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  • The Long Good Friday

    The Long Good Friday

    ★★★★½

    Sitting in the back of a car, evil eyes on him in the rear view mirror, Harold Shand practically goes through the five stages of grief in a couple of minutes in the iconic final scene of The Long Good Friday. It's a masterful bit of silent acting, and you can't take your eyes off that face; the face of someone who's just been check-mated and never saw it coming. Initially still in fight or flight mode, desperately searching for…

  • Assault on Precinct 13

    Assault on Precinct 13

    ★★★

    Carpenter's sophomore outing is really the first to lay out the JC blueprint. It's dark and bleak but with a bold sense of style; clever editing, a sparse synth score and lots of starkly lit nighttime shots spawning gritty urban realism with a pulp sensibility.

    It's got cult classic written all over it and I wish I could say I liked it more than I did, but I think what works for a lot of people - that lean and…

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  • eXistenZ

    eXistenZ

    ★★★★★

    "Death to the demoness Allegra Geller! Death to Antenna Research!"

    A botched assassination attempt on the life of Antenna's star game designer begins a dizzying descent into the VR multiverse. Marketing trainee and gaming novice Ted Pikul finds himself entering into a virtual world so enveloping it leaves the gamer questioning the very nature of reality. Where does the game world end and the real one begin? Is it subjective? Do we in fact construct our own realities in exactly…

  • They Live

    They Live

    ★★★★

    Apart from Peter and the chicken, this features quite possibly the most epic punch-up I've ever seen. Frank really didn't want to wear those sunglasses. And who can blame him? He had a gut feeling they'd turn his life to shit and he wasn't wrong. In the end though, better to be awake to the reality of the nightmare humanity is facing than sleepwalk into oblivion.

    Out of all of his films, this anti-authoritarian sci-fi fable has to be Carpenter's…