RSS feed for Brendan
  • Le cercle rouge 1970

    ★★★½ Watched 09 Jul, 2014

    Solidly executed heist film.

    However, despite the question of inspiration and Melville's participation in purchasing the original filming rights, Rouge still feels like its clear similarity to Rififi is an elephant in the room.

  • Event Horizon 1997

    ★★★ Added

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Promising right up until the Lewis and Clark blows up. Watch Sunshine instead.

  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold 1965

    ★★★½ Watched 16 May, 2014

    I really liked this film considering I don't really 'get' Richard Burton and think he's a liability here.

  • Her 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 25 May, 2014

    I don't know if I'm completely sold on the necessity of the SF conceit (other than, of course, who would want to fund a movie with expensive actors about long distance dating and no other obvious hooks) plus I never felt the film put an effective button on its emotional climax. It just feels like as solidly in the comfort zone as as any letter he writes for his day job. Mostly I'm struck by the unstagey performances and the restraint at which a future is conceived and presented.

    Oh, and Olivia Wilde kills her little scene. I appreciate it when she gets non-The Girlfriend/Prize roles.

  • The Color Purple 1985

    ★★ Added

    I despise this film on a narrative level but good goddamn do I love how the camera signals a rapist's intentions. Why isn't Spielberg making unabashed horror movies?

  • Ms. 45 1981

    ★★★½ Watched 21 May, 2014

    A 'drop-dead' NYC setting combined with pro-wrestling pageantry and that SIMPSONS ep. where Homer buys a gun.

  • Toy Story 1995

    ★★★★ Rewatched 08 Jun, 2013

    Haven't seen it in years, but this time paid attention to technical aspects. This film came out completely before physics simulation of any kind and it's fascinating to watch the film cut around very dodgy rope/string/cloth animation by minimizing shot lengths or framing emphasis. I also noticed that Andy owns precisely one teddy bear which appears in exactly one shot in the first act of the film in the middle distance for 20 frames or so (I would wager the…

  • The Terminator 1984

    ★★★ Rewatched 02 Mar, 2013

    James Cameron makes a film with large overtones of nihilism? It belongs in a museum!

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991

    ★★★ Rewatched 04 Mar, 2013

    Stray thought: Y'know, I bet this scene where the guard licks Sarah's face is in there solely to keep the audience from feeling muddled or bad for a single second when she savagely beats him with a broken mop handle later in order to escape.

  • My Neighbor Totoro 1988

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Feb, 2013

    I've always said that Ghibli films--ones especially written or directed by Hiyao Miyazaki especially--are films about process rather than plot. The magic is to observe how people behave within a certain set of parameters.

    My Neighbor Totoro is the ultimate statement on this technique, there is no essential conflict--not even self doubt. Just gently observed process.

    This was famously produced as part of a double bill with another animated classic about child siblings taking care of one another. One wonders if it was designed to be the front half or the back half when paired with Grave of the Fireflies.

  • Alien³ 1992

    ★★★★ Rewatched 17 Feb, 2013

    The more I see the (workprint) cut of this film, the more I've come to appreciate its under-realized ambition. At least it tried to capture the tone and stakes of Alien. Little did everybody know in 1992 that Hollywood and the games industry would be frantically laying successors (both official and in spirit) to the tone and thrills of James Cameron's action entry ad infinitum, ad absurdum.

    In the aftermath of the debacle that is Aliens: Colonial Marines a clever…

  • Pistol Opera 2001

    ★★★ Added

    A fascinating experiment in:

    1. Smashing the century-old institution of Continuity Editing to tiny pieces.

    2. Guaranteeing the failure of my relationship with the date I dragged to see it.