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  • I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House

    I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House 2016

    ★★★★ Watched 31 Oct, 2016

    Exquisitely shot and performed old-school Gothic horror, with a spare but evocative story and a controlled, excruciatingly tense pace. Very impressed by the simple ghost story and how it got under my skin with some haunting, beautiful imagery and some excellent voiceover. This isn’t for everyone, but it’s very much for whoever is on its wavelength.

  • The Departed

    The Departed 2006

    ★★★★ Rewatched 30 Oct, 2016

    I think of all Scorsese’s films, this (and WOLF OF WALL STREET) are most obviously Thelma Schoonmaker’s. She turns this plotty, overly-symbolized, at times turgid mob drama into a dynamo, especially in its gangbusters first hour. Still she can’t save it from its soggy third act, but by that time its way too late too care and we are almost to the gonzo finale which still shocks. It’s got a lot going for it. I might say it has too much.

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  • High and Low

    High and Low 1963

    ★★★★★ Watched 12 Nov, 2013

    Stunning. This might be a 10 on another viewing just because it is so knotty and there’s no way I caught everything that is wonderful about this film. But I caught a lot. Best blocking of any film ever? Probably. Best sunglasses? Definitely. This is a goddam motion picture, folks. And please, my God, anyone who is planning to make a movie that makes use of space (every movie ever), please study how this film makes sure that we know exactly where everyone is in relation to everyone else at all times. Study that tailing scene in the streets! Study it!

  • Next

    Next 2007

    ★★ Watched 11 Jan, 2016

    The shot of Nic Cage looking at Jessica Biel when the kid says, “he looks at you the way my brother looks at his girlfriend” belongs in the Louvre. Throw out the Mona Lisa. Throw it all out. We have reached the top.