• Crimes of the Future

    Crimes of the Future

    ★★★½

    What better day to watch the “original” CRIMES OF THE FUTURE than on the day of the premiere of the new film it gives its title to? Having finally watched Cronenberg’s other early experimental feature, STEREO, I was ready to dive into this.

    But can anybody be ready for this? lol. It uses a similar structure to his debut wherein the visual footage is silent but there is an added narration explaining the story. Said story is more straightforward here,…

  • Stereo (Tile 3B of a CAEE Educational Mosaic)

    Stereo (Tile 3B of a CAEE Educational Mosaic)

    ★★★

    Had wanted to watch Cronenberg’s early sophomore feature CRIMES OF THE FUTURE that gave its title to his latest but before I did I wanted to watch his debut first. Both are experimental features made before Cronenberg shifted into truly narrative filmmaking.

    This is shown as a report on a mysterious organization’s experimentation with ESP and related phenomena where we see the subjects interacting but hear a post-case analysis of what happened from (apparently) researchers. It has the germs for…

  • A Better Tomorrow II

    A Better Tomorrow II

    ★★★★

    If A BETTER TOMORROW set the mold for countless action films to come in Hong Kong and abroad, A BETTER TOMORROW II again set the mold for the craziest ones among them. Because man, this film is crazy. It has enough plots to fill 20 movies and indeed about every 25 minutes it completes a full narrative arc that could’ve been in its own movie before moving on to something completely different. You may think from its opening that it’s…

  • A Better Tomorrow

    A Better Tomorrow

    ★★★★½

    When I decided to start running through John Woo’s Hong Kong films at Cinefile Video (since I had never seen any and they famously are never available to stream), I naturally started with HARD BOILED. But while I obviously thought all of the action scenes were extraordinary and plainly highly influential, I found myself having trouble connecting with the amount of drama that happened between them. It ended up something I admired more than loved but I saw how despite…

  • Men

    Men

    ★★★

    I tried to go into MEN knowing as little as possible outside the initial trailer but one thing I had picked up on is that basically everyone was in agreement that it was Alex Garland’s weirdest film. This is true. No small task for the man who made ANNIHILTION.

    But it is much more than that. And much less. What makes this film fascinating ultimately is what fells it. There is a constant contradiction between how obvious its ideas are…

  • Inland Empire

    Inland Empire

    ★★★★★

    If you’re looking for shock value, I suggest that you look in the mirror.” 

    Had I watched all of INLAND EMPIRE when I saw the first 15 minutes or so back in high school, I probably would’ve had the reaction I expected to have with this first full viewing: respect but not love. Instead seeing it now completely blew me away, easily making it one of my favorite Lynch films. If it does remain his final feature, it works perfectly…

  • The Cursed

    The Cursed

    ★★★

    Rare for a film to totally escape my attention so closely before it’s release but I was legitimately like “woah what is this” when I happened to see the trailer attached to some movie. A little while later, I heard it mostly positively discussed on the Colors of the Dark podcast, which kept it on my radar.

    A period horror piece is rare enough and a period low budget film rarer still. The film deserves respect for doing a decent enough…

  • The Free Fall

    The Free Fall

    ★★½

    Wanted to watch something engaging but that wouldn’t require too much brain power and I had heard it mentioned on the Colors of the Dark podcast that this horror thriller had several twists and mysteries but ultimately pittered out at the end. So even though I saw it didn’t get the best reviews on here, I threw it on.

    Though it is occasionally amateurish in production and cribs liberally from well-worn material, I thought this was a solid enough watch…

  • The Beyond

    The Beyond

    ★★★★★

    We’re…we’re under the hotel.
    -“That’s impossible!

    I’m not a big midnight movie person (in theatres anyways) but I could not turn down the chance to finally see one of my favorite horror films on the big screen. I had been drinking earlier in the day for Celtics-Bucks and the Kentucky Derby so I would be tired enough to take a pre-movie nap. This backfired when I woke up at 11 PM hungover and I was worried the gore of this…

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★★½

    The souls of the damned.

    Criticism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including from judicious fans of it such as yours truly, have centered on thing above all else: the uniformity. Trace the origins of any other complaint and you’ll arrive at it via the far reaching shadow of the House of Mouse. Plenty of talented directors of varying backgrounds were given shots at titles and while some are better than others, all suffer from the fact that most weren’t all…

  • We're All Going to the World's Fair

    We're All Going to the World's Fair

    ★★★★★

    The people watching this must be a bit, uh, lonely.

  • Murder-Rock: Dancing Death

    Murder-Rock: Dancing Death

    ★★★½

    The opening of CLIMAX has got nothing on whatever the fuck the opening to this is.

    I knew this film’s reputation as “the Lucio Fulci film with all the dancing” and dance they do! After that opening, it’s followed by another dance sequence of the main cast rehearsing some sort of aerobic ballet and it’s nearly six minutes before a line of dialogue is uttered. It hadn’t occurred to me that this would literally be Fulci’s FLASHDANCE but having finally seen…