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  • Stage Fright

    Stage Fright

    ★★★½

    Notorious for its twist that people responded poorly to upon release, Stage Fright sets itself up as another innocent man on the run film, which Hitchcock certainly knows how to do. Richard Todd plays Marlene Dietrich's lover, who becomes a suspect in the murder of Dietrich's husband. His friend Eve Gill (Jane Wyman) helps him escape and hide. While trying to clear his name, she becomes involved in blackmail and goes undercover as Dietrich's assistant, Doris. Wyman does a great…

  • A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born

    ★★★½

    I watched the nearly three hour restoration of this film, which threw me off when still images began appearing in place of missing scenes. It seems that the complete version is lost, but what we have is pretty good. James Mason plays Norman Maine, whose career is on the decline, and he discovers Esther Blodgett (Judy Garland). Her singing voice wows him and he convinces her to try to become an actress. The two lead actors are excellent. As Garland's…

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  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    ★★★★★

    It took until 2018, but 2017 has its first 5-star film for me. Anderson (serving as director and DP) is so precise with his compositions and camera movements, and has cemented himself as one of the best directors of actors out there (Sandler in PDL, DDL in TWBB, Phoenix/Hoffman in The Master, and the list goes on). I like Paul Dano in There Will Be Blood, but he was barely able to hold his own against Daniel Day-Lewis (which I'm…

  • Martyrs

    Martyrs

    ★★★★★

    This is not torture porn. Yes, it's extremely violent and disturbing, but the torture is not exciting and revolting like the Saw sequels or Hostel. It's horrific and depressing. The acting is top notch, and Alaoui is reminiscent of Maria Falconetti in The Passion of Joan of Arc at times. This is an incredibly powerful, disturbing, terrifying, and well-made film, and, if you can stomach it, absolutely worth the watch. It is truly a modern horror masterpiece. Just don't expect to feel good for several days while it's still in your mind.