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  • Rosemary's Baby

    Rosemary's Baby 1968

    ★★★★½ Watched 16 Jan, 2013 4

    An exceedingly disturbing portrait of a woman unable to control what happens to her own body. Timely!

    Although Repulsion is more pure psychological horror, Rosemary’s Baby also works extremely well on that level, and brings body horror into the mix. The horror of the film comes not so much from the Satanists themselves, but from the fact that they come so close to convincing Rosemary (as well as the viewer) that it is all in her head.

    I didn’t find…

  • Premium Rush

    Premium Rush 2012

    ★★½ Watched 15 Jan, 2013 7

    I guess this was fun. I watched it with two friends - one loved it, another liked it, I did not so much.

    And I know this is like heresy, but I really don’t loooove JGL. He’s fine. I don’t love him.

    I really didn’t like Jamie Chung and her horrible attempt at an accent and badly stereotyped portrayal.

    I really didn’t like Michael Shannon and his horrible overacting (wth? he was really bad!).

    And I really really didn’t like…

  • The Big Gundown

    The Big Gundown 1966

    ★★★½ Watched 14 Jan, 2013

    A smart spaghetti western; maybe too smart for its own good.

    Morricone seems to be the only one involved going totally balls-to-the-wall. That theme and end music is fucking insane. Everything else feels clean and controlled. Very good, yes, but almost sterile feeling.

  • Purple Noon

    Purple Noon 1960

    ★★★★ Watched 12 Jan, 2013

    Purple Noon is bright, lush decadence. Sun-washed streets and care-free jaunts around Europe. Endless time, endless money. The world is populated with painfully beautiful people, none more so than Alain Delon, in his first major role (that poster does not do him justice). The film is desire - all-consuming desire, sexual desire, desperate desire.

    Purple Noon is the first film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. Alain Delon plays Tom Ripley, a man whose desire is his driving…

  • Finding Nemo

    Finding Nemo 2003

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 12 Jan, 2013

    One of my favorite Pixar stories, and an excellent example of what Pixar does best - simple, yet powerful ideas that connect to all of us. These are stories made for families - stories that appeal to the children, stories that transform the adults into children. They speak to the fears, hopes, and senses of humor of both children and adults. While there are nods to only the adults (e.g., The Shining reference), they never stoop to the level of…

  • The Night of the Hunter

    The Night of the Hunter 1955

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 08 Jan, 2013 4

    Second time around, and I was just as thrilled and enamored as I was the first time.

    But, as much as it pains me to say this, I do think that some of the weaknesses of the film are due to Laughton’s direction. It is still a remarkable film. But watching some of Charles Laughton Directs “The Night of the Hunter,” (a collection of outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage) and some of the interviews, I was surprised by some of the…

  • The Next Three Days

    The Next Three Days 2010

    ★★★ Watched 07 Jan, 2013

    Possibly spoilers??

    Not as interesting or as complex as it could have been, making it disappointing. There were a few opportunities to ask some really interesting questions, but in the end the feel-good story wins out, when I would have preferred the feel-bad story (who am I kidding - I always prefer the feel-bad story). Crowe’s character struggles with some interesting ethical questions, but the film never allows him to be anything but the good-guy hero.

    Russell Crowe was great,…

  • Django

    Django 1966

    ★★★★★ Added 4

    I don’t know if I can say anything coherent about Django, I’m too caught up staring into Franco Nero’s eyes (seriously, that man is soooo fine). The camera loves his eyes too, using them judiciously, withholding them until the most effective moments.

    Django starts with an incredible image - the lone figure trudging across empty land, dragging a heavy coffin behind him, bringing death with him. That figure is an enigma, but the film gives just the right amount of…

  • Yojimbo

    Yojimbo 1961

    ★★★★ Rewatched 06 Jan, 2013 6

    Try as I might, I just can’t seem to get into Yojimbo. I didn’t like it when I watched it a few years ago. I had trouble paying attention when I watched it just a few days ago, so I tried again a few days later, and it still didn’t capture me in the way that Sanjuro did.

    It is a beautiful film - Kurosawa is a master of depth of field, and composes some of the most interesting shots.…

  • My Neighbor Totoro

    My Neighbor Totoro 1988

    ★★★★½ Watched 02 Jan, 2013 5

    I want to hug ō totoro

    The perfect mix of childlike purity, complex emotion, and total cuteness without being too fucking whimsical.

  • Santa Sangre

    Santa Sangre 1989

    ★★★ Watched 01 Jan, 2013 5

    I feel ashamed to admit this, but I didn't really care for Santa Sangre. Reading about it, I feel like I should; the psychological elements are there, the imagery is vivid and bold. I get what people see in it. But something didn't hit with me. It didn't scare me, or freak me out, or leave me feeling disturbed, and I can't put my finger on why (how I could remain not freaked out by circusfolk, you've got me). My…

  • Jack Reacher

    Jack Reacher 2012

    ★★★½ Watched 01 Jan, 2013 4

    In this movie, Werner Herzog tells a really cool true story about his own life.

    It was great getting to watch a movie that so prominently features Pittsburgh while actually in Pittsburgh. Lots of murmurs from the crowd every time there was a new location, trying to place it. Loved the shots of the North Shore, Downtown, the Strip District, Polish Hill, even Mario's (hah!). Driving through the tunnels and downtown has always terrified me, so that awesome chase scene…