• The Return of Godzilla

    The Return of Godzilla

    ★★★★½

    The devil (Godzilla) is in the details here. He snarls now. He snorts. He emotes in ways we haven't seen before. And he's scary again.

    In my most recent review for the original Gojira, I commented on the ultimate tragedy of the story: yes, the monster's threat is existential, and there may be no question of surviving this crisis without killing the beast...and what does that mean for the nature of life on this planet, or in this universe? And…

  • Ocean's Thirteen

    Ocean's Thirteen

    ★★★★

    "Hi, boys!" was THIS close to bumping it up half a star.

  • Harper

    Harper

    ★★★★½

    Happiness market's crashed, baby.

  • The Devil-Doll

    The Devil-Doll

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The melodrama, mad scientist, and revenge elements are all badly paced and proportioned, but what's driving me crazy is this:

    At the end, neither Toto nor Lorraine recognize the face of this famous alleged-embezzler who is also her father because it's been seventeen years even though he looks pretty much the same AND his face has been all over the papers.

    And to make matters worse, NO ONE ON LETTERBOXD IS MENTIONING THIS.

  • Halloween III: Season of the Witch

    Halloween III: Season of the Witch

    ★★★★

    "D'you know he's one of the richest men in the country? And he got that way selling cheap gags and Halloween masks. Oh God, there's hope for us yet!"

    This may be written and directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, but Carpenter's anti-capitalist blood runs gorily through this one. Eat your heart out, Krampus: Dan O'Herlihy is my Anti-Claus.

  • 42

    42

    ★★★½

    Boseman (and Robinson) deserved a better film than this, but I can see why he caught attention here. Respect to Harrison Ford, but without Boseman this thing would crumple. It consists too much of safe, broad strokes representations of plot points and rhetorical points instead of juicy character scenes, and Helgeland puts an unreal amount of weight on Mark Isham's score to make sure the cheap seats understood a scene was meant to be significant.

    All of those things might…

  • Gloria

    Gloria

    ★★★★½

    Cassavetes's take on what could be a stock thriller premise is wrinkled with nuances and details from the start. Every place that the script could turn to whimsy and hijinks, Cassavetes turns to humanity and interrogation. The tension is wrought not only from the standard dead-or-alive, make-it-or-not dichotomies of an action movie, but from what the choices the characters mean to themselves and others. What do you take with you when you're about to go on the run? How do…

  • The Milky Way

    The Milky Way

    ★★★★½

    Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Catholicism* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)

  • Varan

    Varan

    ★★

    This is a film that wears its origins like a millstone: commissioned to be an American TV movie, abandoned midway by its commissioners and repurposed into a Japanese theatrical release, things went from bad to worse for Honda. He was completely uninvested, and it shows.

    Four years after Gojira, this is a threadbare retread of already tired formula. The basic structure of that film is intact, with a potentially interesting infusion of King Kong via a more specifically religious approach…

  • What's Up, Doc?

    What's Up, Doc?

    ★★★★★

    A new classic favorite. This one has the goods. Splendidly paced, with an insane percentage of jokes landing; I can't remember the last comedy I saw that had me laughing this hard this consistently.

    As a screwball revival, this film has another huge thing going for it: tonal balance. It can be very easy for a film of this type to be annoying or anxiety-inducing as a protagonist's life is upended. Without spoiling anything, there's just a keen sense running…

  • Killer's Kiss

    Killer's Kiss

    ★★★

    Killer’s Kiss feels every bit like the training ground it was, telling a light story, but thankfully without too much padding. Kubrick does get some nice experimentation in here, with shots that are not just beautiful but have real impact, such as the one looking down the stairs into the lobby. It doesn't just strike you as a nice composition, but one that imparts a tactile sense of dread. The climax does over-extend a bit, but ends up in a legitimately tense place. Too bad the inevitable ending got tampered with, but it’s definitely worth a look.

  • Yojimbo

    Yojimbo

    ★★★★★

    Yojimbo is simply masterful, perfectly crafted entertainment, utterly satisfying. Toshiro Mifune is hilarious and endearing as the crafty ronin, joining the ranks of my favorite facial performances in film alongside Elliott Gould in The Long Goodbye and Giulietta Masina in Nights of Cabiria. While I love Leone's films, I've gotta give the nod to "Sanjuro" in this film over the more reserved Eastwood take on the Man With No Name, especially in the direct remake, A Fistful of Dollars (for…