond the Black Rainbow vein from director Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth). Scarlett Johansson (who appears in just about every frame) plays a well-disguised alien creature who picks up men and devours them; some have dismissed the picture as an indie riff on Species, but if the narrative is derivative and a tad monotonous, there’s something intoxicating about the fluidity of Glazer’s striking images and the mood he manages to sustain throughout the peculiar tale.

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