• The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    ★★★★★

    “Everything means something, I guess”

    The terror of not knowing the meaning of pure evil. Still the scariest, gnarliest fucking movie. Also Easy Rider’s twisted cousin, in a way.

  • Grizzly Man

    Grizzly Man

    ★★★★

    This Treadwell fella… I don’t think he was playing with a full deck if you know what I’m sayin…

    Herzog definitely sees parallels between himself and Treadwell, even if he doesn’t explicitly say so in his narration. Treadwell’s absurd quest to become one with nature, using filmmaking as a tool, is similar to Herzog’s Sisyphean quest to find truth in his own filmmaking. Herzog has definitely felt the alienation that Treadwell felt when he made Fitzcarraldo. I think that this…

  • Dawn of the Dead

    Dawn of the Dead

    ★★★★★

    “Human identity is no longer defined by what one does but rather by what one owns.”
    -excerpt from President Jimmy Carter's infamous "malaise speech" July 15, 1979

    The horror of the apocalypse doesn't start at the bottom but at the top. The institutions start to fail. The news can no longer be an authority on what is happening. Law enforcement descends into chaotic violence for violence's sake. The government collapses suddenly. The only thing that stays in tact is the…

  • The Whale

    The Whale

    I don’t think Darren Aronofsky hates his characters intentionally, but starting the movie with Fraser’s character being hidden by his black screen on a zoom call and then immediately cutting to his masturbating to the point of almost going into cardiac arrest is extremely disrespectful. It would be disrespectful to any character but it’s especially so for a character that deserves sensitivity in his portrayal, due to the delicate subject matter.

    But the reason I don’t think Aronofsky isn’t doing…

  • Predator

    Predator

    ★★★★★

    I've gotten to the point that this movie is my Apocalypse Now, except the metaphor makes more sense in this one. Schwarzenegger, the physical machine and in this movie, the embodiment of the imperial secret agent man, meets his double: an ugly motherfucker that represents the ghost of the American war machine. The casualties of cold war assassinations and proxy wars morphed into an alien that descends on Western colonial power.

    But this movie is more than a metaphor. It's…

  • The Departed

    The Departed

    ★★★★

    Not even close to Marty’s best but it’s got the juice. Michael Ballhaus MVP

  • Elvis

    Elvis

    ★★★

    I know some people like to paint Baz Luhrmann as camp, and his performances, cinematography, production design, and set decoration undoubtedly are. But his editing is not. His editing is not the extension of Eisenstein or music videos or even Jerry Bruckheimer blockbusters. They are the extension of commercials and therefore, lack the ideological verve of other “vulgar auteurs.” This, combined with a pretty awful screenplay and a lot of really misguided racial politics, holds this back from being great.…

  • Clifford

    Clifford

    ★★★★★

    "You are not a human boy, you're just, this, this destructive thing who everyone will eventually get to hate you!"

    I gotta give this a 5 because it's too completely and utterly bizarre to be rated anything else. It's a comedy with an unbelievable, even absurd, brilliant and gimmicky lead performance by Short, but every other performance plays it like it's real. Like Clifford is a real boy, but there's something off about him. He looks like a Ralph Steadman…

  • The Brother from Another Planet

    The Brother from Another Planet

    ★★★½

    Not as sharp as I remember it being when I first saw it at 14. The racial commentary is a little too on-the-nose and gets a bit belabored and possibly confused. After all, the film was written by a white guy.

    That being said, this is one of the great American indies just for sheer imagination. It’s a small scale movie with big scale ideas, and it pulls a lot of them off! The performances really sell it, Joe Morton…

  • History of the World: Part I

    History of the World: Part I

    ★★★

    Probably the most generous three stars I could ever give a movie, but so much of this is ingrained into my psyche from watching it so many times as a kid. Rewatching now after many years, the best gags are the ones that are self-contained and that actually make a mockery of the historical movie form.

    The longest stretches, the Ancient Rome bit and the French Revolution bit, feel pretty lazy and sort of lay the groundwork for the later…

  • Radio Days

    Radio Days

    ★★★★

    Woody Allen… what a funny guy! Don’t know much else about him though

  • Raging Bull

    Raging Bull

    ★★★★★

    Maybe this isn’t as sexy as Goodfellas, and maybe Marty actually honed his aesthetic approach in the 90s, but c’mon, it’s Raging Bull. It’s still one of the all time greats. I think DeNiro’s performance is maybe his best (except King of Comedy). Jake LaMotta terrifies and saddens me in such a tangible way, I really don’t feel like there are any tricks being played He’s a real person.

    Thelma’s editing is incredible and I used to be absolutely enthralled…