• The Rainmaker

    The Rainmaker

    ★★★½

    The cast in this thing is undeniable. Bullet-proof choices.

    Damon, all-American fresh-faced kid trying to be a lawyer; DeVito, the grumbling, no-nonsense sidekick; Voight, Foghorn Leghorn personified; Mickey Rourke, a shady, pinky-ring clad shyster who never takes off his sunglasses. Bullet proof.

    There is a subplot involving Claire Danes as an abused woman that not only feels unnecessary, but also feels at odds, tonally, with the rest of the movie. The main story is a straight drama with punctuations of…

  • Mayor of the Sunset Strip

    Mayor of the Sunset Strip

    ★★★★½

    Pretty fascinating, funny, and bittersweet doc about Rodney Bingenheimer, one of the architects of the modern day KROQ.

    Despite making the station massively popular and getting tons of then-unknown (and now super-famous) bands airplay, Rodney never made much money or many close friends during his 40-year career.

    The doc is structured like a Hollywood movie—the three acts, the character arc, the happy ending—which is fitting for such an iconic LA figure.

  • Collateral

    Collateral

    ★★★½

    Unexpected entry in the One Crazy Night genre!

    Not too much of a character study—just fun to ride along with hitman Cruise and niceguy Foxx, seeing what shit goes down.

    Mann's nighttime LA is a vibe; a total ghost town, sickly green from the sodium-vapor streetlights.

    Shave 15 minutes off this thing and it would be tight as a marine’s top sheet.

  • The Lost City

    The Lost City

    ★★½

    "What if later-career Judd Apatow directed a ROMANCING THE STONE remake?"- some exec in 2022, asking a roomful of moneymen who agreed for some reason.

  • American Movie

    American Movie

    ★★★★★

    The greatest American documentary ever made.

  • The Long Good Friday

    The Long Good Friday

    ★★★★

    A lean, masculine crime flick. You can practically smell the Brut and leather coming through the screen.

    Hoskins is GREAT as our hapless, befuddled lead—an ex-con trying to make a (somewhat) legitimate go of things without having to resort to extremes, at odds with his own ape brain. All flop sweat, narrowed eyes, bared teeth.

    Well-paced with a compelling build-up to the unexpected third act. Good stuff.

  • Blind Fury

    Blind Fury

    ★★★½

    Efficient and understated low/mid-budget '80s actioner that doesn't take itself too seriously.

    If you ever stayed home from school in the early '90s and watched cable all day (or stayed in on a rainy Saturday), you should recognize all the great faces here: Rutger Hauer, Meg Foster, Tex Cobb, Noble Winningham, Terry O'Quinn.

    This wouldn't be nearly as entertaining and watchable if it weren't for the singular Hauer, who utterly dedicates himself to the part of our samurai swordsman who…

  • Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    ★★★★

    These sorts of movies are a big blind spot for me; the James Bonds, John Wicks, and Ethan Hunts of the celluloid world.

    That being said, anytime I put one on, I'm usually wowed and thoroughly entertained.

    This is actually the first M:I movie I've seen, and it scratched the itch: death-defying, practical stuntwork; a race-against-the-clock plotline; solid acting, and bullet-proof dialogue.

    And even though I called every single a-ha! from a mile away, my enjoyment wasn't swayed.

    The water flooding the truck is one of the coolest practical visuals I've seen in a minute.

  • Jackass 4.5

    Jackass 4.5

    ★★★★

    There's a lot of talking in this one; the amount of footage in this, they probably could've kept in JACKASS FOREVER, though there are a lot of repetitive bits so I can understand the judicious editing.

    The hawk ripping off Steve-O's eyebrows is about a split second worth of footage, but it made me actually guffaw.

    These movies are powerful. They're art.

  • Old

    Old

    ★½

    I'm convinced M. Night died in 2006 and was replaced with two 10-year-olds in a trenchcoat wearing an M. Night mask.

  • Devil Story

    Devil Story

    ★½

    There is approximately 10 minutes of plot in this occasionally charming (but mostly maddening and asinine) 70 minute schlocker. 

    The awful dialogue (both awfully written and awfully dubbed) is the best part, but the movie forgoes this in favor of drawn-out, dialogue-less scenes. At least the villain looks like a mix between Peter Boyle and grandpa from TCM.

    If there was a lab that genetically engineered films specifically to be made fun of on MST3K, this would definitely be one…

  • Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects

    Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects

    Super sleazy, barely comprehensible release from the purveyors of such exploitative trash, Cannon Films.

    Even knowing the type of films Cannon was known for, and looking at it through the lens of “it was a different time”, I was still awed at just how grody (and xenophobic!) it managed to be.

    And look, I enjoy my fair share of lurid exploitation and have watched plenty of heinous shit (especially from Cannon), but the presentation here is strangely perverse—and strangely anti-cathartic.

    There’s nothing outrageously gleeful about the unfoldings, nothing redemptive, and everyone is awful through and through. This one is a bummer.