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  • Society 1989

    ★★½ Watched 17 Oct, 2014 1

    Having cut his teeth producing Stuart Gordon’s celebrated H.P. Lovecraft adaptations, Brian Yuzna aims for the same audience with Society, his directorial debut. Its turbo-charged sex drive and comic body horror will be familiar to fans of Re-Animator and From Beyond, but unlike his work with Gordon, with Society Yuzna appears to have giddily assembled a special effects crew before he even hired screenwriters.

    The plot, such as it is, follows a high school basketball star named Bill Whitney who…

  • Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom 1975

    ★★★½ Watched 14 Oct, 2014

    On the surface, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salò seems like it requires some unpacking, at least for those of us without graduate degrees. Relocating the Marquis de Sade’s depraved novel The 120 Days of Sodom to Mussolini’s northern Italy in 1943, it name-drops Nietzsche, Proust, Ezra Pound, and others as it systematically humiliates and tortures a group of eighteen captive adolescents. But Salò’s goal is not opaque intellectualism for its own sake. Its poetic and literary references, juxtaposed with the WWII…

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  • The Others 2001

    ★★ Watched 21 Oct, 2011 4

    Remember when Nirvana exploded and every major label scrambled to sign any band they could find that was even remotely similar? Well, if The Sixth Sense is Nirvana (and given how quickly M Night Shyamalan squandered whatever goodwill his breakout hit engendered, I hesitate to draw the comparison), then The Others is Bush.

    The themes, tone, essential plot points, and even the color palette are all lifted directly. To its credit, this is not immediately apparent, and the way the…

  • The Trip 2010

    ★★★★ Watched 06 Nov, 2011 5

    Following Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on a week-long drive through the sights, sounds, and tastes of the northern English countryside, The Trip is equal parts tour documentary, buddy movie, and road trip flick. But more than anything, and in spite of its many laughs, it is a poignant meditation on aging.

    Ostensibly playing themselves, Coogan and Brydon are a juxtaposition of insecure and self-possessed, of serious artist and happy-go-lucky entertainer. Their differences are sussed out in conversations brimming over…